Staying away

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Small changes can make a big difference in reducing your chances of having alcohol-related problems. Whatever strategies you choose, give them a fair trial. If one approach doesn't work, try something else. But if you haven't made progress in cutting down after 2 to 3 months, consider quitting drinking altogether, seeking professional help, or both.


Here are some strategies to try, and you can add your own at the end. Check off perhaps two or three to try in the next week or two. Then click List my choices, and you can print or email them to yourself.



-- Keep track -Keep track of how much you drink. Find a way that works for you, carry drinking tracker cards in your wallet, make check marks on a kitchen calendar, or enter notes in a mobile phone notepad or personal digital assistant. Making note of each drink before you drink it may help you slow down when needed.

-- Count and measure -Know the standard drink sizes so you can count your drinks accurately. Measure drinks at home. Away from home, it can be hard to keep track, especially with mixed drinks, and at times, you may be getting more alcohol than you think. With wine, you may need to ask the host or server not to "top off" a partially filled glass.


-- Set goals -Decide how many days a week you want to drink and how many drinks you'll have on those days. It's a good idea to have some days when you don't drink. Drinkers with the lowest rates of alcohol use disorders stay within the low-risk limits.


-- Pace and space -When you do drink, pace yourself. Sip slowly. Have no more than one standard drink with alcohol per hour. Have "drink spacers"—make every other drink a non-alcoholic one, such as water, soda, or juice.


-- Include food -Don't drink on an empty stomach. Eat some food so the alcohol will be absorbed into your system more slowly.


-- Find alternatives -If drinking has occupied a lot of your time, then fill free time by developing new, healthy activities, hobbies, and relationships, or renewing ones you've missed. If you have counted on alcohol to be more comfortable in social situations, manage moods, or cope with problems, then seek other, healthy ways to deal with those areas of your life.


-- Avoid "triggers." -What triggers your urge to drink? If certain people or places make you drink even when you don't want to, try to avoid them. If certain activities, times of day, or feelings trigger the urge, plan something else to do instead of drinking. If drinking at home is a problem, keep little or no alcohol there.


-- Plan to handle urges -When you cannot avoid a trigger and an urge hits, consider these options: Remind yourself of your reasons for changing (it can help to carry them in writing or store them in an electronic message you can access easily). Or talk things through with someone you trust. Or get involved with a healthy, distracting activity, such as physical exercise or a hobby that doesn't involve drinking. Or, instead of fighting the feeling, accept i

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Staying away

  1. 1. http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=625Fitango EducationHealth TopicsStaying away
  2. 2. 1OverviewSmall changes can make a big difference inreducing your chances of having alcohol-relatedproblems. Whatever strategies you choose, givethem a fair trial. If one approach doesnt work, trysomething else. But if you havent made progressin cutting down after 2 to 3 months, considerquitting drinking altogether, seeking professionalhelp, or both.
  3. 3. 2OverviewHere are some strategies to try, and you can addyour own at the end. Check off perhaps two orthree to try in the next week or two. Then click Listmy choices, and you can print or email them toyourself.
  4. 4. 3Overview-- Keep track -Keep track of how much you drink.Find a way that works for you, carry drinkingtracker cards in your wallet, make check marks ona kitchen calendar, or enter notes in a mobilephone notepad or personal digital assistant.Making note of each drink before you drink it mayhelp you slow down when needed.
  5. 5. 4Overview-- Count and measure -Know the standard drinksizes so you can count your drinks accurately.Measure drinks at home. Away from home, it canbe hard to keep track, especially with mixed drinks,and at times, you may be getting more alcoholthan you think. With wine, you may need to askthe host or server not to "top off" a partially filledglass.
  6. 6. 5Overview-- Set goals -Decide how many days a week youwant to drink and how many drinks youll have onthose days. Its a good idea to have some dayswhen you dont drink. Drinkers with the lowestrates of alcohol use disorders stay within the low-risk limits.
  7. 7. 6Overview-- Pace and space -When you do drink, paceyourself. Sip slowly. Have no more than onestandard drink with alcohol per hour. Have "drinkspacers"—make every other drink a non-alcoholicone, such as water, soda, or juice.-- Include food -Dont drink on an empty stomach.Eat some food so the alcohol will be absorbed intoyour system more slowly.
  8. 8. 7Overview-- Find alternatives -If drinking has occupied a lotof your time, then fill free time by developing new,healthy activities, hobbies, and relationships, orrenewing ones youve missed. If you have countedon alcohol to be more comfortable in socialsituations, manage moods, or cope with problems,then seek other, healthy ways to deal with thoseareas of your life.
  9. 9. 8Overview-- Avoid "triggers." -What triggers your urge todrink? If certain people or places make you drinkeven when you dont want to, try to avoid them. Ifcertain activities, times of day, or feelings triggerthe urge, plan something else to do instead ofdrinking. If drinking at home is a problem, keeplittle or no alcohol there.
  10. 10. 9Overview-- Plan to handle urges -When you cannot avoid atrigger and an urge hits, consider these options:Remind yourself of your reasons for changing (itcan help to carry them in writing or store them inan electronic message you can access easily). Ortalk things through with someone you trust. Or getinvolved with a healthy, distracting activity, such asphysical exercise or a hobby that doesnt involvedrinking. Or, instead of fighting the feeling, acceptit and ride it out without giving in, know
  11. 11. 10Overview-- Know your "no." -Youre likely to be offered adrink at times when you dont want one. Have apolite, convincing "no, thanks" ready. The fasteryou can say no to these offers, the less likely youare to give in. If you hesitate, it allows you time tothink of excuses to go along. Also, see the shortmodule to help you build drink refusal skills.
  12. 12. 11Building your drink refusal skills**Plan ahead to stay in controlEven if you are committed to changing yourdrinking, "social pressure" to drink from friends orothers can make it hard to cut back or quit. Thisshort module offers a recognize-avoid-copeapproach commonly used in cognitive-behavioraltherapy, which helps people to change unhelpfulthinking patterns and reactions. It also provideslinks to worksheets to help you get started withyour own plan to resist pressure to drink.
  13. 13. 12Building your drink refusal skills**Recognize two types of pressure**The first step is to become aware of the twodifferent types of social pressure to drink alcohol—direct and indirect.-- Direct social pressure is when someone offersyou a drink or an opportunity to drink.
  14. 14. 13Building your drink refusal skills**Recognize two types of pressure**-- Indirect social pressure is when you feel temptedto drink just by being around others who aredrinking—even if no one offers you a drink.
  15. 15. 14Building your drink refusal skills**Recognize two types of pressure**Take a moment to think about situations whereyou feel direct or indirect pressure to drink or todrink too much. You can use the form below towrite them down. Then, for each situation, choosesome resistance strategies from below, or come upwith your own. When youre done, you can printthe form or email it to yourself.**Avoid pressure when possible**
  16. 16. 15Building your drink refusal skills**Recognize two types of pressure**For some situations, your best strategy may beavoiding them altogether. If you feel guilty aboutavoiding an event or turning down an invitation,remind yourself that you are not necessarily talkingabout "forever." When you have confidence in yourresistance skills, you may decide to ease graduallyinto situations you now choose to avoid. In themeantime, you can stay connected with friends bysuggesting alternate activities that dont involvedrinking.
  17. 17. 16Building your drink refusal skills**Cope with situations you cant avoid****Know your "no"**
  18. 18. 17Building your drink refusal skills**Cope with situations you cant avoid**When you know alcohol will be served, itsimportant to have some resistance strategies linedup in advance. If you expect to be offered a drink,youll need to be ready to deliver a convincing "nothanks." Your goal is to be clear and firm, yetfriendly and respectful. Avoid long explanationsand vague excuses, as they tend to prolong thediscussion and provide more of an opportunity togive in. Here are some other points to keep inmind:
  19. 19. 18Building your drink refusal skills**Cope with situations you cant avoid**-- Dont hesitate, as that will give you the chance tothink of reasons to go along-- Look directly at the person and make eye contact-- Keep your response short, clear, and simple
  20. 20. 19Building your drink refusal skills**Cope with situations you cant avoid**The person offering you a drink may not know youare trying to cut down or stop, and his or her levelof insistence may vary. Its a good idea to plan aseries of responses in case the person persists,from a simple refusal to a more assertive reply.Consider a sequence like this:-- No, thank you.-- No, thanks, I dont want to.
  21. 21. 20Building your drink refusal skills**Cope with situations you cant avoid**-- You know, Im (cutting back/not drinking) now(to get healthier/to take care of myself/becausemy doctor said to). Id really appreciate it if youdhelp me out.
  22. 22. 21Building your drink refusal skills**Cope with situations you cant avoid**-- You can also try the "broken record" strategy.Each time the person makes a statement, you cansimply repeat the same short, clear response. Youmight want to acknowledge some part of thepersons points ("I hear you...") and then go backto your broken-record reply ("...but no thanks").And if words fail, you can walk away.**Script and practice your "no" **
  23. 23. 22Building your drink refusal skills**Cope with situations you cant avoid**Many people are surprised at how hard it can be tosay no the first few times. You can build confidenceby scripting and practicing your lines. First imaginethe situation and the person whos offering thedrink. Then write both what the person will sayand how youll respond, whether its a brokenrecord strategy (mentioned above) or your ownunique approach. Rehearse it aloud to getcomfortable with your phrasing and delivery. Also,consider asking a supportive person to role-playwith you, so
  24. 24. 23Building your drink refusal skills**Cope with situations you cant avoid**Try other strategiesIn addition to being prepared with your "nothanks," consider these strategies:-- Have non-alcoholic drinks always in hand ifyoure quitting, or as "drink spacers" betweendrinks if youre cutting back
  25. 25. 24Building your drink refusal skills**Cope with situations you cant avoid**-- Keep track of every drink if youre cutting back soyou stay within your limits-- Ask for support from others to cope withtemptation-- Plan an escape if the temptation gets too great
  26. 26. 25Building your drink refusal skills**Cope with situations you cant avoid**-- Ask others to refrain from pressuring you ordrinking in your presence (this can be hard)-- If you have successfully refused drink offersbefore, then recall what worked and build on it.
  27. 27. 26Your choice**Remember, its your choice**How you think about any decision to change canaffect your success. Many people who decide tocut back or quit drinking think, "I am not allowedto drink," as if an external authority were imposingrules on them. Thoughts like this can breedresentment and make it easier to give in. Itsimportant to challenge this kind of thinking bytelling yourself that you are in charge, that youknow how you want your life to be, and that youhave decided to make a change.
  28. 28. 27Your choice**Remember, its your choice**Similarly, you may worry about how others willreact or view you if you make a change. Again,challenge these thoughts by remembering that itsyour life and your choice, and that your decisionshould be respected.**Plan to resist pressure to drink **
  29. 29. 28Your choice**Remember, its your choice**The links below will take you to forms to plan howyoull handle high-risk situations and offers todrink:**Plan your resistance strategies**Script your "no"

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