With the end of the year fast approaching, many will be celebrating the season with holiday parties and spending time with family and friends. This may also mean having an alcoholic beverage or two.
University faculty, staff and retirees who are looking for tips and guidance on how to be more mindful of their drinking choices — or maybe even take a break from alcohol — can sign up to receive weekly emails from MHealthy’s Alcohol Management Program.
Every Wednesday, between Nov. 14 and Jan. 2, participants will receive a “Holiday Stop and Swap” email that includes:
• Tips to help cut down or take a break from alcohol.
• Tools and resources to help reflect on alcohol use.
• Swap challenge that encourages making one positive change each week.
• Non-alcoholic drink recipe of the week.
“Each weekly email will arm you with tips and resources you can use right away to help lower your risk and then give you an opportunity to reflect on the previous week to see what worked,” says Bethany Lemm, a health educator for AMP.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends no more than one alcoholic drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men. For men and women over the age of 65, no more than one alcoholic drink per day.
In the United States a “standard” drink is any drink that contains about 14 grams of “pure” alcohol. That’s equivalent to approximately 12 ounces of regular beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80 proof spirits.
Lemm recommends always having a plan when going into a situation where alcohol will be available.
“Try setting a limit for yourself in advance, alternate between one non-alcoholic beverage with one alcoholic one, or sip your drink slowly,” Lemm says. “If you choose not to drink, have a non-alcoholic drink in-hand to stop offers for alcohol and have a refusal, such as ‘no thanks, I’m all set’ or ‘I have to drive,’ already prepared to decline offers.”
As always, anyone wanting help with cutting back on drinking alcohol or quitting altogether can get brief, confidential health education and one-on-one counseling through the Alcohol Management Program.