The following is an edited excerpt from ‘Bad’ Girl’s Guide to Better by Casey Beros.
If you really think about it, the fact that we drink alcohol the way we do is quite bizarre.
Imagine calling a friend and saying, ‘Hey Barbara, wanna come sit somewhere and smash ten lemonades with me?’ before adding, ‘The lemonade has a toxin in it that’ll slow your reflexes and make you a bit confused and clumsy!’
Barbs is a hard no at this stage, and by the time you add that tomorrow she’ll wake up feeling like someone unplugged her blood supply, she’ll be telling you to f*ck right off with your lemonades.
Watch: Your Body After 1 Year Without Alcohol. Post continues below.
Even though we know more than we ever have about the harm associated with drinking alcohol, it remains a potent and damaging crutch of developed society.
It causes more harm than any other drug, and yet, it is expected. Welcomed. Encouraged.
If I didn’t love a glass of wine so much, I would clip drinking for sure.
I am a more productive and clear-headed—not to mention nicer—person when I don’t drink. These days I no longer pillage my parents’ coin jar to get my hands on a six-pack so I can overdose in a field, but I am absolutely reliant on a wine or two to soothe my soul after a rough day or week.
Or a good one.
Or a mediocre one.
While I might have left the days of getting totalled behind me, I still use alcohol for relaxation, celebration (like to celebrate it being Wednesday, for example) and commiseration when something goes wrong. Most of us do. And that’s fine, right?
What the experts and evidence say
The National Health and Medical Research Council does important research about our health and then tells us (as well as health professionals and governments) what to do with it.
Here’s what their guidelines around alcohol say for healthy men and women: To reduce the risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury, drink no more than 10 standard drinks per week and no more than four standard drinks on any one day (for context, that’s no more than sharing a bottle of wine at dinner).