If you’ve watched any television programs, at just about any time of the day or night, you’ve seen commercials for alcoholic beverages or noticed how alcohol is prominent in almost every show on TV. Even Kathie Lee & Hoda have become popular for, among other things, drinking wine on their morning show.
In our society, where almost every social activity – from business networking to block parties, from Thanksgiving dinner to Sunday morning brunch and mimosas – includes “an adult beverage,” the need to “fit in” can be powerful. Add to that the impact alcohol has on our decision making and it’s easy to see how 1 or 2 drinks becomes more than that, and other, sometimes regretful, decisions get made.
Many people, of course, can enjoy a glass of wine or a beer and be done. What I’m noticing, and have talked with other therapists about, is that more and more alcohol is becoming a “more days than not” activity for many in our community and part of that, we are told, is the social acceptance portrayed on TV and in the movies.
April, by the way, is Alcohol Awareness month.
Very often, in my practice, I hear clients tell of hurtful things that have been said, behaviors they wish could be taken back, mistakes (such as DUIs) they’ve made, etc. all while under the influence.
For some clients who come in seeking change, their drinking is already a source of pain. For others, it’s not an every-day-occurrence, but often a single episode that has caused significant problems at work, at home, or in social situations.
If you’re curious about your alcohol consumption, or if you’ve ever thought about changing or stopping your use, the AUDIT is a great tool. The AUDIT is a simple 10-item questionnaire that you can use to help guide your decision about alcohol.
If nothing else comes from this article, please do this: During April, Alcohol Awareness Month, be conscious of how often and how much you consume alcohol. Try cutting back or maybe even give up alcohol for the month. If you notice any differences in how you feel, how you sleep, how you relate to others, etc. – positive differences or negative – consider making a long-term change to your alcohol use.