Alcohol Truths: How Much is Safe?
In this episode, host Molly Watts focuses on helping listeners create a peaceful relationship with alcohol by examining various aspects of alcohol consumption. Molly discusses the conflicting scientific studies surrounding alcohol, highlighting the risks associated with excessive drinking and the lack of definitive evidence supporting moderate alcohol consumption for health benefits. She explores the social aspects of drinking, acknowledging that moderate alcohol consumption can have social benefits, but it requires mindful and responsible choices. Molly also delves into the financial implications of alcohol consumption, encouraging listeners to evaluate the costs of their drinking habits. Throughout the episode, she emphasizes the significance of self-awareness, consulting healthcare professionals, and conducting personal risk-reward analyses to make informed decisions about alcohol consumption.
You’re listening to breaking the bottle legacy with Molly watts, Episode Four. Hi, I’m Molly, after a lifetime living under the influence of family alcohol abuse, spending more than 30 years worrying about alcohol and my own drinking, believing I had an unbreakable daily drinking habit, I changed my relationship with alcohol forever. If you want to change your drinking habits than breaking the bottle legacy is for you. My goal is to help you create a peaceful relationship with alcohol, past, present, and future. Each week all focus on real science and using your own brain to change your relationship with alcohol. Nothing has gone wrong, you’re not broken, you’re not sick, it’s not your genes. And creating peace is possible. I’m here to help you do it. Let’s start now. Hello, and welcome, or welcome back to breaking the bottle legacy. I am your host, Molly Watts coming to you from a pretty soggy January day. Here in Oregon, it’s actually January 1. So while it’s soggy, there is definitely a shining and lightness to the day. Because we’ve turned the clock and 2021 is finally here. And I know like many of you, I am ready for it. I am hopeful and optimistic and ready to put 2020 which was a challenging year for so so many of us, if not all of us. And for not the least of which was a challenge to many people’s relationship with alcohol. And I am so excited about being able to be here and to help you change your relationship with alcohol and to create a peaceful relationship with alcohol to break your drinking habits. If you’re a daily habit drinker, and you want to change that, just to make you have consider mindfully what you’re doing with alcohol. That’s really the purpose. And of course, I have a heart for those of you that are also adult children of alcoholics, and all of that that comes with it. With that status. All the feelings all the thoughts can help you work through that as well. I hope anyway, so welcome. And today’s episode is called alcohol true this truths with an s how much is safe? I think that for a lot of people, they always were trying to figure out, how much can I drink? How much is safe? There’s so much that we hear so many different scientific studies that tell us that something is good for us that red wine, you know, a glass of red wine every night is is good for your heart that drinking leads to breast cancer, that, you know, there have been studies that show that drinking alcohol can help older patients prevent dementia. So So which is it? Is it good for us? Is it bad for us? How much of it is safe? And where is the safe level moderate drinking heavy drinking? Who knows what is where the correct? Truth? Lies, right? And really, that’s the point of this episode. It’s here, I’m talking about it and I titled it truths with intention, because I believe that there isn’t one truth regarding alcohol consumption and safety. In fact, the truest answer to the question is, is there a safe level of alcohol? Is it depends? The answer isn’t categorically none. And it’s also not the current recommendation from the CDC, which is one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. The safest level of alcohol for you has to be determined by you. And you have to use the very best data that you can to find the answer to that question. So that’s what I’m going to talk about today. Truth is often a matter of perspective, as opposed to inarguable fact. And it requires persistence and an open mind to achieve both a balanced view. And my hope is really that this that today’s episode will help you get there. I’m going to present information that is based in science, because if you’ve listened to any of the previous episodes, you’ve heard me mention that I am a science geek. And for me, learning about the science of alcohol has really helped guide me in creating my peaceful relationship with alcohol. So it’s important it was important for me in terms of how I treat alcohol now how I feel about it how I am with it. And it’s important, I think, for anyone that wants to really find that peaceful relationship and create true change in their life. It’s also open all of this science information that I’m going to give you. It’s open to your own personal risk reward analysis. And really, my goal is to help you answer what is the safe level of alcohol consumption for me. And we’re going to explore the idea of safe in three areas. So we’re going to explore the idea of safe in terms of physical health. I think that’s pretty much what people think of most of the time when they think of what’s the safe level of drinking. We’re also going to explore social health. And lastly, financial health. All of these areas are things that alcohol impacts. And so to get a full 360 view of your habit of drinking and your relationship with alcohol, you need to look at all areas of your health. You’ll remember that I grew up with an alcoholic parent. And even though I know that today, we don’t really use the word alcoholic anymore, it’s not popular. But back in the 70s, and 80s, when I was growing up, that’s the term we used. And my mom was definitely physically dependent on alcohol. And today, in today’s DSM five, she would be considered to have severe alcohol use disorder. Her drinking was a 40 year battle. And she ultimately succumbed to hit just after her 81st birthday. So for those of you that think that you can just get a die of cirrhosis at 65. No, you could just keep on ticking and battle, an alcohol addiction for many, many years. It’s not a great life, I gotta tell you. And that was really the backdrop of most of my life, and certainly influenced my own drinking, as well as my continuous anxiety surrounding how much is too much. I did not want to end up like my mother clearly. And I worried all the time about the amount that I was drinking, no matter how much it was, I spent a lot of time looking for information that supported the amount of alcohol that I was drinking, so that I could reassure myself that I wasn’t destined to become my mother. And I spent many, many years chasing safe, what safe was, and ultimately, my own safe level turned out to be a lot lower than I originally thought. I’m going to talk more about that later. But just again, if you’re an adult child of an alcoholic, then I know that your anxiety over alcohol has been a part of your life, likely before you ever picked up your own first drink. And I just want you to know that I understand that. So, as I said, we’re going to explore physical health, social health and financial health, we’re going to start with physical health. It’s it’s because as I said, I think first and foremost, that’s what people think of most when they think of how safe and you know what’s causing me harm or anything else like that. It’s your physical health, right. And we all know that alcohol does affect our bodies. So it’s an important and it’s also where the data is strongest. So good place to start. scientists around the world have studied the effect of alcohol on the body, and the brain. And without exception, and I’m going to say this very clear, clearly, without exception. Their first recommendation is that if you don’t drink alcohol, you should not start for any perceived health benefit. Do we all hear that clearly, you should not start drinking alcohol if you have not drunk already, because it does not increase your physical health. Ethyl alcohol or ethanol, which is the chemical agent that is in all the alcoholic beverages that we drink is a toxic substance. It is used as an additive for automotive fuel and as a solvent in cleaners. So just in case you’re curious about you know, if it’s something that’s good for you think about what you’re putting into your body, right. And while some studies have shown very limited physical benefits associated with moderate levels of alcohol consumption, they do not offset the numerous known hazards of drinking alcohol both in the short and long term. So whatever your decision is about a safe level of drinking, just Don’t delude yourself into believing that alcohol is actually improving your physical health. Overall, there is no amount of positive effect that suggests that you should drink for purported physical health benefits. Alright, so if we know and accept that alcohol isn’t creating better health for us, better physical health, then we can and evaluate clearly how much harm it’s causing us. Right. So without a bias towards trying to tell ourselves that we’re improving our lives or improving our physical health, we can look at it with a rational and calm evaluation of just how much harm it’s causing us. It’s really important because when we consider safe drinking levels, we need to be very clear on what level of potential harm we are willing to accept, we have to be cognizant of the risks that alcohol presents for our physical health, while balancing out why we might want to include drinking in our lives. So I have said on the podcast, I am not exclusively alcohol free. I’m not, I don’t consider myself sober, or in recovery, etc. And I’m not going to tell you that you should never drink again. But we are going to get very clear on what the potential risks might be. And we’re going to make a conscious choice and to be clear about our own levels of risk and reward. One of the challenges with determining safe levels of alcohol for physical health is that all the studies that we have are done on alcohol are observational. And what that means is that observational data can be very confounded, meaning that we’ve got other unmeasured factors that might be the actual cause of the harm. For instance, people who drink also sometimes smoke tobacco, perhaps people who drink are also poor. Perhaps there are genetic differences, health differences, or other factors that might be the real cause of whatever the outcome are from our studies. Another issue with the studies done on Alcohol should be fairly obvious. They are not like medical drug tests, right? They’re not double blind. They are not randomized trials, where participants are split into two groups with a placebo group to control against the non placebo group, you and because of all that, you cannot draw causative conclusions from any of the studies that we have. At best, there will only be associations, and nothing that can provide a definitive statement of beneficial or harmful effect. Take for instance, there was a study cited and published in The Lancet on October August 23 2018. And the title of the article was no level of alcohol consumption improves health. The study garnered immediate attention and made headlines including this one from the World Health Organization who published their article on September 13 2018. And it was titled there is no safe level of alcohol new study confirms. So is that really what the study says? However, according to Dr. Walter Willett, who is the professor of epidemiology and nutrition, at Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health, he says it can be misleading to lump the entire world together when assessing alcohols risk. For example, while tuberculosis is very rare in the United States, it was the leading alcohol related disease identified in the study. So I don’t know about you, but no one I know has ever gotten tuberculosis. I don’t think that in the United States, we’re just not it’s not something that would be a very high cause of concern. In an interview with time, will let said that while there is no question that heavy drinking is harmful, there are plenty of data supporting the benefits of moderate drinking, and remains a decision that should be determined determined at the individual level. There are risks and benefits. And I think it’s important to have the best information about all of those and come to some personal decisions, and engage one’s healthcare provider in that process as well. So he’s a pretty well respected doctor at at Harvard and he is telling us that you have to get the best information you can and come to your own personal decisions, right. That’s what I’m hoping we’re doing here. So, these types of studies require analysis and with as with any data, the reporting of the findings typically support the perspective of the reporter. So whether you are trying to show that red wine is good for cardiovascular health, or whether you are trying to show that drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer, you will be able to find data to support your hypothesis. Most importantly, because your body’s response to alcohol is unique, not just to yourself, but literally unique each and every time you drink it is next to impossible to use generalized studies to assess your own personal risk when you are deciding How much and how often you drink. You have to take into consideration factors like age, gender, weight, time of day, the external temperature, whether or not you’ve eaten. All of these and more can affect how your body metabolizes alcohol, any given time that you drink. The physical risk is dynamic and variable across time and needs to be evaluated as such. It also means that, you know, and I know this to be true for myself, what was true for me a few years ago is no longer true for me, I don’t know in terms of how I feel in terms of my own physical health, and in terms of how I feel about alcohol with it. And the way that I respond and metabolize alcohol seems different each and every time that I do, are are different in a general way now, as opposed to a few years ago. And I have to take that into consideration. Because it doesn’t feel good at all, for me, when I if I ever drink more than I should. So as I mentioned at the start, one consistent finding throughout any and all studies surrounding alcohol is that there is no recommendation to start drinking if you don’t already for health benefits. So nobody should be going out and picking up red wine because they think it’s going to help them prevent heart disease if they haven’t already been drinking red wine. And additionally, the research evidence indicates that the more alcohol a person drinks, particularly the more alcohol a person drinks regularly over time, the higher his or her risk of developing chronic disease or cancer. Because I don’t think many people believe that drinking excessively is good for us, I’m not really going to talk a lot about all of that I’m going to link in my show notes. There’s a great list of all the terrible effects of health of heavy alcohol use, and you can find firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m going to link that in my show notes. If you’re curious about what heavy drinking can do to you. Really this goal is I mean, as I said, our goal is to figure out if there is a true safe level, and what that is the challenge for most people and the driving reason that I wanted to talk about this, about what a safe never drinks might be is because it’s kind of difficult to pin down. What exactly are the different definitions of moderate use, safe, heavy, all of these things. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, heavy drinking is defined as more than four drinks on any day for men and more than three drinks for women. All right. So unfortunately, that doesn’t really address anything over time. So heavy drinking. So you are a you’ve had a heavy date of drinking if you’ve had more than three drinks for women and more than four drinks for men on any given day. I don’t know about you guys, but I had lots of heavy drinking days. Prior to changing my relationship with alcohol according to the NIA, a. Three drinks, I had lots of days with more than three drinks. So the CDC goes further to define heavy drinking. And for men, heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming 15 or more drinks per week. And for women, heavy drinking is typically defined. These are their words, by the way, typically defined as consuming eight or more drinks per week. This definition is really just an extension of what the CDC is recommendation is for moderate drinking, because moderate drinking is one drink per day for women and two drink per day for men. If you times that out over a week, you get seven for women and 14 for men. So heavy drinking is one more anything more than seven. And if eight you get too heavy, so you go from moderate to heavy from seven drinks per week to eight drinks per week. Does that sound that scientific to you? Because it really doesn’t seem that scientific to me. And like I said they actually use the word typically. So it’s not really an absolute guide by any measure. And the way that this recommendation was actually concocted by the CDC was because a group of experts determined the level available based on data and research. So it was reliable science, but how they came up with it was basically they used it in comparison to they they came up with the risk in comparison to other risks like driving where an acceptable level of risk is considered 1% chance of dying. So anything over you know 1% Right. So in short, what this recommendation means is that if you stick to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day For women, statistically, you have a 1% chance of dying due to an alcohol related condition 1%. So, is that an acceptable level of risk to you? Could be right? Maybe not. It’s up to you. And it’s really again, there’s other there’s other considerations, right. And it also does not mean that you can multiply the number by two, and only double your risk up to 2%. So let’s just be clear about that. In his book, drink, the new science of alcohol and your health Professor David Nutt shares data from the UK that shows how alcohol can impact your life expectancy. And it shows a very clear correlation between increasing amounts of alcohol and shortened lifespans, and shows that there is an exponential impact of increased drinking levels. So it is not linear there is not it’s not 1% 2%, it goes up exponentially. In fact, if you are drinking 35 units in the UK, and the UK units are a little bit different than standard drinks in the United States, so we need to pay attention to that as well. Your lifespan is going to be shortened by two years 35 weekly units, which is roughly the equivalent of half a bottle of wine per day, life, life expectancy shortened by two years. It does, as I said, point out something that is also makes figuring out what safe drinking levels are to be very challenging is that there’s no international consensus on what a drink is. In the UK, a unit is eight grams of pure alcohol. In the United States, Australia, Canada and other countries, the recommendations are based on a standard drink. And a standard drink contains about 14 grams of alcohol. So 14 grams is 1.75 times the number of a unit in the UK. So it’s very, it’s a pretty big difference, right. And it also doesn’t take into at least here in the United States, there’s a lot of different alcohol by volumes, what used to be a standard beer, malt liquor table wine, spirit or hard liquor. All of these things come with with a different alcohol by volume, and most wines are a lot higher than 12%, which was what was used for the standard drink analysis. And a lot of popular craft beers like IPAs can range anywhere from six to 10%. Again, much higher than typical beers. The onus falls back on you to evaluate what you’re drinking and to make the choice that supports your goals for harm reduction. So no conversation about alcohol and physical harm can ignore the risk of accidental harm. Accidents are classified, usually in two ways vehicular and non vehicular. And both risks increase substantially when you drink alcohol. And it’s a grim reality that if you choose to drink and drive, you’re increasing your risk of harm exponentially. That is I you know, again, I don’t think anybody thinks that driving drunk is a good idea. So I’m not going to harp on that. But it is something that the chances of you doing something and harming yourself accidentally, when you have been drinking alcohol is something to consider with regards to your physical health has to be because if it does increase the the chances of it happening does increase for everyone. It’s not limited to driving. Drinking alcohol can make us prone to accidents, minor and serious such as falls, drowning poisoning, other unintentional injuries, just under 1/3 of all alcohol attributable deaths are caused by unintentional injury. So something to consider when you’re evaluating your level of risk reward for drinking alcohol, right. The last piece of data to consider with regard to physical harm and drinking is the likelihood of ending up in an argument or physical altercation after drinking. The World Health Organization again warns that alcohol interferes with a person’s cognitive and physical functioning, inhibiting self control and making it more difficult for a person to recognize when things have gone have gone too far. It can be harder for someone under the influence of alcohol to notice typical warning signs that emotions especially anger may be getting out of control. In fact, research has shown that alcohol is involved in about half of all violent crimes. So we have to be pure about our analysis, right? We have to be logical maybe you say well, I’m never going to get that I’m not going to drink till I get into some sort of altercation but Your chances. Over time when you drink and you regularly drink and the more alcohol you drink, that something like that could happen. Increase, right? So, the thing with alcohol, whether it’s your physical health, your social health, your financial health, it’s always it’s the health, whether you’re looking at harm. When you’re considering harm, it is always going to be dose dependent. The more you drink at any one time and the more you drink over time, the more likely you are to have negative consequences. It’s important to realize, however, that even one episode of drinking to the point of intoxication increases your risk of physical harm. And the risk of injury increases non linearly linearly with increasing alcohol consumptions. So efforts to reduce drinking both on an individual level and on a population level are important. No level of consumption is safe. And even for two standard drinks, the odds of injury are almost double for most types of injury. Before we move on to social and financial health, I think it’s also important to point out that in the United States, grim statistic, an estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol related causes annually. This makes alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. The first is tobacco. And the second is poor diet and physical inactivity. So there are some very, very true and strong, strong data points to consider when you are choosing to have a relationship with alcohol that includes drinking. All right. If you were considering changing your relationship without alcohol, I think it’s very valuable to evaluate your drinking in a scientific way. Even if you believe you just enjoy the taste of a buttery Chardonnay. The facts are that alcohol is a chemical agent that changes your brain and body chemistry, the risk rewards of your physical well being need to be considered. And hopefully you will use data presented that I’ve talked about to help you determine what is physically safe for you, and that you’ll continue to evaluate it each and every time you drink. So to stop here, and only look at the relative risks and benefits of drinking alcohol for physical health, might lead you to the conclusion that being alcohol free is the safest choice. And of course, I can’t really argue with that safest in terms of physical health, probably so. But to stop it, physical health would be short sighted. To have a full picture you also need to consider social and financial health. I choose the term social and not mental health with intention as well. So we hear a lot about mental health today. And there are millions of Americans suffering with clinical diagnoses of depression and anxiety. And certainly alcohol plays a role in that crisis. But for determining our own levels, our own safe levels of alcohol consumption, that is not the type of mental health analysis we will focus on. It should go without saying, however, that if you are battling depression or any other mental health, illness, drinking alcohol will not improve or benefit the situation, you should definitely seek professional help if you believe you have a mental health diagnosis. So over the course of time, as researchers have studied alcohol, questions they’ve tried to answer are one Why do people drink in the first place? And two? Is there a relationship between the answers that people give to that question and how much they drink? And one of the most common reasons people give that they drink is because they want to have fun. So because being intoxicated makes people feel happy and spirited, and drinking with friends can be a fun experience. You we all have had that I’m sure. And having a drink loosens people up. It calms nerves when they might be feeling awkward or uncomfortable. And so when you’re evaluating how much alcohol is safe for you, understanding that having fun is a benefit of alcohol for most people, you should be considered. Now this is obviously completely contrary to what you would hear from any alcohol free or sobriety experts. And of course, it is absolutely true that you can have fun and enjoy getting together with friends without alcohol. But it’s also true that alcohol pot assertively impacts and has historically impacted social wellness. Once again, David Nutt writes in drink. There has been a lot of work done to analyze the harms of alcohol for obvious reasons. But there hasn’t been nearly so much scientific scrutiny of its benefits. These are both social such as relaxing, bonding and spending time with other people and creative allowing us to expand our minds into new thoughts and territories. These kinds of benefits are hard to measure. But I’d say they had and still have an enormous value in society. In fact, human beings have been making alcohol and drinking it together for 1000s of years. So there’s no doubt that society glamorizes and romanticizes alcohol, which is both dangerous and stupid. There’s nothing glamorous about over drinking, and anyone who has suffered from a hangover knows it. But is there any proof that alcohol does in fact benefit our social health? Well, the University of Pittsburgh study published in 2012 suggests that yes, in moderate doses, alcohol stimulates social bonding increases the amount of time people spend talking to one another, and reduces displays of negative emotions. In 2017, researchers at Oxford University combine data from three separate studies to suggest that beyond being pleasurable to humans, alcohol consumption has social benefits that relate to home health and social bonding. What they found was that social drinkers have more friends on whom they can depend for emotional and other support, and feel more engaged with and trusting of their local community. In terms of social health, there is scientific evidence, just the same reasonable type of scientific evidence, of course, it is still observational, it is still associative, not causative, so nothing different than the physical health science, but still valid. And there’s also cultural and anthropological evidence that human beings have benefited from consuming moderate amounts of alcohol. So the key to figuring out what is socially safe for you, means a mindful and decisive approach when you choose to drink. Now, I will tell you that there are many people who decide to be alcohol free simply because they don’t want to deal with decision fatigue. decision fatigue, simply put, is feeling overwhelmed and stressed by how many decisions you have to make on a daily basis. And obviously, we face decisions about hundreds of things every single day. And if you find yourself making poor decisions, then in general, you could have decision fatigue and to choose to be alcohol free, because it’s one less decision to make in your life is reasonable, and definitely the best one if you are suffering from decision fatigue. For other people like myself, being able to feel like I can, and do make safe choices without call feels empowering. And that confidence and awareness creates better social health for me as well. So something else to consider. Lastly, I want to talk to you just for one second, not too long, longer than one second, I misspoke. But I want to talk to you about financial health. Do you ever consider whether or not you can afford to drink? Or do you consider the financial trade offs you’re making? If you think you’ve settled on a safe amount, after you analyze your physical and social has health aspects, before you finalize your plans, let’s look at financial health. For a lot of people in the US, they include alcohol in their weekly grocery shopping, so it’s barely accounted for. I know for me, that was the truth for a long time. And for this discussion, I’m not going to highlight the US household average because it of course takes into account the nearly 1/3 of Americans who don’t drink at all, as well as the other 30% who drink less than one drink per week. By the way, that’s an interesting statistic when you add that together 1/3 and 30%. So that’s like 63% So 63% of Americans drink zero, or less than one drink per week. That number shocked me. I thought that it was the other way around. I thought that 63% of the people of adults drank like I did. I thought that people drink two drinks a night pretty commonly two, three, you know that just drinking every night after work? Seemed like a like what everyone did. Not true. So just in case you’re one of the people that thought like I did Not true. At any rate, we’ll have to assume that because you’re here and still in listening, you’re more like me, and you drink more than those people. And you need to get pretty realistic about, then a more realistic assessment of your costs. Let’s say you’re a moderate consumer and consume two drinks per day, five days per week. That’s above moderate, just in case you’re if you’re if you’re a woman that’s actually above moderate, but we’re just going to stay say that it’s moderate. All right, it’s not the CDC, with an average cost of $5.80 per drink, which I’m calculating based on an average of two days drinking out, and three days drinking at home. And using average prices for a glass of wine, you will spend $58 In a week, that’s $251 per month, and $3,016 per year. So that’s not chump change, right? That’s, that’s a fair amount of money. When you look at what $3,016 per year invested could be getting you you might want to choose differently, the future value of $3,016 invested each year with a 6% return on investment over a 10 year period would be $45,154. And in 20 years, the same annual investment of $3,016 would be $120,618. I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot of money. That’s a lot of money. And when I really started thinking about my drinking that way, then I really wondered if it was worth it. For me, it was not, not on the daily, for sure. Clearly, drinking isn’t an inexpensive choice for anyone. When you evaluate your own risk reward benefits, you need to be clear about the trade offs and what is an acceptable level of financial risk you’re willing to accept. If you are living with a budget, and I know most of us are, make sure you’re aware of how much your personal drinking is costing you, and how much you could save by reducing or eliminating alcohol. And I will link to a calculator provided by the NI AAA. That is, you know, just designed for that to calculate your spend. So as I mentioned, my own drinking habits have really changed over the last two years. And when I analyzed the physical, social and financial health risks and rewards that I was experiencing with my alcohol use, I realized that I needed to reduce my drinking substantially. And what I’ve been able to create is a peaceful relationship with alcohol past, present and future. I don’t feel like I’m missing out. I don’t crave a drink every night after work. And I don’t worry about how much I’m gonna be drinking in a few years. I don’t hold on to the pain and anger of being an adult child of an alcoholic. Alcohol is a non factor in my life. Yet, I’m still able to go enjoy a glass of wine or a beer without guilt or fear. Now, this didn’t happen overnight. But it also wasn’t nearly as hard or as unpleasant. As I once believed that it would be the safe level number for me is much closer to zero than I ever thought would happen. But it’s where I feel physically, mentally and financially strongest. As I’ve said, I’m not exclusively alcohol free. But I also don’t think about how I’m going to incorporate a drink into my day. I don’t drink alcohol to change my emotions. And I don’t need to drink to make an event special. I do enjoy the taste of a good red wine with steak. And I will drink an IPA with a burger if I want one. But I don’t have to. And I don’t think about it. I don’t think about alcohol on a daily basis and wonder about whether or not I’m going to you know whether whether we’re going to come home and eat drink. I’ve also found that I kind of used the the motto one and done for me. Once I get past one drink, I just it doesn’t feel good to me anymore physically. I do notice the next day anxiety and the and we’re gonna talk about that a little bit more the why that that happens. But there’s a science there’s science behind that there’s brain science behind that. But once I became really aware of it, I was reluctant or don’t want to experience that and I can avoid it by simply sticking to just having one drink. I did not get there overnight. And I’m going to repeat that frequently on this podcast. This has been a journey and a process. And if you would have told me back at the beginning of 2019, that I would reach a day when I truly did not want to drink. Every day, I would have said, you were crazy, I would have said, There’s no way. I simply like beer way too much. I like to drink. I am a I think I and I believed I had a genetic disposition to having more desire. And I didn’t think there’s anything wrong with it, quite honestly, I didn’t worry about it in the terms of I didn’t Well take that back. I worried about it. I worried all the time. But I didn’t think there was anything wrong with worrying, like I just accepted my default level of anxiety as something that was just the way it was. And that it was, I was willing to make that trade off. And I was willing to give up so much. Until I realized that I never had to, I didn’t have to, and that I could have a good two things and it wasn’t alcohol that I wanted. I wanted freedom, I wanted peace. And once I got that, there was no amount of alcohol that could give that to me. So how much is safe for you? I don’t know you personally. And of course, nothing I can say here should be substituted for medical advice. You need to consult a physician or your own health professional if you are concerned at all about your alcohol habit and your drinking. And if you want to figure out if there’s a safe level for you, that is part of the process, I would say that one of the best ways to start is by doing your own risk reward analysis. And I actually have a report by this very same name, alcohol truth is how much is safe, that you can pick up on my website, just you go there, you’re going to enter your email address, you’ll get updates from me on the progress of the book, breaking the bottle legacy. And you’ll get this free report, which includes your own risk reward analysis for physical health, social health, and financial health. And that’s a great way to start looking at whether or not you want to reduce the amount of alcohol you’re drinking, eliminate it completely stay exactly where you are, you can determine or at least evaluate your own risk reward analysis. And I encourage you to do so. So again, go to Molly watts.com. That’s Molly with a why watts with an s.com. And you can grab that right there free today. So that is it for this week. I am. Again, appreciate you being here. I know these early Podcasts can sometimes be a bit rough and I really do appreciate it. I am so excited about these upcoming weeks I’m going to be talking to some some people that I’ve followed in my journey to create my peaceful relationship with alcohol. Kenneth Anderson from hams if you’re not familiar with hams, ham stands for harm reduction, accidents, moderation and sobriety. Right. Thanks. So anyways, Kenneth Anderson, who is one of the founders, he is great and can’t wait to speak to him. He’s written books on this and really, the harm moderation or harm reduction. Methodology for hams is super cool. And I can’t wait to talk to him about that. Good to be talking to David Nutt, the author of drink, and a an addiction and alcohol experts from the UK I’m also going to be speaking to William Porter, who I so thrilled to be speaking to He is the author of alcohol explained alcohol explained to and he is very widely followed by people who are wanting to change their relationship with alcohol. So those interviews are all coming up as well as more information from me on exactly how I got to this peaceful relationship because it did not happen overnight. And I’m going to be talking to you more and more about all the tools that I used. The first one is the first is first and this is figuring out your own risk reward analysis. So go to the website, grab that out and have a great week choose peace, my friends. Thank you for listening to breaking the bottle legacy. This podcast is dedicated to helping you change your drinking habits and to create a peaceful relationship with alcohol. Take something that you learned in today’s episode and apply it to your life this week. Transformation is possible. You have the power to change your relationship with alcohol. Now, for more information, please visit me at www dot Molly watts.com