It’s Time to Turn Drinking Culture on It’s Head – By Jeanne Foot

Herbal tea anyone?

Alcohol is often looked at as the magic elixir of life that will promise to deliver the good times, your dream love and is the ultimate necessity for having fun. Billions of dollars are spent in the advertising industry to embed into your unconscious mind that you truly need this substance for your life to work for you. This message is further supported by governments in their support of massive advertising campaigns by the alcohol companies. So much so, as to take the prime spot at Super Bowl advertising.

In the USA alcohol is a 223 billion-dollar (US) industry according to Statista 2016 statistics. Excessive use of Alcohol cost the US a ¼ of a trillion dollars in lost productivity and healthcare in 2010 alone and is responsible for killing 88,000 people per year in the US as of 2016.

This was the same message with the tobacco industry, supported by the advertising industry that made you believe that you were not ‘cool’ if you didn’t smoke. Remember those Marlboro commercials or part of the tribe, until they realised the direct link to tobacco and health risks, in particular cancer? The tobacco industry now must provide warnings regarding the high risk of adverse health damage and are not allowed to advertise its products on television anymore.

It is your sub-conscious brain that soaks up specifically targeted advertisement campaigns convince you having a drink will, overall, have you feeling better than ever. This can be one of the many reasons that Alcohol consumption has increased and that more than 73% of adults over the age of 18 drink on a regular basis, even though alcohol is an addictive substance. 

Recently there has been a new wave of interest to promote alcohol awareness and April has now been established, in the medical and recovery world, as Alcohol Awareness month. Its aim is to promote the dangers and dependence of Alcohol as a drug. The risks are numerous, far outweighing the benefits of artificially feeling good, temporarily. With an increase in fatalities, health issues, disease, family trauma and dysfunction, incidents with the law and generally overall unhappiness, it is time to question our behaviour and what society classifies as normal.

There is also a new movement of people who choose to just not drink alcohol. They don’t identify as alcoholic or problematic drinkers, but simply find that alcohol doesn’t add anything to their lives. They want something more out of life and are committed to be the best versions of themselves in terms of their health and overall wellness. Of course the age-old problem of substance use disorder or alcoholism is alive and well, and there will always be those who identify as having in this area, but the overarching desire is that this new tribe are looking for a major upgrade in their standard of overall happiness and wellness, and kick the booze to achieve their lifestyle goals. 

Participating in movements like Dry January and various Alcohol-free challenges are just the beginning of this new wave. Not to mention 23.5 million people who have suffered previously with a substance use disorder are in Recovery in the United State alone, is evidence that individuals can heal and rebuild their lives like they could never have imagined. 

So with this new found knowledge, why do we look at people who choose not to drink with two heads or that there is something wrong with them? Often, I have been personally challenged for not choosing to drink as if there is something wrong with me, instead of honouring me for my personal decisions as a choice. People who challenge us when we don’t drink are often uncomfortable with their own drinking which is why they are focusing on others.

Support and creating normalcy for those who chose sobriety needs to be adopted rather than negative judgement and skepticism surrounding teetotalers .

Let’s not fool ourselves into believing that Alcohol is something that will enhance our life. April is Alcohol Awareness month…are you aware?


Contact Jeanne at The Recovery Concierge


About Jeanne Foot

I am a mental health advocate, a Certified Addiction Counsellor (CCAC) and an Addiction and Recovery specialist, with over 10 years serving individuals and families in the Toronto area, across the globe, and online. My own struggles with the nature of addiction and years spent navigating the mental health care system as an advocate for members of my family, has enabled me to become a change agent and a mentor in transformation for others. Witnessing gaps in the system and how a one-size-fits-all approach to recovery fails too many people, I became passionate about synthesizing information, and clearing up the misinformation about how individuals can achieve sustainable recovery, regardless of the approach they take. The Recovery Concierge was innovated out of the necessity because not all recovery services are timely, efficient, or effective at producing long-term, sustainable change.With a strong pulse on the industry and a tenacious, yet spirited, approach, I am passionate about treating chemical dependency and addiction as any other illness and empowering long term transformation in my clients. Jeanne can be reached at
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  1. Alcohol has been around from the beginning of mankind. This is just another Blah, Blah, blah pointless exercise. If someone has a problem with alcohol, it’s their responsibility to deal with it. If you thing you can change other’s thinking. You are just plain stupid. It’s scary this person is a “recovery” professional

  2. You an addiction counselor in Canada, I was wondering what your thoughts about the legalization of cannabis there? Big Pharma seems to already have the industry cornered which would mean adding Monsanto chemicals as well as other things to make it highly addictive, the way they do with tobacco. And I would imagine that they have something to do with the heroin trafficking since they manufacture opioids and suboxone/Narcan/Methadone for big profits. Following the money trails is often revealing.

  3. Today, I choose not to drink, but I do choose to smoke cigarettes. Society in general seems to treat all smokers with disdain and contempt just because they can. Sure, why not do the same thing to people that drink. Many of them drink without consequence. In the meantime, I heard recently that our Surgeon General feels that more people should carry Narcan to combat an illegal problem. I think the whole world has gone crazy and our esteemed leaders keep stirring the pot. What is the matter with “live and let live?” No one makes it out of this life alive.

    • I smoked for 30 years, but I would rather see my insurance dollars going into chronic pain relief research over smoking-related illnesses. Just give me 10g of Nembutal instead of putting me through years of chemo just to extend my life, which would be reduced to nothing, anyway. Then take the hundreds of thousands of dollars saved and give it to pediatric cancer or something. They haven’t been given a choice the way that we were.

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