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15 Practical Tips for Low-Risk Drinking

A drink or two at the end of the day does no harm, right? This might be true for some, but everyone has their own personal limit and reacts differently to drinks with alcohol. It’s also easy for one or two drinks to become three or four and cause serious physical, psychological and social problems. If done on a regular basis, this can also lead to other substance use disorders, anxiety and even depression.

An estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes every year. That’s why it’s important to understand what low-risk drinking is and how you can stay within your personal limits to avoid at-risk or deadly consequences.

Use these 15 tips for low-risk drinking in your everyday life.

  1. Know what a standard drink is and the number of standard drinks you consume.
  2. Know the alcohol content of your drink.
  3. See if the number of standard drinks is listed on the beverage’s packaging.
  4. Eat while drinking.
  5. Drink plenty of water on a drinking occasion to prevent dehydration.
  6. Drink beverages with lower alcohol content.
  7. Switch to nonalcoholic drinks when you start to feel the effects of alcohol.
  8. Do not let others “top” your drink before it is finished, so you don’t lose track of how much alcohol you have consumed.
  9. Avoid keeping up with your friends drink for drink.
  10. Avoid participating in drinking competitions and drinking games.
  11. Drink slowly, for example, by taking sips instead of gulps and putting the drink down between sips.
  12. Have one drink at a time.
  13. Spend your time in activities that don’t involve drinking.
  14. Make drinking alcohol a complementary activity instead of the sole activity.
  15. Identify situations where drinking is likely and avoid them, if possible.

If you’re still not sure what your limit is or how to change your personal or a loved one’s drinking habits, take a Mental Health First Aid course today. Mental Health First Aid teaches people the signs and risk factors of addiction, available resources and how to connect those in need to the most appropriate care.