Alcohol & Harm Reduction

Alcohol and Harm ReductionAlcohol: my friend, my enemy, my ally, my antagonist, then my best friend again. It seems as though I can’t make up my mind- I want to have a crazy drunken night out in town with my friends, or I want to swear off the liquor and never walk into a bar again. It’s confusing, and annoying, and a question that has long been on my mind: to drink or not to drink?

Although seemingly friendly, alcohol can have serious effects on one’s physical and mental health. It is important to know that regardless of a drugs legality or social acceptability, it does not make it entirely safe. Alcohol is one of the only drug from which you can die from withdrawal. Yet alcohol is widely advertised and a booming industry.

There was a time in my life, well very recently in my life, where the answer to “another drink?” was a always yes. I never bothered to measure or take note of how much I was drinking, and by the time I should really start being conscious of how much I was drinking, I was unable to do so because of how much I had drank. At first, I didn’t mind being critically hung over four out of seven days a week. University was easy enough and working at a call center allowed me to be perform half as well as I could. Some of the worst things that have ever happened to me happened to me while I was drunk while finding myself in the company of someone I trusted who ended up taking advantage of me.

It’s hard to forget.

But forgetting is not the answer and safer alcohol consumption is. We’re never too old or too experienced to be reminded of some basic safety tips that we should keep in mind while drinking.

  • If you are going to drink in a public place, make sure you are with at least one person you know. very well. Keep an eye on each other. The Buddy System is an old system but a good one!
  • Drink in a safe environment. If you start to feel uncomfortable, you may want to leave or notify someone you are.
  • Drink with caution: set your own limits BEFORE you start drinking! When you get to a party, start with a non-alcohol beverage perhaps to quench your thirst first.
  • Know your limit and don’t be afraid to stick to it. What’s hardest sometimes is slowly changing parts of your life that were once positive once they stop being positive for you.
  • If you would like to cut down or stop all together, first start by writing down your reasons why. This way you’ll be able to pin point the key issue.

Most importantly, don’t be afraid to be who you are. You’re health and happiness are the most important things. You will find that when you keep moderation in mind you will be able to enjoy alcohol in a new way.

One thought on “Alcohol & Harm Reduction

  • I know for a fact that a lot of people could use these advises. Each of us know someone with alcohol problem and that should tell us how serious things are with alcohol. In an ideal world alcohol should be illegal but I don’t see this happening any time soon. I’ve read some alarming statistics about alcohol on this drug rehab centers Washington resource, I don’t think we should consider alcohol “friendly”, it’s not right.

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