A drink here or there might not sound harmful, but for people who have an addiction to alcohol, it can be destructive to one’s health and personal life.
According to the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA), the “low-risk drinking guidelines” in Canada recommend up to two drinks a day for women (with an additional drink during special occasions), and up to three drinks per day for men.
“It might not be easy to stay within the guidelines. You’re out with friends, the alcohol is flowing,” says Dr. Catherine Paradis, senior research and policy advisor at CCSA.
“Still, there are some strategies. Drink slowly and eat before and while drinking. For every drink of alcohol, have one non-alcoholic drink. Set limits for yourself and stick to them,” she says.
Paradis says clinically speaking, there are three different levels of risk when it comes to developing a drinking problem.
An elevated risk is when someone drinks regularly above the low-risk drinking guidelines; alcohol abuse occurs when drinking gets in the way of family and work life in a harmful way; and alcohol dependence is when someone starts showing signs of withdrawal if they stop drinking.
If you notice any of these signs and others mentioned in the video above, confront your loved one and talk to an expert.
And with the holiday season (a.k.a. party season) already here, it might be useful to not only cut back on your own habits, but start taking note of others around you as well.