Can You Moderate Your Drinking? There Is Only One Way To Find Out

They can maintain moderate drinking for years at a time. So who’s more likely to be successful at moderation? Drinkers with a shorter history of problems and less severe problems tend to be more successful with cutting back and maintaining it. (We’ll cover this in more depth later in the series.) Drinkers who believe that alcoholism is a bad habit rather than a disease tend to do better with moderation. There is agreement in the scientific community about what defines “moderate drinking.” It’s no more than 3-4 standard drinks per drinking episode and a total of no more than 9 drinks per week for women and for men. Also, moderate drinking means limiting how fast you drink and, as a result, keeping your blood alcohol concentration below .055 (.08 is the DWI limit in all states in the U.S.). Drinking in moderation can teach individuals better drinking habits without eradicating alcohol from their lives.

  • Therefore 2 drinks a day is less than half a bottle of wine a day.
  • Discuss with your doctor the risks of drinking while you are taking any prescription drugs, over the counter medications, dietary supplements, or herbal remedies.
  • Keep this list in your wallet, on your fridge, or in an app on your phone.
  • During the week I might drink 1-2 drinks, but in social situations lasting more than an hour it is hard to be less than three even alternating with water.
  • The benefits of moderate drinking aren’t limited to the heart.

Moderate alcohol use for healthy adults generally means up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men. Think about your relationship with alcohol and whether it’s a healthy one. Find ways to replace those with choices that are better for you. This is all keeping in mind that moderate alcohol consumption and moderation management programs aren’t appropriate for those groups we already listed above. Blood alcohol content is a measurement of how much alcohol is in a person’s blood.

Eat Before And In Between Drinks

Health and wellness tips delivered right to your inbox. If your problem is serious enough, Molina suggests that medication can be prescribed to help reduce your craving for alcohol. The study sample consisted of relatively few women and was primarily made up of educated middle class men residing in the UK. Therefore, findings may not generalize to all sub-populations. Our popular Listserv is one of the oldest services of it’s type. Wednesdays are ‘Abs Chat’, which welcomes both permanent and temporary abstainers. Tuesday’s Book Chat covers one chapter from the book Responsible Drinking per week.

It is important to note that moderation techniques work best with those concerned with their drinking habits but who are not diagnosed with an alcohol addiction. In unadjusted analyses, light to moderate drinkers had a 17.7 percent chance of becoming disabled or dying in five years, compared with 26.7 percent for abstainers and 21.4 percent for heavy drinkers. Among survivors, the risk for new disability was 12.5 percent for light to moderate drinkers, compared with 20 percent for abstainers and 15.6 percent for heavy drinkers. Before you start thinking about ways to reduce your alcohol intake, let’s define what a moderate or low-risk drinker actually is.

Possible Health Benefits Of Alcohol

Even though moderate drinking may be safe for many people, there are still risks. Moderate drinking can raise the risk of death from certain cancers and heart diseases. Medical experts now use the term “alcohol use disorder” rather than “alcohol abuse” to address the concern of excessive drinking. Keep in mind that even moderate alcohol use isn’t risk-free. For example, even light drinkers have a tiny, but real, increased risk of some cancers, such as esophageal cancer.

There are many different pathways to success, and the key lies in finding which particular pathway works best for each person. Abstinence is not the only solution for a drinking problem. For some people, learning how to drinking more moderately and safely is a realistic and attainable goal.

Nutrition And Healthy Eating

Abstinence gives you a chance to break old habits, experience a change, and build some confidence. It helps to reveal the nature and extent of your attachment to alcohol, including the degree to which you rely on chemically altering your mood to cope with stress and other negative emotions.

Can You Moderate Your Drinking

Learn about different treatments for alcohol use disorder. Talk to a doctor or nurse if you are having a hard time cutting down on your drinking.

Health Risks

Over time, these things become normal parts of my life and don’t take much effort; but the principle of abstinence continues to guide and shape my everyday choices. Treating alcoholism by stages might prevent many people from progressing to more severe and debilitating stages of the illness. There are some very real benefits to your body when you quit drinking altogether, if you’d rather do that.

As anyone who’s attempted a Dry July can attest, booze is something that we are all connected to in myriads of ways. Brain tumor, breast cancer, colon cancer, congenital heart disease, heart arrhythmia. Surely’s alcohol-removed wines allow you to have a glass of wine that tastes more like the real thing, without the risk factors of alcohol.

Can You Moderate Your Drinking

There are bountiful resources available to you if you are considering treatment, a support group, or even tips on how to moderate or abstain from alcohol. You have already made the crucial first step of evaluating alcohol in your life.

Avoid Places Where People Drink A Lot

Moderate drinking can be healthy—but not for everyone. Let a supportive friend and/or family member know that you’re trying to cut down. By explaining how important it is to you that you moderate your drinking, they may be able to offer their help. Be honest about what you do and don’t need and how they can help you to find balance. The WHO guidelines suggest no more than 2 drinks per day, and no more than 5 drinking days per week. Of course, you can’t stockpile your drinks, and have them all at the end of the week. Decide how many days a week you’ll drink and how much you’ll drink on those days.

  • If you’re unsure whether you should be drinking alcohol, follow up with your doctor or healthcare provider.
  • Heavy drinking is a major cause of preventable death in most countries.
  • Ultimately, people who are addicted to alcohol decide to quit drinking, because they realize it’s easier to not drink, than it is to control their drinking.

Perhaps it’s not diagnosable alcoholism, but binge drinking can derail your physical and mental health at this rate. If you’re looking to moderate Can You Moderate Your Drinking your alcohol consumption, you may think that drinking only on certain days can help curb your intake—but a recent study is showing the opposite.

The risks of moderate drinking include worsened health outcomes, developing a dependency on alcohol, and a higher risk of injury. That means even moderate amounts of alcohol could be harmful to your overall physical and mental health. For a 30-year-old man, the increased risk of alcohol-related accidents outweighs the possible heart-related benefits of moderate alcohol consumption. For a pregnant woman and her unborn child, a recovering alcoholic, a person with liver disease, and people taking one or more medications that interact with alcohol, moderate drinking offers little benefit and substantial risks. The benefits of moderate drinking aren’t limited to the heart. In the Nurses’ Health Study, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, and other studies, gallstones and type 2 diabetes were less likely to occur in moderate drinkers than in non-drinkers.

Why Drinking Only On The Weekends May Be Hurting Your Health, According To A New Study

If you exceed that, those health benefits go right out the window, and your odds of heart troubles increase. This study reflected that as well, as the heavy drinkers had greater cardiovascular risks than the nondrinkers. The Harvard scientists caution that heavy consumption of alcohol can lead to negative cardiovascular outcomes such as high blood pressure, heart attacks, and sudden cardiac death. Other doctors warn that even moderate drinking may raise the risks of colon and breast cancer, some types of stroke, fetal damage, driving accidents, abusive behavior, and criminal activities. Some studies have found a protective effect with low to moderate levels of alcohol on overall health. Low to moderate drinkers may have a lower risk of coronary heart disease if already heart-healthy, a lower risk of stroke, and improved diabetes outcomes. Researchers found a strong association among three factors—genetics, folate intake, and alcohol—in a cohort from the Nurses’ Health Study II of 2866 young women with an average age of 36 who were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.

In fact, 6.8 percent of Americans age 18+ are dealing with alcoholism, or as it is now medically referred to, alcohol use disorder . On the other hand, if you’re a light to moderate drinker and you’re healthy, you can probably continue to drink alcohol as long as you do so responsibly.

Alternate With Alcohol

Connecting with medical professionals and a peer support network can give you the tools to reach your goals, and set you up for long-term success. The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker. You should also pay attention to how easy or hard it is for you to cut down on your drinking and identify what triggers you to drink, she advised. They were also two times more likely to have problems with alcohol consumption nine years later.

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