The early months of every new year are a prime time for resolutions related to alcohol. Whether it’s fellow models, your customers or even yourself, lots of people are talking about making changes.
If you want to cut down on your drinking, stop completely or just have a dry period that you determine, there are a few things to keep in mind that will help you repattern your alcohol consumption safely and successfully.
Alcohol’s Effect On Your Body
Alcohol affects everybody differently. Some people can drink a lot and feel few effects, while others can drink a small amount and become extremely intoxicated. The effects it can have depend on factors including your gender, your body mass, your overall mental and physical health and if you are using other drugs and medications.
The short term effects of a few drinks — relaxation, slurred speech, increased confidence and so on — are probably not news to anyone reading this, however, alcohol misuse has the potential to result in coma and death.
What we don’t talk much about is the long-term effects of alcohol use. We know that the amount of alcohol you consume increases the risks of injury and diseases such as cancers, brain related issues and liver disease. The thing to remember with alcohol is that any amount that you drink is having an effect, whether you feel it or not.
How Much Is Too Much?
Because alcohol affects every body differently, a person’s feeling of whether they have had enough is usually pretty unreliable – couple this with the fact that alcohol affect’s a person’s judgement and any self-judgement goes out the window! The alcohol in one’s system is measured by Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). A BAC of 0.01 means that there is 0.01 grams of alcohol in every litre of your blood.
In Australia, we use the standard drinks guide to make an estimate of BAC. Standard drinks is an easy way to we describe the amount of alcohol a person can drink with the least amount of risk. A “standard drink” is always equal to 10 grams of pure alcohol regardless of the size of the drink.
For example, a standard serve of red wine (100 mls) is equal to one standard drink, whereas a 30 ml shot of straight spirits is also equal to one standard drink. And many single serve drinks — beer or pre-mixes, for example — are equal to more than one standard drink.
In Australia, our alcohol guidelines recommend that healthy adults should drink no more than 10 standard drinks a week and no more than 4 standard drinks in one day in order to avoid alcohol related harm. And the less you drink, the lower the potential for harm.
Three Top Tips for Making Changes
If you decide to make changes to your drinking habits, here are my top tips to keep in mind:
1. If you are drinking over the alcohol guidelines (more than 10 standard drinks in a week and/or more than 4 standard drinks in one day), get medical advice before reducing. It can be very dangerous to go cold turkey when your drinking is at this level and you will need support in order to start cutting down.
2. We use alcohol for a variety of reasons, including relaxation. This can make it hard to cut down. To make your life easier, pick something to replace alcohol as your wind-down habit. This can be another drink or a food, but it could also be exercise or another activity that makes you feel good.
3. Socializing as an adult usually entails alcohol. Have a plan for if you are going out where the temptation to drink could be overwhelming. I drink a lot of soda when I go out, but I also pack my bag with lollipops to keep my hands and mouth busy!
Cutting down, having a dry month (or week or whatever time you decide works for you!) or stopping completely are all good things for your physical and mental health. Do so safely, and go into it with a plan — and if you are finding you need support, reach out.
Rem Sequence is an Australian adult content creator, blogger and internationally published alt model. She has a background in psychology, philosophy and political science and has worked in health and sex education, youth work and trauma counseling for almost two decades. Contact Sequence via firstname.lastname@example.org and visit her on Twitter at @remsequence.
Background header image via Unsplash here.