Happy hour. A nightcap. A celebratory toast. Something to take the edge off. Drinking alcohol is such a norm in our culture that so many people forget that alcohol is actually a drug. A legal drug, but being legal does not make it harmless.
If you are finding that participating in ‘Dry January’ is extremely difficult and white knuckling through it (only about a week left), I think it is time to reevaluate your relationship with alcohol. In the meantime, I came across a recent article with helpful tips from a life coach who is sober every month of the year.
After booze-soaked holidays and the desire to get back in shape and healthier at the top of a new year, many may feel inspired to temporarily go alcohol-free or at least significantly cut back. However, come February, they often find themselves back to their old drinking habits (a nightly glass of wine, a few cocktails at their weekly ‘Happy Hour,’ binge drinking on the weekends).
When most people think about the damaging effects of drinking too much alcohol, they usually think of the damage it may do to the liver. We tend to not think so much about the damage it could do to the brain, specifically alcohol-related dementia (also sometimes called alcohol-related brain damage). Take for example, the sad story of this 48-year-old woman in the United Kingdom named Maria Chilvers.
About a year ago, an article from Forbes discussed how America’s alcohol crisis has been overshadowed by the opioid crisis. The reality is that alcohol is the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. (The first is tobacco. The second is poor diet and physical inactivity, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
We’ve come a pretty long way in the fight against HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) when you consider that back in the 80s, being diagnosed with HIV basically meant a death sentence.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that every day, 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver. This equates to one death every 50 minutes!
If you are a parent to adolescent or teenage children, you probably fear that they may drink and drive or get in the car with a drunk driver. And that is a very valid fear, considering that about a quarter of all car crashes with teens involve an underage drinking driver.
Let’s face it. Most New Year’s resolutions don’t stick. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t aim to make healthy lifestyle changes in 2019, but you may want to consider changing your approach. Take, for example, participating in Dry January.
Like many of you, I was riveted by the testimonies in the recent U.S. Senate hearing to confirm a new Supreme Court Justice. At one point during the proceedings, I found myself wondering why a man would say he loves beer 30 times over the course of a few hours.
If you’re like 90 percent of Americans who are drinkers, you will likely be planning to enjoy your favorite distilled beverage while you are outdoors (especially now that it’s summer). And, according to research, the most popular venue by far for outdoor drinking is, hands down, the barbecue with a favorite vote of some 65 percent. The other 35 percent like imbibing at picnics, pool parties, summer festivals and outdoor concerts.
“You are traveling around, you live in a suitcase, you get to this place, there's free alcohol everywhere — it's sort of weird if you don't drink.”
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