Under the Influence
Truth About Kids, Alcohol, and Other Drugs- How to Recognize the Problem
and What to Do About It
Teens Under the Influence offers
practical help that may save your child’s life. It may save the life of
a friend. And it may save your own. A beautifully and honestly written
the Influence: A Guide to the Myths and Realities of Alcoholism
Ten of millions Americans suffer
from alcoholism, yet most people wrongly believe that alcoholism is a psychological
or moral problem, and that it can be cured by psychotherapy or sheer will
power. Based on groundbreaking scientific research, Under The Influence
examine the physical factors that set alcoholics and non-alcoholics apart,
& suggests a bold, stigma-free way of understanding and treating
pages are created to provide medically accurate information that is intended
to complement, not replace or substitute in any way the services of your
physician. Any application of the recommendations set forth in the
following pages is at the reader's discretion and sole risk. Before undergoing
medical treatment, you should consult with your doctor, who can best assess
your individual needs, symptoms and treatment.
to Cut Down on Your Drinking
|If you are drinking too
much, you can improve your life and health by cutting down. How do you
know if you drink too much? Read these questions and answer "yes"
you drink alone when you feel angry or sad?
your drinking ever make you late for work?
your drinking worry your family?
you ever drink after telling yourself you won't?
you ever forget what you did while you were drinking?
you get headaches or have a hang-over after you have been drinking?
If you answered "yes" to
any of these questions, you may have a drinking problem. Check with your
doctor to be sure. Your doctor will be able to tell you whether you should
cut down or abstain. If you are alcoholic or have other medical problems,
you should not just cut down on your drinking--you should stop drinking
completely. Your doctor will advise you about what is right for you. If
your doctor tells you to cut down on your drinking, these steps can help
|1. Write your reasons
for cutting down or stopping.
Why do you want to drink
less? There are many reasons why you may want to cut down or stop drinking.
You may want to improve your health, sleep better, or get along better
with your family or friends. Make a list of the reasons you want to drink
2. Set a drinking goal.
Choose a limit for how much
you will drink. You may choose to cut down or not to drink at all. If you
are cutting down, keep below these limits:
Women: No more than
one drink a day
Men: No more than
two drinks a day
|A drink is:
These limits may be too high
for some people who have certain medical problems or who are older. Talk
with your doctor about the limit that is right for you.
a 12-ounce bottle of beer;
a 5-ounce glass of wine; or
a 1 1/2-ounce shot of liquor.
Now--write your drinking
goal on a piece of paper. Put it where you can see it, such as on your
refrigerator or bathroom mirror. Your paper might look like this:
I will start on this day ____________.
I will not drink more than ______ drinks in 1 day.
I will not drink more than ______ drinks in 1 week.
I will stop drinking alcohol.
|3. Keep a "diary"
of your drinking.
To help you reach your goal,
keep a "diary" of your drinking. For example, write down every time you
have a drink for 1 week. Try to keep your diary for 3 or 4 weeks. This
will show you how much you drink and when. You may be surprised. How different
is your goal from the amount you drink now? Use the "drinking diary" below
to write down when you drink.
|Now you know why you want
to drink less and you have a goal. There are many ways you can help yourself
to cut down.
Try these tips:
it at home.
a small amount or no alcohol at home.
keep temptations around.
you drink, sip your drink slowly.
a break of 1 hour between drinks.
soda, water, or juice after a drink with alcohol.
not drink on an empty stomach!
food when you are drinking.
a break from alcohol.
Pick a day or two each
week when you will not drink at all.
Then, try to stop drinking
for 1 week. Think about how you feel physically and emotionally on these
days. When you succeed and feel better, you may find it easier to cut down
Learn how to say NO.
You do not have to drink
when other people drink. You do not have to take a drink that is given
to you. Practice ways to say no politely. For example, you can tell people
you feel better when you drink less. Stay away from people who give you
a hard time about not drinking.
What would you like to do
instead of drinking? Use the time and money spent on drinking to do something
fun with your family or friends. Go out to eat, see a movie, or play sports
or a game.
Cutting down on your drinking
may be difficult at times. Ask your family and friends for support to help
you reach your goal. Talk to your doctor if you are having trouble cutting
down. Get the help you need to reach your goal.
Watch out for temptations.
Watch out for people, places,
or times that make you drink, even if you do not want to. Stay away from
people who drink a lot or bars where you used to go. Plan ahead of time
what you will do to avoid drinking when you are tempted. Do not drink when
you are angry or upset or have a bad day. These are habits you need to
break if you want to drink less.
DO NOT GIVE UP!
Most people do not cut down
or give up drinking all at once. Just like a diet, it is not easy to change.
That is okay. If you do not reach your goal the first time, try again.
Remember, get support from people who care about you and want to help.
Do not give up!
NIH Pub No.