Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Woman Wonders If It's Possible to Drink in Moderation

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a friend who just admitted to me that she drinks too much. She said she has been trying to cut down on her alcohol consumption, but it’s hard. I know exactly what she means. After I got laid off from my job a few years ago, I started drinking a lot. I don’t think I drink as much now as I did a few years ago, but I drink way more than the recommended amount for a woman.

I was thinking that maybe my friend and I could support each other to cut back on alcohol. I don’t necessarily want to stop altogether, though. Do you think it’s possible to drink in moderation? -- Heavy Drinker

DEAR HEAVY DRINKER: Is it possible to drink in moderation? Absolutely -- for some people. Many people will have an occasional drink to celebrate a special event, with a meal or on a date. You and your friend don’t sound like those occasional drinkers.

What’s great is that you have begun a dialogue about this. Agree to talk more and go deeper. Be completely honest about how much each of you drinks and what you are committed to doing to curb it. You can try moderation together and see how far it takes you. If you find, however, that you are still drinking more than the recommended daily amount -- one drink per day for women -- you may want to consider stopping completely.

To get help, call the National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Routing Service at 800-662-HELP. You can also find a local Alcoholics Anonymous meeting to attend together.