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Day 31 – The Road Ahead

“The long and winding road that leads to your door Will never disappear”
– The Beatles

The Last Day of Dryuary! The Thirty First Day…

Many of us who have had problems with alcohol (Alcohol Use Disorder, or AUD, to use the medical term) have felt that we have been on a long road that always leads us back to the same door. We have that sense of déjà vu. Now, tomorrow, some of us will either walk through that door or continue on that long and winding road!

Welcome to the final day of Dryuary! You are here, on the thirty-first day of the annual Dryuary Challenge. So, now what do you do? Now that you’ve had a month to reset your body and its relationship to alcohol, what will that relationship look like going forward?

To begin with, your tolerance is now much lower than it was a month ago. When before you could have four or even five drinks before you felt tipsy, now it may take only two or three. And depending on how much you used to drink before taking this challenge, you might decide to either continue in the same way or change how you drink going forward.

Maybe you were a mostly moderate drinker before this challenge and just wanted to take a break. Now you figure you’ve had your break and will resume moderate drinking in February. No harm, no foul, good for you, and carry on! Maybe you felt that you were drinking too much, and really needed to stop drinking for a while to get a grip on your situation. Now you want to return to drinking, but you want to drink moderately from now on. Good for you! Read on!

Let’s get an idea of what moderate drinking really is. When you have made the healthy decision to drink less, and you stay within moderate limits, you should not experience any health, personal, family, social, job-related, financial, or legal problems due to alcohol. The suggested guidelines below allow for a degree of individual interpretation, because moderation is a flexible principle and is not the same for everyone. The suggested limits, however, are more definite.

A Moderate Drinker:

Considers an occasional drink to be a small, though enjoyable, part of life.

Has hobbies, interests, and other ways to relax and enjoy life that do not involve alcohol.

Usually has friends who are moderate drinkers or nondrinkers.

Generally has something to eat before, during, or soon after drinking.

Usually does not drink for longer than an hour or two on any particular occasion.

Usually does not drink faster than one drink per half-hour.

Usually does not exceed the .055% BAC moderate drinking limit.

Feels comfortable with his or her use of alcohol (never drinks secretly and does not spend a lot of time thinking about drinking or planning to drink).

The Suggested Limits:

Strictly obey local laws regarding drinking and driving.

Do not drink in situations that would endanger yourself or others.

Do not drink every day. The suggestion is that you abstain from drinking alcohol at least 3 or 4 days per week.

Women who drink more than 3 drinks on any day, and more than 9 drinks per week, may be drinking at harmful levels.

Men who drink more than 4 drinks on any day, and more than 14 drinks per week, may be drinking at harmful levels.

Now then, what is a drink? Silly question, right? Maybe not so silly. When I was drinking heavily, I’d take a big rocks glass full of ice, fill it half to three-quarters full of Jack Daniels, splash a little Coke in, and call it good. I’d have three or four of those every night. The truth is, each one of those drinks was probably close to three drinks, not just one.

Here’s the formula. To figure out how much of any kind of alcohol is one drink, divide the alcohol percentage into 60 and it’ll tell you how many ounces make a drink. For example, for a 5% alcohol content beer, 60 divided by 5 equals 12 oz. For a 12% alcohol content wine, 60 divided by 12 is 5 oz. How about an 80-proof whiskey? Well, proof/2 = percent. So, 60 divided by 40 is 1.5 oz. Hope I didn’t lose you there!

Some of you may decide you’d like some support in the form of a bunch of other folks who are problem drinkers, too. There are several to choose from. I suggest Moderation Management at where you will find a couple thousand folks on a very active, non-judgmental email list, a smaller, more intimate gathering of folks in a web-based Forum experience, scheduled chats, a web page called *ABSTAR* where you can track your drinking, and a host of tools and activities to keep you motivated! If you want a place to go to explore other websites and online resources I can recommend no better book than Kary May’s excellent Neighbor Kary May’s Handbook To Happily Drinking Less, or Not Drinking At All: With the Help of the Online Support Community

Whatever you decide, we’re glad you shared this challenge with all of us!

Best wishes for you in the New Year! We hope to see you again next year for Dryuary 2019!

Post Submitted by: Just Plain Phil, Executive Director of Moderation Management