Top 10 Times to be Extra Aware about Your Alcohol Consumption

by: Mike Miller

If you are somebody who has a drinking problem, are an alcoholic or a recovering alcoholic, you know that watching your drinking is something that you need to do all the time. But there are times when you need to be extra careful and vigilent. Here are the top 10:

1. At a Party. This is an obvious one. If you're at a party and lots of alcohol is being consumed, you're going to feel like you need to drink a lot too. It's natual. Plus your friends will encourage you to "join the fun". It's time to be strong, grab that glass of seltzer and enjoy people's company without having to drink.

2. During Holidays. Many holidays have drinking as part of the tradition. Maybe they aren't the official part, but drinking during holidays is quite common. Some people think that St. Patrick's Day is all about drinking green beer or the 4th of July about having liquor by the BBQ. But don't get sucked into the wrong kind of holiday spirit.

3. Out With Friends. After work or on the weekend, often times getting together with friends is also a time for drinking. Why is this? Well getting together with friends often happens at a bar or restaurant where drinking is definitely encouraged. Plus you have the same peer pressure that you would at a party.

4. At a Sporting Event. When tailgating or watching a sports game, drinking is a big part of the experience... at least in the opinion of every major beer company. But going to the ballgame doesn't have to only be about having a beer. It's really the sport that matters and being drunk can really get in the way of enjoying the game. Not only can you see the action better when you're sober but you won't miss the big play if you're not spending your time in line at the restroom.

5. When you Have Guests Over. In many cultures, part of the ritual of having friends over to your house is offering them something to drink. Especially in the evenings this can be wine or an other type of drink. So you want to be a good host, but also not partake in the drinking. It takes willpower and self confidence to really do this.

6. During Meals. Lots of times when we eat we like to drink at the same time. In one sense drinking during a meal isn't a bad thing because it means that you'll get drunk more slowly as the food absorbs alcohol. But on the other hand that sometimes encourages people to drink more than they should. And there's the cultural aspect as well. People think that you have to have red wine with steak or sake with sushi or beer with Mexican food. None of this is true. There are excellent non-alcoholic alternatives.

7. Watching TV. If you're watching TV and drinking, watch out! The fact that you're only paying half attention to your alcohol consumption means that you can easily drink a lot more than you are planning. Soon that one glass of wine becomes an entire bottle of wine. So make sure you're very careful when you're going to spend an evening in front of the TV.

8. When it's Hot Outside. Nothing can be more satisfying when it's hot outside to have a nice cool beverage. Unfortunately what people often reach for is a beer or other icy alcoholic beverage. The cold drink is fine, but having it be alcoholic isn't necessary to cool down. And when it's hot people tend to drink more and drink faster. So when it's hot outside reach for something like water, lemonade or soda.

9. On Vacation. Vacation is often a time to let loose, relax and have a good time. Unfortunately people often associate this with drinking. If you watch commercials of people at vacation destinations you frequently see them in a hammock with a tropical cocktail in their hand. This isn't the only way to have fun when you're not working!

10. When You're Depressed. This is the worst time to drink. You're depressed and unhappy and need something to take you mind off what's bothering you. So you reach for the liquor or beer try to have the willpower not to drain the bottle. Seek other means of support such as a group or counselor.

Anytime you're in a situation where drinking of alcohol is encouraged, you should be extra careful. Often an alcohol class will help you to recognize these times better understand that many times you think you want to drink you really don't need to drink.