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