Whether it be in cocktails, beer, or even ice cream, alcohol is all around us. Most restaurants offer beer and wine with your dinner and dinner, or even mimosas and bloody marys with your breakfast. When hanging out with friends and coworkers, it seems more socially unacceptable to not drink. The message seems to be: drink often and drink more. This is why it’s so hard for people to recognize that they have become addicted to alcohol.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) has designated April as Alcohol Awareness Month so that people can look more closely at their drinking habits. Alcohol can do real damage to your body and mind, and the best way to minimize the damage is to catch alcohol abuse early.
Your challenge this month is to take a moment before every drink to ask yourself a few questions:
- Why am I drinking? for the flavor? to change my mood? to fit in?
- How much have I had to drink today? this week? this month?
- Do I really want another alcoholic drink? or do I feel pressured into drinking another?
- Will drinking make this situation better? or am I using it as an escape?
Knowing why you are drinking will help you cut back on drinking, or help you identify if you abuse alcohol. Don’t let alcohol control your life. If you believe you have a drinking problem, seek professional help. Bradford Health Services offers a free assessment for those who may be suffering from alcoholism or other substance addiction.