As­sess­ing Your Risk

Parents (USA) - - Mom-health -

Of course, not ev­ery mom who sips wine at day’s end de­vel­ops a drink­ing prob­lem. “It’s im­por­tant to take a step back and not be an alarmist,” says Glaser.

Al­though chil­dren of al­co­holics are four times as likely as oth­ers to be­come al­co­holics them­selves, half of them won’t have any is­sues what­so­ever. Plus, re­search shows that most peo­ple who aren’t hard­wired for ad­dic­tion can mod­er­ate their drink­ing. The key is be­ing bru­tally hon­est with your­self, says Reid Hester, PH.D., se­nior sci­en­tist of Checkup & Choices, an on­line mod­er­a­tion pro­gram.

The Na­tional In­sti­tute on Al­co­hol Abuse and Al­co­holism of­fers a free ques­tion­naire (re­think­ing­drink­ing .ni­ that gives users an ob­jec­tive pic­ture of their habits. (Dr. Hester’s web­site, check­u­pand­choices .com, has a sim­i­lar self-as­sess­ment. Users get help set­ting lim­its and iden­ti­fy­ing what drives their urge to drink.)

But while mod­er­a­tion works for many, it isn’t the an­swer for ev­ery­one. Af­ter the car in­ci­dent, Amanda ul­ti­mately de­cided it was best to quit drink­ing for good. Al­though see­ing wine on In­sta­gram can still trig­ger her, fol­low­ing ac­counts that ad­vo­cate al­co­hol-free liv­ing has helped. She also checks in fre­quently with the Booze-free Bri­gade and is vig­i­lant about tak­ing time for her­self. “I like art and craft­ing, and I make sure to get work­outs in,” she says.“i prac­tice more self-care.”

Self-care. There’s that word again. These days I’m try­ing to en­gage in the kind that doesn’t in­volve a pop­ping cork. Two or three nights a week, my hus­band han­dles bed­time and I lace up my run­ning shoes. When I get back, still coast­ing on en­dor­phins, some­times I pour some wine, and some­times I don’t. I like hav­ing the choice. I’m glad that it still feels like one.

And if it ever doesn’t? Well, I’ll know what to do.

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