16 Jan alcohol guidelines – alcohol free days – dependence
There used to be a guideline in the Australian Guidelines to reduce health risks of drinking alcohol, that said that women should drink no more than two standard drinks a day. Men should drink no more than three standard drinks a day to reduce life time risk of alcohol-related harm. To my understanding the guidelines also recommended two alcohol free days a week.
This seems to have changed recently. As the Guidelines now recommend no more than two standard drinks a day for both men and women. They do not mention anything about alcohol free days.
It is interesting. But I realised over the weekend why it was that doctors and the NHRMC used to recommend two alcohol free days. It is actually not recommended because it reduces the risk of life time risk of alcohol related harm. Even though two alcohol free days a week does reduce overall consumption and therefore lowers the risk.
The benefits of two alcohol free days a week
The reason that this was recommended and is still recommended in the UK, is because it can reduce the risk of becoming psychologically or physically dependent on alcohol. Even if you drink a small amount of alcohol each day, you may have developed a dependence on alcohol. And this is similar to the way you can get addicted to a small amount (or larger amounts for some people) of coffee every morning.
Try it and give it a go. Try an alcohol free day and see how you feel! You might sleep better. Your body is used to a certain dose. And when it does not get what it is used to you might get some of the symptoms of physical or psychological alcohol dependence shown on this page.
The best way to reduce this risk is to abstain from alcohol on two days of the week. It can have the effect of resetting the tolerance that builds up from habitual drinking. Read more about alcohol free days here. I think it is a great idea!!