Friday, 23 May 2014

10 Tips to use alcohol safely, simple Q& A

Are there risks associated with drinking alcohol?
Yes there are. Alcohol consumption is associated with liver problems, reduced fertility, high blood pressure, some cancers and heart attacks.

What amount of alcohol is safe for consumption to prevent these risks?
The truth is, there is no safe limit for drinking alcohol but there are recommendations, which will reduce the risks of the diseases mentioned herein but not prevent them.

What are the recommendations?
Recommendations vary from country to country. In some countries the recommendations are 3-4unit/day for men and 2-3units/day women.  Even with that, we recommend you do not take these amounts on regular basis.  Find out from the professionals in your country or your ministry of Health website. They often have such recommendation.

Wondering what a unit is? 

This picture from BBC News will give you an idea of what a unit of alcohol is

NB: The higher the strength (ABV %), the higher the unit and the larger the volume the higher the units.

Wow! I am exceeding my alcohol intake, are there tips to help me cut down?
Yes there are. Here are 9 tips
  1. As we like to achieve a target, setting a limit on the amount of alcohol one drinks, will push you to achieve it.  Remember to take small steps at a time
  2. We all need help at one point or other and who can better help us than our family and friends, so tell them about the target you set.
  3. Do not stock your fridge with too many alcoholic beverages and if possible not at all, to avoid the temptation of exceeding your limit.
  4. Drink a pint of water before you start to drink alcohol, this way you are less likely to drink above your targeted limits.
  5. Swap strong strength alcohol drinks (ABV %) with lower strength.
  6. Use small glass size for your alcoholic drink.
  7. When thirsty quench your thirst with water.
  8. Write down the places, events, which contribute to you drinking alcohol and cut down on going to these places.
  9. Avoid the company of binge drinkers and if they are your friends, show them this post and encourage one another to cut down on your alcohol drinking habit.

I cannot do this on my own/I know an alcoholic/I want to quit drinking alcohol entirely
10. Seek professional help. The best place is to contact your health service.

Note: Women should avoid alcohol when pregnant

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