The more stressed and disconnected we become with our true self and the life we should be living, the more we need to decompress or fill an emotional void. So it’s no wonder that excessive drinking is a major problem. But what is excessive? The government guidelines are 14 units per week, a unit being a small glass of wine (125), half pint of normal strength beer or a pub measure of spirit. But because of the amount of drinking that people are doing at home, they are vastly out of touch with their units, and excessive drinking is becoming normalised.
A lot of our social interactions revolve around alcohol, particularly for men who are less likely to meet for coffee, and men who don’t drink are often stigmatised.
Middle aged people are more likely to drink too much at home on a regular basis. A bottle of wine shared at the weekend can soon lead to a bottle Friday, Saturday and Sunday!
Young people are more inclined to ‘binge drink’ though you may be surprised to learn that anything more than 3 units is considered binge drinking.
Most people think of alcoholism as a homeless person drinking on a park bench, but there are people suffering with alcoholism all around us, and because of the pain and shame surrounding this disease they will go to great lengths to cover up the amount they drink and convince those around them that they are making a fuss. By the time alarm bells go off, a problem with drinking is well underway.
If you think you have a problem with alcohol, it is very likely you do. By the time you decide you need to ‘control’ it, it is out of control. The solution is a 12 step programme where you can get support, friendship and help to stop drinking from people who know about how it really feels.
For those who don’t feel they have a problem but would like to drink less, then meet people for coffee, for lunch or for a walk rather than the pub. Arrive at social events later and leave earlier, or offer to drive. Be the one to stand out from your crowd and lead the way to a healthier relationship with alcohol.
Your sleep, your weight, your motivation and your brain will thank you for it.