Tips and resources to practice safe summer drinking
With the summer in full swing, there are plenty of opportunities for picnics, barbecues and other summer activities. This may include having an alcoholic beverage or two. If you plan on drinking alcohol, MHealthy’s Alcohol Management Program (AMP) has put together a number of tips and resources to raise awareness and keep consumption in a safer range.
“Even with the best intentions, it can be difficult to know how much alcohol you’re actually consuming because drink sizes and alcohol content vary so much from drink-to-drink,” says Bethany Lemm, a health educator for AMP. “If you plan on drinking alcohol, the best way to lower your risk is to plan ahead by setting a limit.”
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends no more than one alcoholic drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men. For men and women over the age of 65, it recommends no more than one alcoholic drink per day. In the U.S., a “standard” drink is any drink that contains about 14 grams of “pure” alcohol. That’s equivalent to approximately 12 ounces of regular beer or a five-ounce glass of wine.
AMP has developed the following resources to help the U-M community practice safer drinking habits and discover some alternatives to alcohol:
- Summer Alcohol I.Q. Challenge – A quick, five-question quiz covering alcohol content, serving size misconceptions and more. Faculty and staff who take the challenge by July 31 can enter to win one of five $10 Amazon gift cards.
- “Mocktail” recipes – If planning to drink alcohol, consider alternating one alcoholic drink with water, juice or one of these non-alcoholic, low-calorie beverages.
- Printable tracking diary – Tracking when, why, and with whom drinking occurs gives you a closer look at drinking patterns and habits.
MHealthy can also provide help when it comes to abstaining from alcohol altogether. All tips and resources are available online.
Anyone wanting to talk to an expert one-one-one can contact AMP. This brief, confidential health-education program is free to U-M faculty, staff and retirees, and it can help those with mild-to-moderate alcohol problems learn healthier drinking habits. Participate in person or by phone and choose whether to cut back or quit drinking altogether. Call 734-998-2017 or learn more at mhealthy.umich.edu/alcohol.