Can There Ever Be A Safe Drinking Culture?
With the prevalence of drinking in America, an individual might wonder if there could ever be a safe drinking culture. People drink for recreation, de-stressing, liquid courage, managing pain, and even blocking out the world. Many people do these activities without consideration for the effects and consequences of alcohol abuse. Creating a safe drinking culture can truly help create more informed individuals who make better choices.
1Treat Alcohol with Respect
It is important to respect the power that alcohol has. It can change your life in just a few moments in the case of an overdose or bad drunken decision, or it could simply add enjoyment to your life. The biggest problem in drinking culture is that people do not respect the power that alcohol has to alter the human body and its processes. Respecting alcohol comes with knowing about it, what it does, how it works and affects you, and more importantly what it can’t do for you.
2Learn About Alcohol
There is no question that people need to learn even more about alcohol. It is an absolute necessity for everyone to learn about long term AND short term effects of alcohol. Individuals should be educated on how the brain and body are affected beginning from just one drink up until total intoxication. People should be made aware of the true definition of binge drinking and how alcohol abuse actually begins. Education should extend to knowing about the types of alcohol and how they can each relate to body weight, fat, and metabolism. Lastly, an individual should consider the financial and familial effects of drinking and how it can become incredibly detrimental.
3Learn About Yourself
It is equally important for an individual to learn about themselves and their habits. There are a few insightful questions that would be good for people to ask themselves or their friends before drinking. A few great questions are: What are their attitudes towards the opposite sex? Do you have good self-control and good self-discipline? How do you tend to react when upset or angry? What are your ideas surrounding alcohol? Do you tend to have an addictive personality? Each of these questions listed has the potential to tell you about how you’ll treat others when you drink, your reactions when drinking in certain moods, how responsible you will be, and your likelihood of being or potential to be an abuser of alcohol.
4Don’t Drink When You’re Sad or Angry
Drinking doesn’t solve problems or mask them. Oftentimes, it doesn’t even help manage negative emotions. You would have to drink to excess to feel numb and the road to getting drunk can influence you to make some bad decisions. Drinking while sad can make sadness more pervasive once your system is no longer simulated. While angry and drinking, you can make choices you’ll later regret, possibly black out, and experience an intensification of negative feelings as well.
5Set Hard Limits
If you are going to partake in drinking festivities or drink alone, set hard limits. Decide on a specific number of drinks or refills (that won’t leave you drunk) and commit to it. If you feel this is hard, then let someone else know ahead of time. Or pour out a certain amount of alcohol ahead of time so you won’t be tempted to break your limit.
6Get an Accountability Buddy
While letting someone know your limits can be helpful, what can be even better is having an accountability buddy. This person can look out for you and let you know how you look and are acting (though while drinking, you may not realize what is an issue and what is not). They can also cut you off from alcohol, and remind you of what you said your limit was. You shouldn’t have to argue with your accountability buddy. If you do, then you know that they probably the ones who are in fact correct.
Another important step in creating a safe drinking culture is making sure adults take responsibility for their actions. Yes, alcohol can influence an individual to make a poor choice. However, the person ultimately made the decision to drink and follow through on their choice. Alcohol doesn’t make you DO anything such as drive drunk, assault others, or say hurtful things. Those are actions committed by people (who may be drinking), but nevertheless by people. Take responsibility for the choices you make.
8Know Why You’re Drinking & How To Say No
Some people drink as a social activity, others because they like the taste of alcohol, while others drink because of pressure or another unpleasant reason. If you are drinking and you don’t know why, don’t enjoy it, or don’t even want to drink, then exercise your power of no. Saying no or abstaining doesn’t make you a “loser” or an outsider. Saying no to alcohol makes you confident, secure, and assures you of a great night without affecting your body.
Becoming a Safer Drinking Culture
There are even more steps that could potentially ensure a safe drinking culture for society at large, such as licenses to drink or mandatory drinking classes before a certain age. Either way, these few steps listed here could help create more drinking-conscious individuals, and thus help lessen the problem of alcohol addiction in our society. The more educated you are about a particular subject and the more options you have, the greater the likelihood you have of making the best choice. Without people who care about changing drinking culture, nothing will ever change.