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When you are drinking too much - tips for cutting back

Alcohol - drinking too much; Alcohol use disorder - drinking too much; Alcohol abuse - drinking too much; Risky drinking - cutting back

I Would Like to Learn About:

What is Unsafe Drinking?

Health care providers consider you to be drinking more than is medically safe when you:

Are a healthy man up to age 65 and drink:

Are a healthy woman of all ages or a healthy man over age 65 and drink:

Ways to Cut Back

Watch your drinking patterns more closely and plan ahead. This can help you cut back on your alcohol use. Keep track of how much you drink and set goals.

When you are drinking:

To control how much you drink:

Getting Help From Others

Make an appointment with your provider to talk about your drinking. You and your provider can make a plan for you to either stop or cut back on your drinking. Your provider will:

Ask for support from people who may be willing to listen and help, such as a spouse or significant other, or non-drinking friends.

Your place of work may have a employee assistance program (EAP) where you can seek help without needing to tell anyone at work about your drinking.

Some other resources where you can seek information or support for alcohol problems include:

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Fact sheets: alcohol use and your health. www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm. Updated December 30, 2019. Accessed January 23, 2020.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website. Alcohol & your health. www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health. Accessed January 23, 2020.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website. Alcohol use disorder. www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-use-disorders. Accessed January 23, 2020.

O'Connor PG. Alcohol use disorders. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 30.

Sherin K, Seikel S, Hale S. Alcohol use disorders. In: Rakel RE, Rakel DP, eds. Textbook of Family Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 48.

US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening and behavioral counseling interventions to reduce unhealthy alcohol use in adolescents and adults: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. JAMA. 2018;320(18):1899-1909. PMID: 30422199 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30422199/.

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Review Date: 1/23/2020  

Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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