Whether it’s Sunday brunch, Saturday night at the club, or Friday night with a few co-workers, the opportunities to take a drink are endless and engrained in the fabric of many facets of society. People drink for almost any occasion, and plenty of people will give you a look if you don’t decide to drink at an event.
It would be one thing if alcohol consumption mostly consisted of a few drinks here and there, but binge drinking is practically a normalized and expected desire — especially for young people. Yet, people are also aware of the addictive nature of alcohol and how easy it can be to chase the feeling. So the burning question among many is how has drinking alcohol become so normalized in society?
The influence of drinking culture is a fascinating case study on its own. It’s not as if alcohol has its limitations, with the legal age being 21 in the United States — much higher than in some other countries. But most college students start their freshman years around the ages of 18 or 19, far too young to access alcohol. Yet drinking culture is so standard that college students go into their first semesters practically drinking before they even take a class.
Drinking culture is unbelievably rooted in the minds of parents, young adults, and teens all around, but it didn’t just become this way. Americans have been drinking beer and alcohol for years, and many traditions and celebrations are commonly associated with taking a drink. Even religious events and locations incorporate wine into their customs, showing just how impactful drinking has become in society as a whole.
The root of drinking culture is the idea that alcohol is a necessary tool for happiness and relaxation. Consuming alcohol has always been associated with having a good time, which is one of the main reasons it has become so standard in society. Because of how widespread drinking has become, it can be difficult for people suffering from alcohol misuse to overcome their alcohol addiction.
This is what makes treatment facilities like Silver Pines Treatment Center so important. These centers are designed to combat the effects of drinking culture with addiction treatment plans that help you overcome addictions to drugs like alcohol.
Relieving Stress Has Trumped the Dangers of Alcohol
Ask anyone on the street about the dangers of alcohol, and they’ll probably tell you that they’re aware of the addictive nature of alcohol. Most individuals are aware that alcohol and other drugs we associate with negative stigmas essentially work the same way. Yet the lack of care for the dangers of alcohol has far more to do with the fact that alcohol is used to combat stress.
College drinking culture essentially stems from students finally distancing themselves from the stress of high school and feeling that they are at the “start” of their lives. Drinking at the workplace is meant to celebrate achievements, tough months, or just unwinding from the daily grind at the job. Weekend drinking with your friends is a way to unwind from a long week filled with life’s stressors. There is an argument that the nature of the “go-getter” lifestyle promotes heavy drinking and other unhealthy habits of calming the body. Regardless, it’s clear that the relaxing feeling of drinking has trumped its long-term risks in today’s society.
One Major Party Suffers From the Widespread Acceptance of Alcohol
When recovering from alcohol use disorder, it’s important to keep alcohol away from your lines of sight. The phrase “out of sight, out of mind” applies directly to recovering addicts, but it can be difficult to avoid alcohol in our world. After leaving your alcohol rehab program, it’s important to go out and make friends, associate with colleagues and enjoy your newfound freedom from the shackles of your addiction. But with the prevalence of drinking, it’s common to find yourself facing your first challenge after a few hours with friends.
Alcoholic advertisements, displays, and liquor stores are on every street corner, and eliminating its influence is a nearly impossible task. The one party that suffers the most from the normalization of alcohol are those recovering from an addiction, and its popularity has led to high relapse rates. Fortunately, there are a few ways to avoid drinking, no matter the scenario.
How to Avoid Taking a Drink When You Don't Want To
If you’re a recovering alcoholic or just wanting to avoid the pressure of drinking, it can be tough when everyone throws conscious and subconscious jabs at you for not wanting to take a sip. Fortunately, you don’t have to cave into anyone’s demands, and if you follow a few of these steps, you can avoid the desire to take a drink:
- Ask for non-alcoholic beverages.
- Before you head out, prepare an answer for declining a drink so you won’t have to think of one on the spot. Something as simple as “no, I’m good, I’m driving tonight” might be all you need.
- Tell your friends beforehand that you don’t plan on drinking. A good group of friends will respect your wishes and won’t force you to drink when you don’t want to.
- Bring a few sober friends so you won’t be alone in not drinking.
- When in doubt, don’t be afraid to leave a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable.
The pressure to drink exists all around us, and it’s why recovering alcoholics need to take the necessary steps to prevent drinking from affecting their progress. Silver Pines Treatment Center can help you rehab drinking problems with our treatment programs and give you expert advice on how to avoid the temptation to take an alcoholic drink. We understand how difficult it can be to avoid the pressure, so if you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol addiction, call Silver Pines Treatment Center at 267.719.8689.