When did you realize you had a problem?
For many who are actively in recovery or have been in recovery before, there is a pivotal moment when the realization that their alcohol use had become problematic finally clicks into place. For some, it is quiet realization in a moment of reflection on some setback or failure caused by an alcohol use disorder. For others, it may have been the intervention of friends and family that provided the needed push.
Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that addiction to anything is a slippery slope. While we are all responsible for ourselves and our actions, we cannot deny the effect our environment and habits can have on us.
Social Drinking Culture in the United States
Quitting drinking is already difficult depending on the level of dependence that an individual has with alcohol. Physiological addiction is so compelling that the withdrawal symptoms for many common addictive substances are enough to keep people stuck in a loop for years.
However, addiction is oftentimes also just as socially entrenched as it is physically entrenched. In the case of alcohol, social drinking is the norm in the United States as well as globally. Alcohol is well known as a “social lubricant”. Sometimes, your career may depend on your ability to have a cocktail or develop relationships with your coworkers during happy hour. Many cities with prominent and active nightlife scenes are the endpoint for weekend plans and socializing with peers and friends.
Brew Culture is Popular
A quick peek at the number of microbreweries per state shows that even Georgia, a state that ranks lower for the number of microbreweries in the state, features about 111. Craft beer culture has become exceedingly popular, the trendy atmosphere of many breweries are popular locations for dates, social occasions, and happy hours.
The unique and often artistic backdrop many of these breweries foster are paired with the highly idiosyncratic artwork on cans.
What makes this experience so popular? For many, simply going to a brewery and trying new craft beers is all it takes. There’s only one major issue…
Craft Beers Are Not Your Average Light Beer
Many popular craft beer types such as IPAs can boast significantly higher ABV’s than standard traditional macrolagers from Miller or Coors, etc. With the rise of brewery culture, many patrons of breweries find themselves frequently getting far more intoxicated than they initially planned to simply from having “a beer or two”.
ABV can be misleading, the difference between a drink that is 4.6% alcohol and 6.5% is far larger than one would think. Not only do bars, pubs, and breweries serve these drinks, but they also serve them in 16oz sizes as opposed the 12oz bottle or can a person may be used to. Many craft brews are much stronger than that even, boasting ABV’s as high as 10-11 percent or even higher for certain types of beers.
Craft Beers and Alcohol Addiction
While it’s far too early to see how popular microbrewery culture is contributing to the rise of alcohol addiction in America, it certainly seems unlikely that it is reducing the rate. One of the main questions that must be addressed in casual drinkers is how often are you nearing intoxication? Are you getting drunk often? How is alcohol affecting your physical health?
Going to the brewery and having two beers can leave many people feeling far more tipsier than they care to admit. Appreciating craft beers is a valid hobby, but at what point does this slide into alcohol abuse?
Unfortunately, certain individuals are just more susceptible to an alcohol use disorder or dependency issues whether that be hereditary or behavioral. Going to breweries, trying new drinks and savoring the flavors while enjoying a night out with friends is the ideal picture.
However, at Southeast Addiction, we routinely see the underbelly of social drinking. Many people drink more than they realize or care to admit, and there is a slippery slope from enjoyment to dependence. There is no clear line of when enjoyment ends and alcohol abuse begins.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment Georgia
Our Partial Hospitalization Program is the most comprehensive program we offer. The PHP features 4 critical components to substance abuse recovery: individual therapy, group therapy, family sessions, and medication management. However, we understand that not everyone drop everything and make the time commitment, and so our IOP and OP allow for more flexibility while still providing the core of our treatment protocols.
If you have tried to stop drinking and cannot stop, contact Southeast Addiction. We have helped many individuals enter recovery and learn strategies to stop drinking and resume a healthy and happy lifestyle.