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Dry January 
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Post Re: Dry January
That occasional smoking--I could never do that. It would be a pack a day if I ever smoked again. Alcohol's status as a universal sedative with high social cost seems to be the basis for the widespread movement to give marijuana the same legal status in the states. It now seems perverse to ban a substance that by many accounts is less destructive than the one that adds many billions to the economy. I'm halfway with the libertarians who advocate broad decriminalization of recreational drugs.

Without substances, what do you do to alter your consciousness? It seems to be a human need to have that sensation at least now and then.



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Robert Tulip
Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:58 am
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Post Re: Dry January
I find meditation to be a mind-altering activity which has many benefits. Also the endorphin hit when your heart rate is above 150 beats per minute for a sustained period is better than drugs, leaving you with a clear mind. The comment about alcohol as a sedative led me to a page with links to many interesting articles on alcohol dependency - http://www.bma-wellness.com/addictions/Alcohol.html


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Harry Marks
Fri Dec 30, 2016 7:18 am
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Post Re: Dry January
Alrighty then, looks like we have two people on board for the Dry January Challenge. I did this last year and found it rather easy for about 3 weeks, then a little tougher. This was very good for me - I was afraid I'd have serious cravings but didn't. That indicated the amount of drinking I was doing (I track it meticulously) was just a bad habit or lack of willpower, not an addiction. I've been able to control it better since then as the article up top indicates. My parents and siblings have had serious addictions, so that insight has been reassuring. I expect this time the challenge will be more difficult because craft brews just keep getting more creative and delicious!
Until then: :beer2:

I've also attempted to build a meditation and yoga practice. I think this is finally getting stronger because I've been able to handle stress a little bit better. (I'm getting too old for my stressful career.) I'm not good at developing solid daily habits, but that's what I need to do on those two. I've gotten away from exercise for a few months - thanks for the reminder of the endorphin buzz, that should get me back into it...



Fri Dec 30, 2016 5:54 pm
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Post Re: Dry January
I took a class once on addictions, but am not all that knowledgeable despite that and working in a mental health agency. It surprised me to read in Robert's linked article that physical dependence can be separate from addiction. Now I'm really interested to see if I might have withdrawal Sx, even though I'd say I'm about a 10-drink per week type. That's not that much, is it (he asks hopefully)? It did occur to me, also, that I can't remember a week of my life in the past 40 years where I haven't imbibed. When I retire in about 5 months I plan to go off on a 5-week hike, during which I don't plan to drink (and won't find much available, anyway). I'll do this January abstinence first to make the dry walk not so much a trial.

I already exercise quite a lot, so I'm a bit unsure what I will end up doing for activities to replace the slight buzz that I've enjoyed for so long.



Last edited by DWill on Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:32 pm
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Post Re: Dry January
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Now I'm really interested to see if I might have withdrawals, even though I'd say I'm about a 10-drink per week type. That's not that much, is it (he asks hopefully)?

Sounds like you'll do fine. According to general guidelines, moderate alcohol consumption means up to four alcoholic drinks for men and three for women in any single day ... and a maximum of 14 drinks for men and 7 drinks for women per week. That's a bit confusing, but means you should not drink every day. It also involves how quickly you consume that alcohol. Drinking those amounts quickly or higher quantities could put you in the danger zone.

Here are two problem areas: binge drinking and heavy drinking.
"The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which conducts the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), defines binge drinking as drinking 5 or more alcoholic drinks on the same occasion on at least 1 day in the past 30 days."

"SAMHSA defines heavy drinking as drinking 5 or more drinks on the same occasion on each of 5 or more days in the past 30 days."

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265799.php
http://www.moderatedrinking.com/home/de ... md_defined
https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-healt ... e-drinking



Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:48 pm
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Post Re: Dry January
I can't tell for certain whether, when the first website says 14 drinks per week is the upper limit of the moderate range, this is the same as 14 units of alcohol. A unit of alcohol seems to be in almost every instance less than people consume in one drink. A 5.2% alcohol bottle of beer is 2 units, for example. That isn't even very high alcohol compared to other beers at the local brewpub. When you add 4 oz. to make the pint, one beer can easily be 4 units. So this makes me rethink how many "drinks" I typically consume. I'm generous with the booze in a mixed drink, for example.



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Post Re: Dry January
Oh crap, that info on units doesn't look good. Tell ya what, I'm going with the following - they said "drinks" not "units" in the definitions above...

A standard drink is equal to
a 12 oz (355 ml.) beer with 5% alcohol (average for most U.S. beers).
A 5 oz. (150 ml.) glass of wine (12.5% alcohol).
1.5 oz. (45 ml.) of 80 proof liquor (40% alcohol).

http://www.moderatedrinking.com/home/de ... md_defined



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Post Re: Dry January
DWill wrote:
I took a class once on addictions, but am not all that knowledgeable despite that and working in a mental health agency. It surprised me to read in Robert's linked article that physical dependence can be separate from addiction. Now I'm really interested to see if I might have withdrawal Sx, even though I'd say I'm about a 10-drink per week type. That's not that much, is it (he asks hopefully)? It did occur to me, also, that I can't remember a week of my life in the past 40 years where I haven't imbibed. When I retire in about 5 months I plan to go off on a 5-week hike, during which I don't plan to drink (and won't find much available, anyway). I'll do this January abstinence first to make the dry walk not so much a trial.

I already exercise quite a lot, so I'm a bit unsure what I will end up doing for activities to replace the slight buzz that I've enjoyed for so long.

I liked Robert's link as well, particularly what Abraham Lincoln said about not passing moral judgment on those who are inclined to drink to excess. I'd rather not go into my own drinking past, but I do speak from experience, and I know there's no easy definition for alcoholism. The lines are fuzzy. There are those who drink a fair amount who get by just fine. And there are those who binge drink on rare occasions, but make questionable decisions that can get them in trouble. So the one tried and true question to ask of any drinker is" "does your drinking cause problems in your life?" Not everyone can answer this truthfully, but it is the question to ask.


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Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:50 am
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Post Re: Dry January
LanDroid wrote:
Oh crap, that info on units doesn't look good. Tell ya what, I'm going with the following - they said "drinks" not "units" in the definitions above...

A standard drink is equal to
a 12 oz (355 ml.) beer with 5% alcohol (average for most U.S. beers).
A 5 oz. (150 ml.) glass of wine (12.5% alcohol).
1.5 oz. (45 ml.) of 80 proof liquor (40% alcohol).

http://www.moderatedrinking.com/home/de ... md_defined

Okay, I like this standard also. Nobody ever went into Joe's Bar and said, "I need a unit."



Last edited by DWill on Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:59 am, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:58 am
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Post Re: Dry January
Quote:
I liked Robert's link as well, particularly what Abraham Lincoln said about not passing moral judgment on those who are inclined to drink to excess. I'd rather not go into my own drinking past, but I will say I speak from experience. There's no easy definition for alcoholism. The lines are fuzzy. There are those who drink a fair amount who get by just fine. And there are those who binge drink on rare occasions, but make questionable decisions that can get them in trouble. So the one tried and true question to ask of any drinker is" "does your drinking cause problems in your life?" Not everyone can answer this truthfully, but it is the question to ask.

The medical definitions of alcoholism continue to change, so I think you're right that the best way to identify a problem is to ask whether drinking is causing, or is likely to cause, a serious problem in one's life. Getting into a driver's seat intoxicated, yet getting home safely, is a problem regardless of the luck of the outcome.

I recall that G.W. Bush gave up drinking not due to textbook alcoholism but to a conviction that drinking was interfering with his relationships and his focus.

The Dry January tradition (I'm not sure how far back it goes) seems to offer "non-problem" drinkers an opportunity to take a step back and evaluate the role that drinking has assumed in their lives. Even if no serious harm seems to have resulted from drinking, maybe a reduction would be beneficial, or maybe some protection against heavier drinking will come out of it. What I might find, for example, is that my routine, non-social drinking is mostly a habit that I might as well not have and can dispense with without too much difficulty. But I don't know yet.



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Post Re: Dry January
As I recall, GW Bush stopped drinking after a final ultimatum from his wife...

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Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:15 pm
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Post Re: Dry January
[quote="LanDroid"]As I recall, GW Bush stopped drinking after a final ultimatum from his wife...

That could do it, too!



Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:23 am
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Post Re: Dry January
Mr. Tulip wrote:
I...do not eat between 8pm and 12 noon, intermittent fasting for sixteen hours every day.

I'm interested in that because I kinda do that naturally as a poor reaction to stress. I have been wanting to change that by eating breakfast, etc. But you do this deliberately presumably with good results. What's the deal - maybe I don't need to change my bad habit?



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Post Re: Dry January
LanDroid wrote:
Mr. Tulip wrote:
I...do not eat between 8pm and 12 noon, intermittent fasting for sixteen hours every day.

I'm interested in that because I kinda do that naturally as a poor reaction to stress. I have been wanting to change that by eating breakfast, etc. But you do this deliberately presumably with good results. What's the deal - maybe I don't need to change my bad habit?


Intermittent Fasting is discussed at http://jamesclear.com/the-beginners-gui ... nt-fasting and http://www.mercola.com/infographics/int ... asting.htm

Breakfast advocacy is mainly Kelloggs marketing. Breakfast is actually bad for you because failing to fast means your body burns sugar for energy instead of burning stored fat. Also a daily discipline of not eating for sixteen hours is good for building will power.

I just read a good article about giving up all added sugar for a month.


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Post Re: Dry January
OK thanks. Intermittent fasting doesn't "feel" right to me, but I'll check into it and try to sort it out.



Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:19 am
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