For many of us, the beginning of a new year presents an opportunity to evaluate our happiness, personal growth and health. And after a holiday season filled with excess, many of us start by thinking about our alcohol consumption—and end with goals to drink less or stop drinking altogether.
Rich Lugo, EdD and Ed Diaz, MS, LAADC, provide alcohol use counseling to people at San Francisco AIDS Foundation. They help people explore their options before deciding to make a change, and explore the role that alcohol plays in their life. For example, by asking people to consider the situations and contexts when they drink (or feel that they drink too much).
There are a variety of ways that a person may change their relationship to alcohol—complete abstinence being only one option. Many people find that learning about and implementing harm reduction strategies can also be effective. (If you’re new to harm reduction, it’s really simple: harm reduction just means that you’re taking steps to reduce the negative consequences of whatever you’re doing or using.)
Sound interesting? Rich and Ed have plenty of alcohol-related harm reduction tips to share. Below, you’ll find some of their favorites. If you’re a gay, bi or trans man in the San Francisco Bay Area and are interested in speaking to a counselor one-on-one about your alcohol use, consider Cheers Queers.