Social drinking is an acceptable part of society as long as people don’t get out of hand and lose control of themselves but there are those who can’t stop once they start and this is when it becomes a serious problem.
I recall during my college days how I could have easily become an alcoholic. I hung out with my circle of friends and every Friday and Saturday the party was on, somewhere! I was totally out of control and I knew this because I couldn’t wait for the weekend to come, knowing I could drop all of my studies and come back to them on Sunday afternoon after sleeping off the effects of the big weekend fiesta!
Since then, off and on, I admit I have engaged in binge drinking as defined by experts; women who consume 4 or more alcoholic beverages and men who drink more than 5 on any given day just to catch a buzz and beyond are considered in the ‘binge zone.’ Also, keep in mind drinking moderately has its health benefits if you consume two drinks a day. The positive effects are negated if you save those two drinks a day from Monday through Friday thinking you can drink 10 drinks on Saturday to reach the goal of 2 a day!
I’m one of those guys who loves to have a barbecue on the weekends and I don’t hesitate to call my friends or family members to set it up. One weekend I’ll be at my cousin’s house and the next it will be at mine and until fairly recently, these get-togethers always included binge drinking in the form of rum and Cokes or Bud Light beers.
I have always told myself unconvincingly that I am not an alcoholic; after all, I only drink one day out of the week and that’s usually on a Friday or Saturday. furthermore, I’m well aware that binge drinking is usually not considered by experts to be a part of alcoholism. The truth is, these days, my health is suffering a little bit because I am 30 pounds overweight according to my doctor, and I am on the verge of high blood pressure as well as in the initial stages of prediabetes. Taking all of this into account, it was easy for me to make a change recently and even though I still love to catch a nice buzz responsibly while I celebrate life with my loved ones, I have had to cut my fun to only once a month to see if I could drop the weight and become more healthy.
Aside from my motivation of impending health problems, here’s how to stop binge drinking in a month even if you’ve carried the same habit for years:
- Be honest with yourself about your health in the future. Are you going to be one of those who will wait for and deal with your serious health issues ion your 40’s and 50’s or are you going to give yourself the best possible chance to drink in moderation so you can enjoy life without all the pains and aches in your body as well as the frequent doctor visits?
- Start cutting down your alcohol intake by one or two drinks every weekend until you get to a healthier amount. Make a plan and stick with it. If you have been consuming 10 drinks at your brother Joey’s house every weekend, cut it to 8, then 7 or 6 and continue dwindling that number down to no more than 4. You’re probably better off smoking an occasional quality cigar for an hour after your 4th drink even though that comes with its own risks. I occasionally do this and I believe it helps me relax and forces me to cut back on alcohol.
- Track your progress. Find a calendar even if you have to print one out on the computer and write down the number of drinks consumed on each day. For example, if you place the number ‘2’ from Monday through Friday and 7 on Saturday you know you have to work on Saturday’s number.
- Find something else to do on the weekend. Mix up a drive to the park or beach and intentionally refuse to bring alcohol on your trip.
- Occasionally substitute alcohol with something else you like to drink on the weekends. Have a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee instead of that Blue Label! Heck, stop at a convenience store on the way to your friend’s house and grab two coffees before you get to your destination. When your friend says, “Hey, what are you doing drinking coffee?” you can say, “Dude, this coffee rocks and I gotta’ lay off the booze today!”