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How to Control Drinking Excessively

Updated on May 15, 2013
Russian Painting, Depicting Excessive Drinking
Russian Painting, Depicting Excessive Drinking | Source

© All Rights Reserved

While moderate drinking has proved to benefit some individuals, excessive drinking has always been considered a harmful behavior for everyone. Drinking like a fish not only ruins your physical health and brain function, but can also negatively affect your social life and career in the long run. Most people don't want to chum with someone who smells like old whiskey, and no company would like to hire an employee who comes to work with a hangover. Even worse, some boozers tend not to know when their physical coordination is too impaired for them to operate a vehicle, which could jeopardize the safety of other innocent people on the road.

If your drinking has become a serious addiction or you think you might be suffering from alcoholism, you should seek professional help. Trying to quit it on your own might be doable, but oftentimes, it is a lot more effective for alcoholics to battle their addiction under the supervision of health care professionals. For those of you who are prone to heavy drinking but have not developed a physical dependence on alcohol, these tricks might be able to help you kick the habit quite easily.

Ask Yourself What Makes You Drink So Much

No one drinks excessively because the sensation of throwing up or losing one's balance is so wonderful. There are usually underlying reasons that drive people to over-drink despite knowing they are destroying their own well-being. Some may do so because of loneliness, depression, social anxiety or inability to cope with whatever problems they have. Some may drink heavily at night after a long day of stressful work, as a way to relax. And some others may simply happen to be social butterflies who can't resist the temptation of alcohol once the wild party starts rolling. Trying to figure out what causes you to drink the way you do is the first step to take. If you drink because of depression or any emotional issue, for example, there are lots of better things you can do to improve your situation than drinking. Instead of numbing your brain with tequila, you can try a psycho therapy, express your feelings to friends and family, meditate, move to a new place, or make changes in your lifestyle that will get you out of your self-destructive routine.

Overstocking Alcohol
Overstocking Alcohol | Source

Avoid Overstocking

Everything starts at home. Think of someone who's battling sugar addiction; it would be foolish for him to always have cookies and cupcakes within a hand's reach, isn't it? It is the same with drinking problems. If you are trying to avoid drinking excessively, there shouldn't be a well-supplied wine cellar or a fridge full of six packs in your house. Of course, this wouldn't stop everyone; some would just go to a nearby liquor store and get their booze. Yet, to some others, such inconvenience might be enough to discourage them from over-drinking.

Don't be too happy with happy hours
Don't be too happy with happy hours | Source

Avoid Happy Hours

Many bars and restaurants offer "happy hours" when certain food items and alcoholic drinks are sold at discount prices. For people with a weak will power, happy hours should be avoided at all cost. You may walk into a bar, chanting the "I will have only one drink" mantra in your head, but later on, the $1 beer could become harder and harder to resist. In the end, you may forget all about your mantra and spend $10 on 10 beers.

Don't Be Ashamed to Talk about Your Drinking Problem

You don't have to attend AA meetings if you don't want to. Not everyone feels comfortable discussing their personal issues with strangers. At least, though, you shouldn't be too embarrassed to talk about your drinking problem with your family and close friends. Tell them about your plan to overcome it and change your life. Let people know. Make it official. You don't have to be in this battle all by yourself. Encouraging words and emotional support from those who love you can be more powerful than you might think.

Keep a Journal

Many who try to lose weight find keeping a food diary to be extremely helpful. A lot of beginning runners use a running log to keep them motivated. This same strategy can work for people who try to curb their drinking as well. Write down how the experience makes you feel physically and emotionally, how much more productive you have become, how it affects your relationships with others, etc. It doesn't have to be all about the positive things, though. If you struggle or get overwhelmed by negative feelings, acknowledge that and keep on fighting. As time goes by, you'll eventually see how much progress you have made, feel proud of yourself and be able to maintain your motivation to drink responsibly.

Drinking Chess Game
Drinking Chess Game | Source

Socialize Intelligently

Parties are fun, and it's great to have a lot of friends. Sometimes, however, you may have to burn some bridges. Don't hang out with those who are prone to excessive drinking if you don't think you'll be able to say no to them. Avoid social gatherings with unlimited alcohol, drinking games and party-goers who consider being severely intoxicated a behavior worth-encouraging.

Switch Your Routine

Some people drink at a certain time of the day. Say Mr. John Whiskeynose spends eight hours a day in a cut-throat workplace; when he gets home, he always drinks from 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. while watching TV to "mellow" himself out. If you have a similar routine like this, don't just omit the drinking but also fill the time slot with other activities. For example, if Mr. Whiskeynose decides to stop drinking but continues his routine of watching TV, it's very likely he's going to miss his booze and return to his old habit at some point. To take his mind away from alcohol completely, he'd better adopt a new routine, such as taking a walk, cooking, reading, going to the gym, taking a yoga class, chatting with friends online or on the phone, etc.

How much drinking is considered to be not too much?

Sex
Number of Alcoholic Drinks Per Day
Number of Alcoholic Drinks Per Week
Male
4 or less
14 or less
Female
3 or less
7 or less
***These general guidelines are based on extensive research by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and only applicable for adults with no chronic health problems.***

How Much Alcohol is in "One" Drink?

Type of Alcohol
Quantity
beer and wine cooler
12 fl oz
wine
5 fl oz
cocktail and hard liquor
1.5 fl oz

Comments

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  • Om Paramapoonya profile imageAUTHOR

    Om Paramapoonya 

    5 years ago

    @Peggy W - Thanks for your comment, votes and pin, Peggy. Glad you found these suggestions useful!

    @akirchner - Yep, you're right, Audrey. Alcoholism is a disease, which is hard to overcome. That's something we must remember. It's not simply a bad behavior or moral weakness. In order to quit drinking, alcoholics will likely need a lot of will power as well as encouragement and emotional support from their loved ones.

  • akirchner profile image

    Audrey Kirchner 

    5 years ago from Washington

    From your lips to God's ears, Om--I think we all have someone in our family or our lives who have the addiction which is so sad...I just never thought it would be one of our boys. As you say--most of us have had our days when we maybe overindulged--but most of us thankfully grow out of it. Others are not so fortunate I guess. The important thing is to remember it's the disease I guess~

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    5 years ago from Houston, Texas

    Hi Om,

    I like how you addressed this topic with humor but also some good suggestions. Voted up, useful and will pin to my Health related subjects board. This may be the nudge some people need to cut back on their drinking habits.

  • Om Paramapoonya profile imageAUTHOR

    Om Paramapoonya 

    5 years ago

    @akirchner - Hey, glad to hear from you, Audrey! I had an alcoholic in my family as well, and he died of liver cirrhosis. I hope your son overcomes his addiction and gets his life back very soon.

    @tebo - Thanks a lot for dropping by, tebo. Yeah, I found this topic to be quite depressing, so I added some humor to it just to lighten things up a bit.

    @cloverleaffarm - Thanks for your kind words. And great job on staying sober for so many years!

    @lindacee - Hi, Linda. It's easier for social drinkers to quit, I think. I also used to drink a lot back when I was young and my body could handle hangovers. And just like you, I finally grew out of it.

  • lindacee profile image

    lindacee 

    5 years ago from Arizona

    Years ago, I was a pretty heavy drinker -- worked in advertising and that's what we did back in the day. These days, I might have one glass of wine per week. I guess some of us grow out of it, but, unfortunately, some never do. Great, informative Hub. Hope it helps those who are struggling. :)

  • cloverleaffarm profile image

    Healing Herbalist 

    5 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

    I haven't drank in years. Even the dandelion wine I made was given away. It is hard for some to walk away, and you are right, you have to change. Great hub. Voted up.

  • tebo profile image

    tebo 

    5 years ago from New Zealand

    You have made some good suggestions for people who struggle with limiting their alcohol intake and you have managed to deliver it in a humorous fashion. Well done.

  • akirchner profile image

    Audrey Kirchner 

    5 years ago from Washington

    Gosh Om...I was thinking throwing up was the goal for me every day. Seriously, can't understand it or the fact that drinking to excess minimizes who you can be--for yourself and everyone around you. Speaking from experience (we have a son who's an alcoholic), it's the saddest thing to see someone live their life through a bottle. Good points for the rest of us though who have learned that moderation is the key~!

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