Drinking Do's and Don'ts

men arguing drunkenly

Whether you feel you might have a problem with alcohol and want to cut back, or you want to know how to keep your drinking under control, use these guidelines:

DO formulate a mission statement. Why is is you want to cut down or stop your drinking? Whether it's to help you lose the freshman 15, to feel healthier in general, or to stop getting into fights with your family, write down your reason(s). It sounds corny, but it'll make you take the challenge more seriously.

DON'T go out with people who make you feel uncomfortable if you're not drinking. IF you ever feel as though you could be easily persuaded to drink, make alternative plans with friends who are less inclined to include alcohol in their fun.

DO set a liquor limit. Telling yourself you will not drink during the week, or that you'll have mo more than one drink a day, will get your mind set not to exceed your maximum.

DON'T guzzle. When you are drinking, take hour-long breaks between drinks. Drinking faster than your body can feel the effects can get you into real trouble. Avoid drinking games, you'll end up drinking more alcohol, more quickly than your body can handle.

DO alternate alcoholic beverages with non-alcoholic drinks, like soda or juice.

DON'T keep beer, wine, or hard liquor at home. It will be easier to resist if it is simply not there.

DO take a vacation form drinking. Notice how good you feel, physically and emotionally, during that time. If you don't start to feel better, you may have a problem with alcohol

DO save the cash you don't waste getting wasted. Whenever you refuse an alcoholic beverage, put the amount of money you saved in a jar. You can put your dollars toward spring break, dinner with friends, or that new jacket you've been eyeing but thought you couldn't afford.

DO eat before you start consuming any alcohol, and continue to munch while you drink. Eating while you drink slows down how quickly you get drunk.

DON'T go to places where you'll be bored if you're not drinking or where you'll feel socially uneasy is you don't have a drink in your hand.

DO keep a drinking diary. Write down how many drinks you consume over a month-long period and how much it costs you. When you realize how much dough you are sinking on drinking, it might give you incentive to cut down your alcohol intake even further.

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