I hope you all had a nice weekend with family and friends. Hopefully it was relaxing, or even a stimulating weekend and you returned to work chilled-out but full of energy. But most of all I hope you had a safe weekend.

If you had couple of drinks during the break I hope you did it cautiously – and did not have to ‘chuck a sickie’ today to recover from your excesses.

Drinking is very common in Australia. Approximately 83% of people aged 14 and over report they recently had an alcoholic drink, according to Drinking Patterns in Australia 2001-2007. So many of us drink, but there are big differences between safe and risky alcohol consumption. Apparently you are more prone to short-term risky alcohol consumption if you are young, smoke and have friends who drink as well. Even if you don’t fit in this category, ask yourself:

  • Have I ever done anything damaging to my body as a result of drinking? (For example, your body has cuts and bruises; or recent tests show you have liver damage.)
  • Have my relationships with others suffered as a result of my drinking?
  • Has my performance at work being affected as a result of drinking?
  • Have you experienced blackouts as a result of drinking?
  • Have there been any legal issues as a result of my drinking (such as drink-driving charges)?

There are many more questions you can ask yourself to determine that there is actually a problem with your drinking. If you think that “Everyone my age is doing it so it is not a big deal” or “it is kind of cool to get drunk and to have a laugh about it afterwards” – then think about the times when it is was not that funny. Are there any other downsides to excessive drinking other than having occasional hangovers? If you actually feel embarrassed and, being honest with yourself, you recognise that the drinking is out of control, call us and we can help you. You may decide that you don’t want to be a laughing stock any more at office parties or have embarrassing pictures posted on Facebook, or have similar regrets when you are sober. There are so many important reasons to better manage your drinking at any age:

  • Improve your health
  • Improve relationships
  • Get fit and healthy
  • Lose weight
  • Do better at school or work
  • Avoid hangovers
  • Be in control of your behaviour at all times
  • Save money
  • Meet your personal standards

You may be undecided about whether you have a problem with drinking, or still have mixed feelings about reducing your alcohol intake. Perhaps it is affecting your relationships, your performance at work is not that great and you are facing charges for driving under the influence of alcohol; however, all your friends drink, alcohol is the ?only? way you can relax and you really enjoy how you feel after a couple of drinks. If you are not yet ready to change but recognise the adverse effects of drinking, consider the following:

  • Keep a track of how often and what you are drinking
  • Notice how drinking affects you
  • Make a list of pros and cons to changing
  • Deal with priorities that stand in the way of changing
  • Ask for support from a person you trust (such as a doctor, friend or psychologist).

It is not easy to change something if you have been doing it for a while, even if you know it is not good for your wellbeing. Wherever you are we can assist you.

We can help you to prepare a plan and offer effective and practical strategies to address this issue. Additionally, we can help you to replace “liquid courage” with the real one by addressing the symptoms of your anxiety or depression, self-esteem and resilience. Together, we will find out other ways for you to wind down and relax, and to have fun with your friends. Give yourself the best chance – get your drinking under control.

Posted March 28, 2014 by Yuliya Richard.

Image: Flickr.com
License: Creative Commons Copyright
All rights reserved by Alexandre Normand