Even if you are relatively young - say in your teens to mid-20s, you may start to be feeling a bit concerned about how much you drink. Am I doing it a bit too much? Am I drifting down a path I'm going to be sorry for later? This book can help you with these questions. Maybe not answer them, but at least give you the knowledge to ask even better ones. A couple of key points:

  • Screwing up your life with alcohol is not some sort of reserved seat for older generations. Many people in their early teens and twenties can really get a jump on doing as well as older ones – the only difference is the amount of time and opportunities to do so.
  • Even if you haven’t done major, obvious damage to your life by your early to mid-20s, odds are many of the foundations of how you may use alcohol in the future have already started to be built. NOW is the time to recognize any early warning signs that your mind, body, and life are starting to throw your way. To use a bit of a cliché, if you are trying to change the direction of a large ship, it is far easier when you are miles away from shore than when you are about to crash into the dock. Use this program to help you identify how your life may already be starting to spiral out of control when it comes to alcohol. Some of it may be obvious, but much of it probably isn’t. It certainly wasn’t to somebody like me who managed to chart a path of destruction over a long period of time, barely getting sober before it killed me (and almost did).

“Tips” for dealing with and/or addressing various dimensions of alcohol (ab)use is a central theme running through this book. With that in mind, in this book I provide some tips that I wish I had heard and taken to heart when I was younger, when, like nearly everyone else around that age at one point or another, I thought I was invincible and life would go on forever. These include:

  • Understand the difference between drinking to have “fun” and something else. As you’ll see in Level 1, alcohol can very subtly change from being something to have “fun” doing to something that is much more of a crutch to escape the pressures of life. Worse, it can do so over so much time and so gradually that you may well not notice it until it blows up in your face. Very much a kind of ambush. Just being aware of this kind of insidious sneak attack may help you avoid it.
  • Look for early warning signs. There is a “test” in Level 1 to help you decide for yourself whether or not you have an alcohol problem. It is based primarily on your personal behaviors and results associated with alcohol. Many of those behaviors/results essentially require a bit of time to come about, such as a failed marriage (question #23), whether your appearance is changing disproportionally to your age (question #17), and going out of your way to disguise your alcohol purchases and discards (question #4). All of those generally require a fair amount of time on this earth to really start being apparent.
    • ​That said, there are many other questions that - while in total may not add up to a score that screams alcoholic – may well starting ringing alarm bells in your head. These include whether your personality dramatically changes when you drink (questions #1 and #2), if you “binge” nearly every time you drink (question #5), whether you feel an intense pressure to get other people around you to drink (question #14), and whether you usually are one of the last people to leave a bar or party (question #8). In my view if you say “I Agree” to more than a few of these and others in “The Conquer Quiz,” you should start asking yourself a lot of questions about your relationship with alcohol, including “Am I taking it too far?”
  • ​Understand your emotional and environmental triggers. Everyone has something that sets them off into a particularly bad state of mind – the vast majority of us have several. This is true at any age. People who abuse alcohol nearly always do it wholly or in large part in reaction to these triggers. Level 2 – Know Your Triggers is dedicated to helping understand these in detail, including how they can combine together to be much worse than just the sum of their individual parts. Even if you are not an alcoholic-in-training, you may well find that knowing what your personal triggers are will help make you a more positive and even happier person in general.
    • ​​In Level 2 I literally go through an A to Z discussion of major drinking triggers. While every person is different of course, arguably you can say some triggers impact certain age groups disproportionally. Health and marriage problems have an obvious bias towards older generations for example.
    • ​But there are others that are equal-opportunity triggers when it comes to age, such as Guilt (fighting with a friend, sleeping with an undesirable person while wasted, etc.), so you start becoming more wasted to forget about it, to attempt to deal with it, or because you think you can excuse that behavior because you were drunk so it doesn’t matter so you can keep doing it.
  • Learn in detail about how alcohol affects your brain and body. This is discussed extensively in Level 3 – Listen To Your Body!, and Level 11 – Make Yourself Sick. Besides (hopefully) scaring the hell out of you about how alcohol can wreak havoc on your body at any age, you may be very surprised how drinking more alcohol actually works against what you are trying to achieve by getting drunk in the first place! Hint: It’s not just hangovers; it is also how at a certain point in your Blood Alcohol Content level the chemical effect turns from an euphoria-inducing[1] result to a dysphoria-causing[2] one.

​These are just a few of the examples of how this book might be very relevant to you. In addition, I've tried to keep it as entertaining and interesting as possible, which is tough considering the subject matter. But being boring is never good, particularly in a Self-Help book!

How To Use This if You are Concerned about Potential Alcoholism​

If You are Under 25 Years Old

Under 25 Years Old


​This program was developed by an old guy (52 years old), based on over 20 years of “experience” abusing alcohol. Many of the premises and examples of The Conquer Program are based on having been around long enough to really screw up your life, which for the most part I assume will mostly be people around 25 years of age and older. My mid to late 20s is when I believe my alcohol use really started spiraling out of control.

Does that mean this book and program is not applicable for the under 25 set? NO. Read More Below.

[1] Euphoria: A mental and emotional condition in which a person experiences intense feelings of well-being, elation, happiness, excitement, and joy. (Wikipedia.org)

[2] Dysphoria is defined (also from Wikipedia.org) as: a state of feeling unwell or unhappy; a feeling of emotional and mental discomfort as a symptom of discontentment, restlessness, dissatisfaction, malaise, depression, anxiety or indifference.  In effect it is the opposite of Euphoria.​