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4 Ways to Curb Alcohol Abuse

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Alcohol abuse is the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States and can have serious short- and long-term risks to your health. Before you take your next sip, remember that alcohol should be consumed in moderation—up to 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men.

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Know your limits

Binge drinking is the most common form of excessive drinking. Women should avoid consuming 4 or more drinks during a single occasion, and 8 or more drinks per week. Men should limit to less than 5 drinks during a single occasion, and less then 15 drinks per week. If you choose to drink, it’s always good to note that these recommendations vary based on an individual’s preexisting medical conditions and body types.

Don’t emotionally drink

Since the onset of COVID-19, alcohol sales have soared. The global pandemic has influenced alcohol use and many have turned to it as a coping mechanism. Keeping your home alcohol-free can help limit your drinking and reduce your temptations during times of stress and hardship.

Know the consequences

Drinking excessively has an immediate effect on your body and increases your risk of many harmful health conditions and circumstances including injuries, violence, alcohol poisoning, and more. Over time, alcohol abuse can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious health problems. Heart disease, stroke, cancer, depression, anxiety and dementia are just a few of the many long-term health risks associated with excessive drinking.

Get treatment

Cutting down on your drinking is not always easy. Making friends who don’t drink or joining a support group can help you quit drinking entirely or help you cut down to healthier levels.

Area resources: The McShin Foundation, FCCR Radford, Hanover County Community Services Board, Henrico Mental Health & Developmental Services, The Healing Place, SAARA of Virginia, Chesterfield Mental Health Support Services, Richmond Behavioral Health Authority

Student resources: Student Counseling Center, Rams in Recovery

Campus resources: Wellness Center AA Meetings, MOTIVATE Clinic

Prevention resources: VCU Trauma Injury and Violence Prevention Program, IMPACT

Sources: CDC, VCU Health, International Association of Fire Fighters