Binge drinking is consuming so much alcohol within a relatively short period that the blood alcohol concentration level reaches 0.08 percent or more, explains the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. For men, this normally equates to five or more alcoholic drinks within two hours. If you are worried that your boyfriend's weekend drinking is getting out of control, you need to speak up.
Talk to your boyfriend about his weekend drinking. Choose a quiet, private place to have the conversation, when your boyfriend is sober and you are free from distractions. Be understanding and supportive, not patronizing or threatening. Ask him if he is aware of how much he drinks on the weekend and if he considers it to be a problem. Listen to him without being judgmental.
Express your concerns about your boyfriend's weekend drinking and back them up with observations based on fact, by saying things like "I'm worried about how much you drink over a weekend" and "Drinking on the weekends seems to be causing problems for you at work."
Tell your boyfriend you are willing to do whatever it takes to help him stop drinking every weekend. Depending on the extent of his drinking and how well he reacts to your discussion, this may range from being a shoulder to cry on to helping him seek professional help.
Provide your boyfriend with the information he needs to help him quit or cut down on drinking. Good tips from "Canada's Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines" include being aware of the alcohol content in your chosen drink, keeping count of the number of drinks you consume at one time, eating and drinking plenty of water while drinking and having no more than two alcoholic drinks in a three-hour period. Move on to nonalcoholic drinks when you start to feel under the influence of alcohol. Steer clear of drinking competitions, and ignore pressure from others to drink more alcohol.
Lead by example. Suggest that you both commit to drinking only every fourth weekend (or whatever you think is suitable). Cut back on your own drinking to show your boyfriend that it can be done, and tell him how great you feel not to be suffering from hangovers from weekend drinking.
Arrange weekend outings and social events for you and your boyfriend that don't involve drinking alcohol. Keep him busy; try to get him interested in a new, healthy activity that will make him feel good. Take up a sport that you can have fun doing together, such as tennis or running. Stress how much more enjoyable and rewarding this activity will be if you cut down on drinking.
Seek professional help if you feel unable to cope with your boyfriend's drinking alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests speaking to your personal health care provider or contacting the National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Routing Service to find out about local treatment programs.
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Moderate and Binge Drinking
- Mental Health First Aid: Helping Someone with Problem Drinking
- Advice on Alcohol and Drugs: Concerned about Someone's Drinking
- Centre for Addiction and Mental Health: Canada's Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Alcohol and Public Health
C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."