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Is it just a question of moderation?

If it is, then why do so many of us struggle. When you say it, moderation sounds so easy, but in reality, we all know it isn’t. Firstly, it is open to a variety of interpretations. For instance, do we mean cutting back on any given day, or are we cutting down of the type of drink we are having? Are we cutting out school nights and hoping only to drink at the weekend? Is the weekend Friday to Sunday night or does all the fun stop after Saturday night? Are we not drinking at lunch times (unless it’s a special occasion, airport, holiday birthday, working lunch, ladies that lunch, and list goes on) What are our own exceptions for our own moderation rule?

Secondly, moderation, by its definition is the avoidance of excess. What does that mean in reality? That we can drink every night but only if we have one or two? That if we choose to drink at the weekend only will we be moderate then and only have the one sherry? And why are we trying to choose the Holy Grail of Moderation. Financial? Not to spend more than a third of your income on booze. Self-preservation? Not to embarrass yourself in front of your boss/mother in law/random stranger ever again? Physical? Not to spend all your calories on wine on one day only to have such a bad hangover the next that you triple your original calorie intake with MacDonald’s, KFC and two litres of full fat coke (and that’s just for breakfast).

Moderation can end up being so flexible that it doesn’t mean anything at all. That’s the problem. Commitment. It some ways its easier just to give up all together. When giving up smoking it is rare to say you are going to try and moderate or decide to only smoke at the weekends. That is because it doesn’t work. In short, most people are very aware of the addictive draw of cigarettes, their extortionate cost and most of all their detriment to health and much is now done by the government to curb the take up of smoking. This cannot be said of alcohol and while the overwhelming majority of drinkers are not chronic alcoholics, many will admit to drinking too much but not being addicted. Why is that?