With Christmas holidays and the New Year edging ever closer, a packed social diary can often mean pressure to drink more than usual.
The festive season is the most likely time during the year when many people find themselves drinking excessively, whether it be as a celebratory mood enhancer or as a means of coping with the additional pressures that Christmas time can bring.
According to a 2014 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, one in five adults drink at levels that place them at risk of lifetime harm, while more than two in five adults drink at levels that put them at risk of an alcohol-related injury at least once each year.
In fact, one-in-five drinkers aged 18 years and over in 2012-2013, drank at levels exceeding the 2009 guidelines for long-term/lifetime drinking risk.
This means that letting your alcohol awareness slip into an excessive state can increase the likelihood of developing illnesses like cirrhosis - more commonly associated with older men - and cancers affecting the breast, mouth, liver and colorectal areas.
With women still the leading contributors to these growing statistics, it's hard to imagine how this excessive behaviour can be curbed.
The solution may not simply be about ditching the drink altogether but rather re-establishing the relationship with alcohol, and learning how to enjoy it at a minimised intake.
According to Georgia Foster, leading clinical hypnotist and craftswoman behind the Drink Less Mind program (DLM), stopping altogether may not necessarily be the answer.
Originally from Australia but now based in London, Foster has noticed striking similarities between the countries' robust drinking cultures and the worrying trend for women to drink too much, especially around the Christmas time mark.
And she's not just referring to women in their 20s excessively drinking on Friday night; she's also referring to women in their 30s and 40s, with children and jobs, who have come to rely on alcohol insalubriously.
'The festive season tends to heighten what we think is the -need' to consume more alcohol," says Foster.
'Polishing off a bottle of wine every day after work is as unhealthy as clean living Monday to Friday and then binging on 3 bottles of wine on a Friday night," she says.
Irrespective of if someone is a regular heavy drinker or a binge drinker, over a period of time the risk of long-term mental and physical health problems can occur.
'The more someone drinks heavily and regularly the more the body becomes tolerant, and before you know it, that first -medicinal' glass doesn't give you that fix and more alcohol is required. The festive season can be challenging for many reasons, so it is no surprise for many that consumption increases at this time of the year," says Foster.
'It's about freeing yourself from your mind's mistaken equation that alcohol equals reward for a tough day, consolation for a mistake made, or facilitator of confidence," she says.
Foster created the DLM triggered by her own -socially conditioned' drinking habits. Realising she had an unhealthy relationship with booze, she looked to the reasons why the relationship had developed and what could be done to address the problem.
'An unhealthy relationship with alcohol leading to binge or excessive drinking is not the same as being an alcoholic. This is a key initial distinction to make," says Foster.
'In nearly every instance, alcoholics must stop drinking completely, but excessive drinkers require a different form of -treatment' focused on self-awareness, breaking bad habits, and learning how to socialise without using alcohol as a crutch," she says.
Through the DLM program, Foster has helped thousands of women address their unhealthy relationships with alcohol and develop new approaches to stress and social situations; ones revolved around enjoyment, not regret, and ones that are less damaging to their health.
DLM takes place over 21 days and is an instantly accessible, fully downloadable, audio experience that teaches alcohol hypnosis techniques based on over 20 years of alcohol control research.
For more information about the Drink Less Mind Program: www.howtodrinkless.com
Georgia is happy to offer media trials of the Drink Less Mind program and is available for expert comment regarding alcohol consumption.