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AUD tends to run in families. If you have family members that have a history of problematic drinking, be aware that you may have an increased risk for addictive behaviors. Though genetics can increase your risk, it does not mean you are destined to have problems with alcohol.

If you are at high risk for AUD, surround yourself with a strong social support system and make use of local support groups. Alter your habits to avoid pitfalls that contribute to problematic drinking. Options include:

  • Socialize without alcohol.
  • Avoid going to bars.
  • Do not keep alcohol in your home.
  • Avoid situations and people that encourage drinking.
  • Make new nondrinking friends.
  • Do fun things that do not involve alcohol.
  • Avoid reaching for a drink when stressed or upset.
  • Drink slowly.
  • Replace a drink with something else you really enjoy
  • Limit your alcohol intake to a moderate level.
    • Moderate is two or fewer drinks per day for men and one or fewer drinks per day for women and older adults.
    • A 12-ounce bottle of beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor is considered one drink.

If you are a parent, be a good role model. Drink in moderation.

References:

Alcohol use disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated February 25, 2015. Accessed April 10, 2015.

Patient education materials: Strategies for cutting down. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website. Available at: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/Practitioner/CliniciansGuide2005/clinicians_guide_cutdown.htm. Accessed April 10, 2015.

Patient education materials: What’s a standard drink? National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website. Available at: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/Practitioner/CliniciansGuide2005/clinicians_guide13_p_mats.htm. Accessed April 10, 2015.



Last reviewed February 2014 by Peter J. Lucas, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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