We’ve all seen these memes right? On the surface they’re lighthearted and funny; but on a deeper level they can be part of a larger problem that makes light of alcohol use as a coping tool.
Did you know the Canadian Low Risk Alcohol Consumption guidelines changed recently?
The new guidelines define alcohol related risk as:
-Negligible-to-low for people who have 2 standard drinks or less/week
-Moderate for those who have between 3 and 6 standard drinks/week
-Increasingly high for those who have more than 6 standard drinks/week.
In other words, the lowest risk alcohol consumption is now considered to be no more than two alcoholic drinks per week. If this is not a realistic goal for you, focusing on less alcohol overall is a great place to start. Can you go from 10 drinks/week to 5?
Chronic alcohol use in the high risk category can contribute to serious health issues such as liver disease, breast cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis to name a few. Not to mention alcohol negatively impacts mental health, making both anxiety and depression worse over the long term.
Alcohol can be used safely and in moderation. Setting some boundaries for your drinking is a good place to start.
Some possible boundaries you may consider:
-Only consume alcohol on the weekends or pre-defined weekdays
-Only consume alcohol in a social setting, no solo drinks
-Use alcohol for times of celebration or joy, not to blunt negative emotions
If you are concerned about your alcohol consumption and need support in cutting back or quitting, please discuss with your health care provider and/or family doctor.
~ Guest post by Dr. Phillippa “Pip” Houghton (@makingmamawell)