Alcohol and Me

Summer sunshine brings with it a craving for cold beer straight from the bottle. Any meal is enhanced by a glass of good red wine (well ok, except breakfast). A night out at one of Montreal’s Irish pubs isn’t complete without a pint of Guinness or oatmeal stout. There’s something incredibly satisfying about ending the day with a glass of single malt whiskey if I’m feeling flush, or shine if I’m feeling poor.

Yes, I enjoy alcohol. I’m also happy to say I’ve never had a problem with it. I drank a lot in my late teens and early twenties, but thats just what boys living in Essex do. Nowadays I drink in moderation. I can’t remember the last time I was drunk. I never drink and drive. Drinking doesn’t make me abusive or obnoxious. I don’t “need” alcohol, I just like it.

Drinking in moderation has been shown to lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, be good for the heart and reduce the risk of stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, kidney stones, gallstones, arthritis, stress and depression.

On the other hand, alcohol abuse kills thousands of people every year and causes problems for millions more. Long term abuse increases the chances of getting breast, mouth or throat cancer as well as destroying your liver.

I wondered if there was a proper definition of “drinking in moderation”. The generally accepted opinion seems to be two drinks a day for men, or one drink a day for women. A drink being 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of spirits. I fall well below that level as I don’t drink at all on most days and rarely have more than two when I do. Oh and not drinking for 10 days then having 20 beers in one night is not good. It doesn’t quite work like that.

All this typing has made me thirsty…

4 thoughts on “Alcohol and Me”

  1. I submit to you that one of the most delicious breakfast foods is red wine left over from the fabulous night before. Word.

  2. I think GPs say that 7 units a week (for women) is keeping “in moderation”. Personally, I think it’s more to do with why one drinks rather than how much that indicates a problem.

  3. “Binge” drinking was recently defined as consuming more than 2 (or 3) units of alcohol in a short time span such as an evening, so I would venture that your regular consumption of alcohol (even if just one-a-day) would definitely be considered problematic.

  4. One of the most fruitful areas of research has been in the area of controlled drinking as an outcome for non-physically dependent problem drinkers. The problem drinker does not experience symptoms of alcohol dependence and has a shorter drinking history. Often referred to as “early stage problem drinkers,” this group represents the vast majority of people with alcohol problems. Heather et al (1987) skutle and berg (1987) Sanchez-Craig and Marlatt et.al, (1993) and others have found that moderation training is an effective treatment approach for this group. Success has been found to be maintained at one and two year follow-ups. :)

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