Alcohol use is prevalent in our current society. Many of our most popular films and songs revolve around alcohol use, and almost every reason for celebration—from graduations to weddings to birthdays—are also considered an acceptable reason to drink. With this much consistent and comfortable alcohol use, it’s common for abuse to begin in those who drink consistently, an act which can, eventually, lead to alcoholism.
But how can you avoid alcoholism, or alcohol abuse for that matter, when our society seems to revere it? It’s always better to prevent the issues that could lead to alcohol addiction than to seek treatment for it. Although alcohol rehab and alcohol detox in Florida is a relevant, and often necessary, option for substance abusers and addicts, we believe there are still many ways to prevent alcohol abuse from the start.
Effective Ways to Prevent the Onset of Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol abuse is dangerous, even if you aren’t addicted. It can cause you to harm yourself through accidental falls, alcohol poisoning, and dangerous practices like unsafe sex. You could also harm someone else, e.g., drunk driving. Alcohol can cause problems for all your major organs if consumed in large quantities over a long period.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol abuse costs the country $185 billion in 1998. In 2010, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimated that the cost to the country was $249 billion.
If you’re ready to stop drinking and prevent alcohol abuse, start today with these tips.
1. Remove the Alcohol from Your Home.
One of the reasons alcohol is so dangerous is because it is so readily available. You can get it at almost every restaurant, and now, places like bowling alleys, movie theaters, and arcades offer beer and wine or even hard liquor. It can be hard to prevent yourself from interacting with alcohol completely, but by removing it from your home, you’re making sure there’s one place you can always go that won’t offer the temptation to drink.
In addition, drinking at home requires no accountability. You can drink as much as you want without anyone cutting you off or without concerns about how you will get home after. This is a great way to prevent yourself from drinking above moderate levels simply because you can.
2. Go Places that Don’t Serve Booze.
Although many places do serve it these days, actively seek out fun activities and businesses that do not sell alcohol. Some of these places can be cheap, fast food chains, but sometimes, nicer restaurants will surprise you by not offering a full bar. Also, some activities are still performed alcohol-free for the most part, such as mini-golf, arts and crafts, sports, and nature walks. Research where you want to go and what you want to do beforehand, so you’ll be aware if there is alcohol involved. Show yourself you don’t need to drink to have fun.
3. Plan Activities for You and Your Friends or Attend Meetups.
In that same vein, plan activities for yourself, your family, and your friends that don’t involve drinking. Have a barbecue and ask that no one BYOBs or start a book club where you and your friends vow not to drink but rather to have an intellectual conversation. If you want to meet new people who have the same interests, there are many clubs and meetups all over the country that focus on a shared pastime, rather than on drinking.
4. Know What Moderate and Low-Risk Drinking Are.
The CDC, along with other government bodies, consider moderate drinking to be one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. Different types of alcohol are considered one drink in different amounts (such as 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine, etc.). The information can be found on the CDC’s website.
In addition, the NIAAA states that low-risk drinking includes no more than four drinks a day and 14 a week for men and no more than three a day and seven a week for women. If you can try to stay somewhere in this window, between moderate and low-risk drinking, it can help you immensely in your battle to avoid alcohol abuse.
5. Slow Your Drinking Down.
Try drinking slower, sipping rather than gulping. It might sound overly simple, but it can help in a lot of ways. You might start to notice that you are tipsier than you thought you would be after one drink and be able to enjoy the experience rather than powering through to the next drink.
6. Drink Other Beverages In Between Alcoholic Beverages.
Again, it might sound like a simple solution, but making sure you have a soda, a glass of juice, or another beverage between each beer or glass of wine can minimize the chance that you will start to abuse alcohol. It is always a good plan to drink water while consuming alcohol as well.
7. Journal About Your Decision.
Harvard Medical School suggests that you put your desire to avoid alcohol abuse into writing. Tell your journal why you’re trying to prevent this issue, whether it’s for your health, for your children, or simply because you want to enjoy your life more. When you start to wonder if the decision was the right one, you can look back on it.
Better yet, you can also keep a journal of the ways in which you prevented alcohol abuse in your life and in the lives of those you love. When you see you’ve made a considerable effort over time, reward yourself with something special.
8. Vow to Be Alcohol-Free for a Certain Amount of Time.
You can decide to take a week, a month, or even just a few days every week off of drinking. This can be a great way to remind yourself that alcohol doesn’t control you and that you can enjoy yourself without it. Make sure to write down in a journal how you feel when you choose not to drink and do what you can to keep yourself motivated to meet your goal. If you do make a mistake and drink during a time you told yourself you wouldn’t, consider the issue. Does this happen a lot? Do you think you’re going to need more help to get control over your drinking?
Preventing Alcohol Abuse in Your Loved Ones
All of us want everyone we care about to be healthy and happy. Preventing alcohol abuse in your loved ones might also be an important goal of yours, and as such, here is some advice to help you achieve this goal:
- Talk to your loved one about their drinking. Make a pact to prevent alcohol abuse together.
- Show your loved one statistics about alcohol abuse and how it can be harmful.
- Plan activities where drinking isn’t necessary, but be upfront with your reasoning, so your loved one understands it is important that the two of you don’t drink during this activity.
- If your loved one is a child or a teenager, be open and honest with them about your concerns. Talk to them about how they might experience peer pressure to drink and how they should always make decisions for themselves. Be available to discuss alcohol abuse and the problems it can cause, rather than shutting them down.
Of course, it is important to understand that the only person you can control is yourself. You can always share your desire for a loved one to cut back on alcohol abuse, but if they refuse, you cannot force your will onto them.
What Should I Do If Alcohol Abuse Has Already Taken Hold?
Whether it is a milder substance use disorder or a full-blown case of alcoholism, alcohol abuse can require treatment from medical professionals. This is where facilities like Summer House Detox Center come in, offering safe, controlled alcohol detox in Florida as well as help finding the appropriate alcohol rehab center for your needs after detox has ended. Everyone deserves to live a life without alcohol abuse and its dangerous consequences. Fortunately, there are many different ways prevent and treat alcohol use disorders.
Summer House Detox Center offers alcohol detox in Fort Lauderdale to help people experience a safe recovery from alcohol abuse and dependence. Contact us today at 800-719-1090 to learn more about our available alcohol detox programs or visit our detox treatment center in Miami at 13550 Memorial Highway Miami, FL 33161.