Sidebar Six

Moderation Checklist

-- Don't feel guilty. Despite some of the emotional and incorrect information you may have heard, moderate drinking is not only healthy for most people, but also a source of enjoyment.

-- Drink moderately.

-- Don't drink on an empty stomach.

-- Be aware of how much you're drinking. The practice of "topping up" a partially full glass can obscure the amount being consumed. The best monitor is to refill only after the glass is empty. Make sure you know how much the glass holds.

-- Pace yourself. Drink slowly. Sip your beverage; after all the point is enjoyment, not intoxication. If you drink to get drunk, you have an abuse problem. Nibbling on food can help you moderate the alcohol absorption. Another pacing tip is to drank a glass of water or non-alcoholic beverage before refilling your glass.

-- Be a responsible host. Never serve alcohol without food and plenty of water. Make sure your guests have a choice of appealing non-alcoholic drinks (flavored sparkling waters, fruit juices, fruit juice sparklers, non-alcoholic cider and soft drinks). Be restrained in the enthusiasm of drink refills and topping up. Offer rides (taxi or otherwise) to guests who may have drunk too much.

-- Don't drive drunk. In fact, don't drink and drive.

-- Don't urge drinks on people who are reluctant.

-- Beware of straight spirits. The irritation from the high concentration of alcohol in undiluted liquor is suspected in some cancers and stomach problems such as ulcers.

-- Don't use alcoholic beverages as thirst quenchers. Your body wants water, not beer or any other kind of alcohol.

-- Don't drink when you're taking medication unless your doctor says it is acceptable.

-- Remember that not drinking is always an option.


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