Alcohol abuse is one of the primary causes of sickness, disability, and death worldwide. It is associated with over 200 illnesses and injuries and is responsible for 3.3 million deaths worldwide each year.
There are approximately 261 Americans who die as a result of excessive alcohol use as alcoholism can develop as a result of excessive alcohol intake. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a subtype of drug abuse. It is also referred to as alcoholism, alcohol abuse, and alcohol addiction.
It may gradually wreak havoc on your health, relationships, and well-being if left untreated. Preventing alcoholism can help you avoid negative outcomes and minimize its influence on your life.
Before initiating alcohol prevention measures, it is necessary to assess your current alcohol usage. This will assist you in determining whether you have an alcohol issue.
Assessing Your Alcohol Consumption — How to Determine if You Are Drinking Too Much
Take note of the number of beverages you regularly take and the frequency with which you consume them during the day, week, and month. If you consume alcohol in excess, you may have an alcohol problem. These include the following:
• When women consume four to more drinks in two hours or males who consume five or more drinks in two hours called Binge drinking
• Intake of alcohol is two or more times than binge drinking called high-intensity drinking
• Women are consuming three or more alcoholic beverages per day or at least eight alcoholic beverages per week wherein males consume four or more alcoholic drinks per day or at least fifteen alcoholic beverages per week which is referred to as heavy drinking.
Excessive drinking, high-intensity drinking, including binge drinking are all indicators that you are consuming an excessive amount of alcohol. Any form of alcohol use is considered excessive among pregnant women and teenagers under the age of 21.
How Can Alcohol Abuse Be Prevented?
Consumption habits differ by age, gender, culture, environment, and background. Additionally, people’s behavior and attitudes regarding alcohol evolve with time.
Because alcohol usage varies and has varying impacts on individuals, there is no single effective approach to avoid alcoholism which is why getting an understanding as to how alcohol affects a person will assist you in determining the appropriate course of action.
Ways to Prevent Alcohol Abuse and Addiction in Adults
If you’re having difficulty with alcohol, the following advice can assist you in developing good drinking habits and avoiding alcohol use disorder (AUD):
Consume alcohol in moderation or engage in low-risk drinking
The American Dietary Guidelines urge that non-drinkers abstain totally from alcohol. However, drinkers and those who wish to begin drinking can restrict their alcohol consumption to one drink per day (in women) or two drinks per day (in men).
As per the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism or NIAAA, only around two out of every hundred persons who use alcohol within these guidelines develop AUD.
Monitor your intake of alcohol
Keep an eye on your alcohol consumption, whether you’re drinking alone or with others, stay under the prescribed limits.
To do this, one strategy is to balance drinking with other activities. For example, you can eat, converse with others, and consume non-alcoholic beverages such as juice or soda.
Before you reach for a beverage, consider why you’re doing so. You should abstain from drinking if you are depressed, agitated, or experiencing other bad feelings.
Consuming alcohol to cope with bad emotions will result in you consuming more alcohol than normal. This can result in alcoholism and chronic alcohol addiction.
Avoid stimuli that cause you to desire to drink.
A trigger can be any location, person, thing, or circumstance that elicits the desire to consume alcohol. Recognizing your triggers is critical for alcohol prevention. Here are some methods for avoiding them:
1. Avoid parties and celebrations that include alcohol.
2. Avoid persons who are heavy drinkers or who urge you to drink.
3. Rather than storing alcohol at home, substitute non-alcoholic beverages and nutritious meals.
4. Avoid persons and settings that remind you of a previous traumatic event.
5. Avoid living in areas where alcohol is easily accessible, such as near pubs.
6. Develop effective coping techniques to avoid emotional drinking
If you are continuously exposed to triggers or struggle with alcohol management, consider moving to an alcohol-free setting, such as a halfway home.
Solicit assistance from friends and relatives
Having supportive friends and family is an excellent approach to reinforce your alcohol prevention tactics. For instance, they can assist you in controlling your drinking, avoiding triggers, and developing good coping techniques.
Their presence will not only urge you to seek alcohol treatment in situations of alcohol misuse and addiction because they can have a beneficial effect on your therapy and aid in long-term rehabilitation.
How to Prevent Child and Adolescent Alcohol Abuse
Underage drinking’s primary effect is impulsive conduct. This frequently results in an increased risk of accidents, injuries, sexual assault, alcohol overdose, and death from a preventable cause.
As a parent or family member, here are some strategies for preventing adolescent alcohol use:
• Encourage teenagers to be self-assured when it comes to refusing alcohol.
• Speak candidly and freely about drinking and its dangers.
• Establish clear guidelines for what will happen if a teen consumes alcohol.
• Refrain from allowing kids to attend parties without a chaperone.
• Establish a policy prohibiting alcohol consumption in the family.
• Promote healthy interactions with non-drinking friends
• Set a positive example by using alcohol responsibly.
• Enroll your child in a school that offers a substance abuse prevention program.
Preventing Older Adults from Engaging in Harmful Alcohol Use
In elderly persons, alcohol use problems are less prevalent. However, over half of the elderly aged 65 and above continue to use alcohol, suggesting that alcohol intake is still associated with age-related hazards.
Seniors have a reduced tolerance for drinking. They can be harmed by alcohol even if they consume within prescribed limits. Family members must participate in the process. Here are some strategies for reducing the adverse effects of alcohol on the elderly:
• See to it that the alcohol does not combine with the over-the-counter or prescription medications.
• If they have pre-existing medical issues, they should restrict or abstain from alcohol use.
• Keep an eye out for factors that may lead them to binge drink and offer assistance.