Ahhhh….yes! The days of summer seem to have finally arrived! Woo Hoo! I favor the hot weather over the cold any day of the week. I’ve heard all the arguments for the cold but I still have a hard time enjoying 0 degrees or below. Away this is about summertime and all the fun stuff that goes along with warm weather. I’m talking about festivals, concerts, holidays, family gatherings, camping, softball leagues or whatever it may be that you enjoy doing in the summer. The hard part here is that so many of these events have been represented by alcohol. The marketers of alcohol have become very good at it and they spend a ton of money doing it. The event being sponsored is out to make money for whatever the reason, and that’s fine. But in many cases it really promotes binge drinking. The NIAAA – National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as:
- NIAAA defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dL. This typically occurs after 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men—in about 2 hours.
Ok, so they put a time frame on it “about 2 hours.” It’s not the just about the time, but rather about the behavior. Think about it, some of these events last 4 or more days! When does one event stop and the next one start? Do they start to become “manufactured or made up?” Do these events become reasons to pack a cooler and head out? Do you not have enough room in the cooler for your water or food because it’s full of beer? Did you get a bigger cooler? Have you started to notice that when these things happen, they create a host of other issues? Do you get into trouble with the law, fight with your spouse, friends or even strangers? Has anyone been hurt because of your actions either physically or emotionally? Have you had guilt or regret about your actions? When you don’t have an “event” to attend, does the binging stop? Or, has mowing the lawn become enough of an event?
What we are asking is that you take an honest look at your drinking habits. Is there something that bothers you about your drinking, have others made mention to you about it, do you find yourself thinking about drinking a lot? When you make your plans are you to be sure that alcohol is part of it? I know its Wisconsin it’s what we do. What’s better than a brat and beer? And I agree that is a very tasty combination, but that’s not what we are talking about. It’s when the beers far outnumber the brats or even if there are brats even involved. This short article presents 6 warning signs of binge drinking. (Sorry about the ads)
- You become a risk taker
Maybe you do or say things that you “normally” wouldn’t, or your decision making lacks or is not the best. You place yourself or others in harm’s way. You may have regrets later about your actions.
- You’re a weekend warrior
You may not drink during the week but when Friday and Saturday get here that’s all you need and you don’t stop till Sunday night. You really don’t like Mondays.
- You can’t stick to your own limits
You tell yourself that you’ll only have 1 or 2 during happy hour, and then before you know it 6 beers and 10 PM later. This starts to happen with more frequency or other times when you go out.
- You black out
Have ever been foggy on parts of the evening or wonder just what you may have done, or how you got somewhere, or why that part of body hurts like it does. These are signs that you had at least one too many.
- You become a slacker
You start having a hard time doing things because you’re hungover, or you start skipping out on things like your workout at the gym, family time, preparing for the meeting at work. You start to neglect things that were once very important to you for the sake of alcohol.
- You’re friends and family are worried about you
If you’re friends or family has expressed concern over your drinking, or starting to see conflict in relationships or work. These can be signs you shouldn’t ignore.
Do any of these warning signs ring true? We haven’t even talk about the dangers that you put yourself or others in when you decide to get behind the wheel, which is just one of the dangers faced. You do not have to drink daily to have a physical dependence on alcohol. Those who binge drink maybe going through alcohol withdrawal symptoms during the beginning of week thinking that they are suffering from a hangover. Then they go out the next weekend and the cycle starts again and again. This can pose any number of physical affects as well as overall mental health concerns. If you’re willing to take that look at yourself, and are ready to make some changes, but you’re not sure how start, or it scares the heck out of you, that’s OK. Let’s talk about it. Let’s see where you want to go, what do you think about the situation? This is about you and where you’re at, and where you want to be. You don’t have to go through it alone.
The professionals that practice at Cardinal Point are here to assist in any way we can. Give us a call 920-784-8669 (920-quitnow) or click here to book online.
Recovery Coach Steve