How to Moderate Your Use

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Been Meaning to Cut Back on Your Drinking?

Occasionally students reach a crossroads about their drinking habits. Maybe you’re a senior and decide it is time to face the “real world.” Maybe you have recently experienced a DUI, MIP, or discipline by the University. Maybe parents have given the ultimatum that their money needs to go toward an education and not “partying.” If you are thinking about cutting back or quitting, for whatever reason, here are some tips to consider:

The most effective way to begin moderation is with at least 30 days of abstinence to achieve lower tolerance. If you can’t do 30 days of abstinence, then you need to ask yourself, “Why?”

  • Get honest about the costs and benefits of drinking. If you have trouble remembering the costs, trouble remembering is a cost.
  • Challenge the benefits. Do you really need alcohol to unwind, loosen up, have fun, bond with your friends, or socialize with the other gender? Have your drinking habits so far achieved these benefits? Are you really that attractive if you are intoxicated? Try to give yourself some credit.
  • Make a list of 10 ways you are better off without alcohol. Put the list in a place where you can review it every day. If you can’t come up with 10, think of it as a work in progress.
  • If you have beer in the fridge, chances are you will probably drink it. If there is an unending supply, you are fighting a losing battle. Find a non-alcoholic beverage that you like more than beer and keep a supply of it on-hand instead.
  • Count your way to reduction. You may think you know how much you drink, but after so many it’s easy to lose count! Chart your use for a period of time (2 weeks) so you really know how much you have been drinking. This may help motivate you to figure out how many drinks to cut back.
  • Most students report that it best not to exceed 4 drinks, as nothing good seems to happen after the 4th, and it usually leads to number 5, number 6…
  • Realize that you are stronger and smarter than alcohol. Show it who’s the boss. Cut your drinking days in half. Start drinking later and quit earlier. Drink a bottle or glass of water/club soda after every beer.
  • If you drink too much, you are probably hanging around with people who drink too much as well. Peer pressure may be difficult to stand up to, but its your choice.You are probably going to have to show some backbone. Be the designated driver.
  • Recognize that drinking reinforces your desire to drink. This means that despite your best intentions, the first beer of the evening can seduce you into the same old drinking pattern you’re trying to avoid. Before you drink the first beer, have a plan. If you can’t stick to the plan, don’t drink the first beer.
  • Be honest with yourself about problematic behaviors caused by drinking. Rationalizing your behavior by asserting that “other students do it too” suggests you need to view it as a more serious problem.

Most importantly, believe that you can modify your drinking pattern. Self-confidence and commitment enhance your chance for success. Men should drink no more than one drink per hour and not exceed three drinks, while women should not exceed one per hour and drink no more than two per evening.

Don’t just complain about your drinking rut. Do something about it!

Other helpful hints:

  • Drink slowly
  • Stay active
  • Limit your consumption at home
  • Hang out with people who will support your choice to cut back
  • Take a break by cutting back on amount and frequency of drinking
  • Don’t give up

If you have difficulty with the suggestions above and would like support to cut down on your drinking, please feel free to call and set up a consultation with OADE 631-7970 so we can assist you.

You can click this link to access:
Taking a Break from Alcohol: Suggestions for 30 days

Useful websites:

www.aftertoomany.com
www.thatguy.com
www.hammered.org
https://interwork.sdsu.edu/echug2/?id=ND&hfs=true

Drink Log for Modification

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