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Article Summary

Evaluate Your Drinking

Would you like to know how your drinking compares to others? Take this simple test to find out.

1 What was your drinking like during a typical week in the past year?

List roughly how many drinks you have on each day of a typical week and add up the total:

Monday ?

Be sure to estimate the number of "standard" drinks you usually have (it is important when you compare your drinking to others). Each of the drinks on the chart below have the same amount of alcohol in them and will all affect you in the same way.

2 Now compare your weekly total to that of others

How does your weekly average compare? Look at the pie charts below to find where your drinking fits with the rest of the adult population. For example, if you are a male who drinks 15 standard drinks per week, you drink more alcohol than 90 per cent of other men do.

Risky Drinking

A recent national survey looked at how much people drank in a week and how their drinking was affecting different areas of their lives. People were asked about their physical health, outlook on life, friends/social life, relationships with their spouses or partners and children, home life, financial position and work or studies. Not surprisingly, the results showed that the more people drank in a week, the greater the chance that the drinking was affecting more and more areas of their lives.

How likely are you to have problems as a result of your drinking? Look at the chart below to see where you fit.

Chance of negative consequences related to number of drinks per week

Your Choices about Drinking

Are you concerned about your drinking? Take a look at the options below to see if there is anything you would like to do right now. It is your choice.

  • My drinking is fine for now. I will continue to watch how much I drink.
  • I will think about changing my drinking. Did you know that 75 per cent of people change their drinking on their own?
  • I will reduce my drinking to a low-risk level. This means I will drink no more than two drinks a day, with a weekly maximum of 14 drinks for men and nine drinks for women. Most people watch their drinking -- they put limits on how much, when and where they drink. To avoid intoxication, they drink slowly, waiting at least one hour between drinks. They have food and non-alcoholic drinks along with alcohol. They have at least one or two days a week without any alcohol. And they don't drive or operate heavy equipment after drinking. Women who are pregnant, trying to conceive, or are breast-feeding are encouraged not to consume any alcohol.

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