Living Alcohol and Drug Free?
Have you ever questioned your relationship to alcohol or drugs? Have you thought about quitting? Do you know the health risks of using alcohol or drugs or when it is considered a disorder? If you are afraid of how life will be without alcohol or drugs, we have some information to help you make a decision.
Alcohol Use Disorder
Did you know that alcohol use disorder simply means having unhealthy or dangerous drinking habits, such as drinking every day or drinking too much at a time? If you drink alcohol, taking a look at your drinking pattern is the first step. Know if you are a low-risk drinker or a high-risk drinker.
For heathy adults aged 65 and under:
Men: no more than 4 drinks on any day or 14 each week
Women: no more than 3 drinks on any day or 7 each week
For people over 65: low-risk means you should have no more than 3 drinks a day or 7 drinks in a week.
Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should not drink.
Know Your Risk
If you use alcohol in large amounts, you are at a higher risk of health problems like cancer, obesity, stroke, injury, diabetes, accident or death, suicide and liver problems (cirrhosis.) People who drink too much alcohol may even find it harder to do well in school or on the job. Some people who drink high amounts of alcohol may even develop substance use disorder even though this may cause harm to themselves or even others. It matters how much you drink.
Tips to Cut Down
Measure and count your drinks. Jot the number and size of the drink you will have on your phone, using an app or calendar.
Set goals. Decide how many drinks you will have each day and for the week.
Pace and space. Pace yourself. Sip slowly and plan to have no more than one drink per hour. Have drinks in between that do not contain alcohol like water, tea, juice or soda.
Include food. Don’t drink on an empty stomach.
Make a plan to handle urges. When an urge hits, think about why you are trying to cut back or quit. Talk to someone who knows your goal. Distract yourself with another activity and be mindful that the urge will pass.
Know your “no.” Be prepared to say no when you don’t want to drink or when you’ve had your limit.
While it is thought that people who use drugs do so to feel good, feel better, do better or just out of curiosity, it usually ends up being abused. In fact, most people are aware that they have a problem but are unable to stop even if they wanted to.
Just like alcohol use disorder, using drugs can lead to addiction, serious health and relationship problems and can even result in death. People with a drug use disorder may have distorted thinking and behaviors like changes in personality, intense cravings and abnormal movements.
Symptoms of Substance Abuse
Uncontrolled cravings or a strong urge to use drugs; desire or failed attempts to cut down or quit
Social problems such as failure to finish tasks at work, home or school or even the desire to spend time with family and friends
Continued use even though health problems have already started
Developed tolerance that requires more and more of the drug to feel the same effect
Drug Free Lifestyle
Becoming drug free can be challenging. To help you succeed, it is important to develop this lifestyle in all areas of your life — at home, at work and during your social time. It may be necessary to seek help from a professional if you are unable to get control on your own.
Tips For Quitting
Supportive Friends and Family. Share your goals with those who will help you to stay on track. Avoid spending time with those who used to use drugs with you in the past, those who helped you get drugs and even those who used to drink with you or around you. This may mean finding new friends.
Set a daily schedule to follow. People who have become successful in the journey to being drug free are most likely to be well-organized and have structured schedules. Keeping a schedule will help you to stay on course and avoid chaos and disruptions. Try not to abandon your schedule early in the process or deviate from it on a regular basis. Consistency is key.
Develop short-term and long-term goals. Most people who plan to be drug free see this as a high priority. It is helpful to set some short-term goals to work on now and long-term goals for your future. These goals may be things like going back to school, changing careers or saving money towards your financial goals.
We've Got Your Back
Living with any health condition or problem can feel overwhelming. It can help to have your own personal care manager — a licensed clinician who can help you make sense of what you’re going through.
Connect with a care manager through the My Health Planner app.
It’s quick and easy to get started:
Download the My Health Planner app:
Visit www.MyHealthPlanner.com to download the app.
Create an account: Open the app and choose “Sign Up.”
Enter your access code: MHPWebHB
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These links lead to third-party websites. Those companies are solely responsible for the contents and privacy policies on their sites. The information contained in this brochure is for educational purposes only. It does not represent a standard of care. Your physician must determine the appropriateness of the information in light of all your circumstances. It is important to discuss options with your physician when deciding on the best treatment for you.