The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines binge drinking as consuming approximately 5 alcoholic drinks for men and 4 for women within 2 hours. The effects of high alcohol consumption are well known, but the amount of pain this causes your loved ones may be unbearable. With that in mind, here are some useful tips for setting you on the right path to recovery.
Consider Your Environment
Binge drinking is often triggered by exposure to certain environments, social situations, or stimuli. Until you’ve got your drinking under control, you may want to stay away from places like pubs and gatherings where drinking will be the main focus. You may also want to limit your contact with certain friends and social circles if you’re trying to cut down on your alcohol use.
Get a Strong Support System
Share your plan to reduce or eliminate alcohol use with people who will encourage you. You’re better off surrounding yourself with people who don’t drink much or who don’t need alcohol to enjoy themselves. These ‘accountability buddies’ will help you keep track of your commitment to stopping binge drinking. If you decide to attend an occasion where alcohol will be available, you can carry along a trustworthy support person and some non-alcoholic beverages to get by.
Eat Before Going Out
Eat first to reduce the rate at which alcohol is absorbed into your system. It would help if you didn’t drink anything on an empty stomach since doing so can rapidly intoxicate your system. Instead, load up on carbohydrates (such as bread, rice, or pasta) three hours before you indulge so that the alcohol can be metabolized more slowly. You’ll have less chance of becoming sick or having a hangover if you do this.
Explore Other Hobbies
Keep your mind distracted by learning new ways to have fun. If the “bar scene” or drinking alcohol makes up the bulk of your social life, it’s time to branch out. Try something new, like archery, hiking, or traveling to locations that provide a wide variety of activities. Should you decide to spend quality time at home, you could consider activities like yoga and meditation to help you achieve a state of balance.
Get Low-Alcoholic Drinks
Drinks with a low alcohol-by-volume (ABV) percentage reduce the risk of intoxication. While it is still suggested that you stick to the daily limit of 2 alcoholic beverages for males and 1 alcoholic drink for women, buying low-alcoholic beverages may aid in maintaining a safe blood alcohol content (BAC). A beer with an alcohol content of just 1.15% is a great choice for those who want to drink but are concerned about overindulging.
Carry Just Enough Money for a Few Drinks
Try to estimate how much it would cost to buy a couple of drinks. A rough estimate of the cost of two drinks can be $30. If you’re unsure of the price, you can look up the menu online if the pub or restaurant you’re visiting has one. It will be much simpler to drastically reduce alcohol use if you establish a firm budget.
Monitor Your Drinking
Keeping track of your alcohol consumption will show you how frequently you binge drink. Note in your “drink journal” whenever you have a drink, whether alone or with others. Keeping track of your alcohol consumption during the week can give you a more accurate picture of your drinking patterns. This way, you’ll know what changes you need to make. We’re happy that you’ve decided to quit binge drinking and know just how hard it can be. Maybe this isn’t your first time quitting, and you don’t know what to do anymore. Whatever the circumstance, don’t give up just yet! Call us at 954-523-1167.