- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
How to Control Drinking Excessively
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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.
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.
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.
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?
Number of Alcoholic Drinks Per Day
Number of Alcoholic Drinks Per Week
4 or less
14 or less
3 or less
7 or less
How Much Alcohol is in "One" Drink?
Type of Alcohol
beer and wine cooler
12 fl oz
5 fl oz
cocktail and hard liquor
1.5 fl oz