Might Alcohol be a Problem for Me?

Updated: Apr 21

Regardless of my level of drinking, using or acting out, a helpful question might be:

“In what way might my behaviour be costing me more than money?" or

"In what way might my behaviour be costing me something other than money, that I would have said I value?”


MODERATE Drinker:

Male - consume 2 or less standard drinks in one day – ‘moderate-heavy’ if drink more


Female - consume 1 standard drink in one day – ‘moderate-heavy’ if drink more


As a ‘moderate’ drinker I have a ‘1% chance’ of developing a Severe Unhelpful Addictive Behaviour - UAB - with an associated physical, emotional, or personal difficulty


BINGE Drinker:

Male - consume 5 or more standard drinks in one day


Female - consume 4 or more standard drinks in one day


As a ‘binge’ drinker I have a ‘20% chance,’ 1 in 5, of developing a Severe Unhelpful Addictive Behaviour - with an associated physical, emotional, or personal difficulty


HEAVY Drinker:

Male - consume 15 or more standard drinks per week


Female - consume 8 or more standard drinks per week


As a ‘heavy’ drinker I have a ‘20% chance,’ 1 in 5, of developing a Severe Unhelpful Addictive Behaviour - with an associated physical, emotional and personal difficulties


If BOTH a ‘HEAVY’ and a ‘BINGE’ drinker then a 50% chance, 1 in 2, of developing a Severe Unhelpful Addictive Behaviour - with an associated physical, emotional and personal difficulty. I have a 50% chance that I am in a UAB now; experiencing a SIGNIFICANT physical, emotional, or personal difficulty.


How might I move a little away from an unhelpful behaviour?

I might read a blog article at www.bld.org.au and consider putting it into practice - or any other evidence based article or tool?

I might join SMART Recovery online or attend a face-to-face meeting in that or another 'Evidence Based' program of support?

I might join any other support group that empowers me and sits well with me?

I might get an engaging helpful hobby back into my life, or into my life?

I might seek professional help from a suitably qualified person, or an organisation, that empowers me - I might start with my doctor?

I might acknowledge that while this actual or proposed change likely feels uncomfortable, it might indeed be possible to live a bit more free life?


What got me sober, was trying to get sober. Often when I lapsed, picked up, drank, I FELT thoroughly beaten. I thought, at that time, “there is no hope for me!” Yet, when I had recovered from that thought just a little, I thought “I’ll have another go!” It was a few little sparks, rather than a flame, that got me here.” Shug McLister


Standard Drink:

· 30ml shot/nip of spirits (whisky, vodka, rum, tequila) (40% alcohol)

· 60ml sherry, port or fortified wine (20% alcohol)

· 100ml small glass of wine (12% alcohol)

· 100ml glass of champagne (12% alcohol)

· 150ml glass of light wine (8% alcohol)

· 275ml glass (middie or half-pint) of full-strength beer (5% alcohol)

· 285ml bottle of alcopop e.g. Breezer, Cruiser (5% alcohol)

· 375ml can of mid-strength beer (3.5% alcohol)

· 425ml glass (schooner) of light beer (2.7% alcohol)



Might Alcohol be a Problem
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Pre-contemplation – I’m not intending to take action in the near future and I’m aware at some level my behaviour might be SEEN as problematic. I might show up in therapy or a mutual-help group under p