However, if your drinking is already a problem then there are many in the addiction field who state that in order to 'get better' you must abstain from alcohol.
This is also the belief held by Alcoholics Anonymous and its adherents. They also believe that abstention is the only treatment for alcoholism and balk at anyone who might declare otherwise.
Yet, for many the AA way is not for them, and for these people there are methods, programs and medications that do not demand that you remain alcohol free for the remainder of your life.
So What is Moderate Drinking?
Moderate drinking is not relative to what other people drink.
If you friends drink 12 cans of beer a night and you drink 6 it doesn't mean you are drinking moderately (or safely). You are drinking less compared to them but your alcohol intake is harming your health.
There are moderate drinking guidelines that show the level of alcohol consumption that is accepted as safe by the medical community.
They vary slightly from country to country, as there are no international drinking guidelines but they are basically the same:
In the U.K.
You can safely drink per week....
21 units of alcohol if you are a man.
14 units if you are a woman.
Men should drink no more than 4 units in a day and women no more than two.
WHAT IS A UNIT OF ALCOHOL? 1 unit of alcohol is 1/2 a pint of beer, a small glass of wine or a small pub measure of spirits (not a measure poured by your Uncle Harry into a pint glass!).
In the U.S.
the Surgeon General has decreed that it is O.K.........
For men to have no more than two drinks per day.
For women to have no more than one drink per day.
WHAT IS MEANT BY A DRINK? One drink equals one 12-ounce bottle of beer or wine cooler, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.
Just because you drink more than the above guidelines does not make you an alcoholic.
You might be, but there are warning signs of alcoholism and alcoholism tests that are a better way of determining whether or not you are a drink addict.
Many, many people drink more than recommended who are not alcoholic.
If you are currently drinking more than the guidelines above and are NOT addicted to drink then why not cut down and try to follow the moderate drinking guidelines above for a while.
Drinking more than the guidelines suggest can, in some people, lead to alcohol dependence and it will damage your health.
Drinking within the guidelines not only means you won't harm your well-being but there are benefits to drinking alcohol also.
A win-win situation.
Do you want help with moderating your drinking? Are you worried that if you continue the way you are you might become dependent on alcohol? "Stop Drinking Alcohol" is an e-book that give you the tools to either return to normal drinking (staying within moderate drinking guidelines) or stop altogether WITHOUT the need for the 12 steps. I highly recommend it as a viable alternative for binge drinkers wishing to cut down on their alcohol consumption.
If you or someone close to you wants help and advice on quitting drinking then take a look at the following pages:
Deborah Morrow, M.S. Addiction Psychology, is the director of treatment programs for The Alcoholism Guide website. In her practice, Deborah provides on-line coaching and support for those dependent on alcohol or who require other services such as relapse prevention or court mandated services. (Read More)