Attending:  Hi Mr. Johnson. How’s it going?

Mr. Johnson:  Well I’m doing a lot better than the last time I saw you.

Attending:  Yes, that’s for sure.  Your liver enzymes have improved and your blood count is near normal.  How’s it going with the drinking?

Mr. Johnson:  Well, I’ve been working on it.  I was wondering about the liver tests.  I’m glad to hear they’re better.

Attending:  Yes, things have definitely improved.  I know that it’s difficult to cut back your drinking – what have you been doing?

Mr. Johnson:  Well I’m only drinking beer and I’m trying to keep it down to a six pack or so.  I know it sounds crazy, but it’s a lot better than what I was doing.

Attending:  So in the last week, how many days have you had something to drink?

Mr. Johnson:  Probably about 5.

Attending:  So you’re not drinking every day?

Mr. Johnson:  Not like I was.

Attending:  And how many beers are you having on a drinking day?

Mr. Johnson:  Like I said - about 6.

Attending:  That’s a lot of improvement.  How have you managed to do it?

Mr. Johnson:  It’s really helped getting off the hard stuff. Plus, I haven’t been going to the bar every day.

Attending:  Do you feel better?

Mr. Johnson:  Yeah.  I’ve got a lot more energy.

Attending:  That’s great. I think you’ll find the less you drink, the better you’ll feel.

Mr. Johnson:  I’m not sure if I’m ready to quit yet…

Attending:  From a medical standpoint, abstinence is by far the best bet. It’s not only better for you, but in my experience, most people find it easier to quit completely than to try and control it.

Mr. Johnson:  Well, I’m thinking about it.

Attending:  What’s the biggest thing standing in your way?

Mr. Johnson:  Well, it relaxes me and I’ve been doing it for a really long time.

Attending:  Changing old habits can be hard. Have you thought about what might help?

Mr. Johnson:  I’d have to find something else to do with myself.

Attending:  Do you have any family?

Mr. Johnson:  I have a sister who lives a couple miles away. She’s got some great kids.

Attending:  What about spending time with them?

Mr. Johnson:  Yeah, maybe.  She always needs some help around the house.

Attending:  Have you considered volunteering or a part-time job?

Mr. Johnson:  I’ve been thinking about that. I know the hardware store’s looking for some part-time help.

Attending:  Getting involved with other people and other activities is a good idea when you stop drinking.

Mr. Johnson:  Yeah. OK.

Attending:  Once you are ready to quit, I can prescribe medications that can help you stay abstinent.

Mr. Johnson:  OK – I think I saw something about that on TV. When I’m ready I’ll think about it.

Attending:  Alright.  How about coming back in a month?

Mr. Johnson:  OK.

Attending: Great.

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