Do You Need to Cut Down Your Drinking?

Woman drinking white wine on patio
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There are certain times of the year when people want to get healthy, for example the New Year, or a birthday. Yet no matter what date is on the calendar, it is always a good time to become healthier. The big things you can do to improve your health are to start exercising, lose weight, minimize processed sugar in your diet, quit smoking and quit or cut down on your alcohol consumption.  

If you are living with ADHD, assessing your drinking habits is a good idea because there is a higher chance of addiction in people with ADHD compared to people without  ADHD.

It is predicted that between 15 to 25 percent of addicts and alcoholics have ADHD (Wilens, 2004). 

It can be confusing to know if you are drinking too much; however, this quiz will help. After answering the 20 questions it will make you aware of whether you are  drinking at  a safe level, or if your drinking habits have become harmful.  Don’t worry, the quiz is completely confidential.

Now that you have a great insight into your drinking, here are 6 tips to help you cut down or quit drinking when you have ADHD. 

1 Treat your ADHD

Re-evaluate how you are treating your ADHD. If your ADHD is managed in healthy ways you will be less likely to use alcohol to self-medicate. Also, when your ADHD is managed properly, you will reduce the chances of drinking impulsively only to regret it later. Book an appointment with your doctor to discuss your situation.

2) Why do you drink?

Identify the reasons why you drink.

Is it to relax? Is it to feel comfortable in social situations? Is it to help you sleep or to make you feel better about painful  memories and emotions? It might also be a combination of several factors.  Once you have identified the reasons you drink,  use this information to address these problems in different ways.

For example, if drinking is a way to help you with your emotions, then working with a therapist would be helpful.

3) New Life style

One study discovered that 40% of children who have ADHD started drinking alcohol when they were about 15 years old. This  is double the amount compared to children who don’t have ADHD.  If you started to drink at 15 years old, then you have been drinking for your entire adult life. Stopping completely or cutting down will involve major lifestyle changes such as exploring new ways to spend your time and making new friends if your current friends are heavy drinkers. 

4) Go to an AA meeting

It might feel like a very brave step, but once you are at the meeting you will be welcomed and supported by people who have been in your situation. There are AA meetings worldwide and so no matter where you are, help is nearby.

5)  Inform yourself 

Drinking too much is often considered a taboo subject, so it might not be a topic that you feel comfortable talking about with the people in your life.

There are many autobiographies, podcasts and blogs documenting people's personal experiences  about quitting. Informing yourself of other people's struggles will help you realize that you aren’t alone. These resources will also inspire you to make changes to your drinking habits too.

6) Notice the benefits of not drinking

Quitting or cutting back on your drinking might be challenging; however, there are many benefits including waking up and NOT feeling bad about yourself,not needing to check your phone first thing in the morning to see what late night calls you made, a general sense of well being, weight loss, having more money, increased energy and an improvement in your ADHD symptoms.

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