For many people, drinking alcohol is something that is done on occasion and in moderation. Having a glass or two of champagne on New Year’s Eve or a cocktail out with friends is nothing to be concerned about.

For others, however, alcohol is not something one marks a special occasion with; it is the main event.

There are a variety of factors that can influence a person’s behavior when it comes to drinking such as genetics, biology and the environment. While the reasons one becomes addicted to alcohol can vary, what is consistent is a desire to keep drinking, despite being shown the devastation it is causing to their life.

Here are some of the most common excuses people make to keep drinking:

I’ll Lose My Friends if I Quit Drinking

Many a social life is based on partying and having a good time, and that typically includes drinking alcohol. This is especially true for younger people, who feel pressured to drink when they are around their friends. “No one will invite me to their parties if I refuse to drink.” “Everyone will think I’m weird or uptight if I’m the only one not drinking.”

While friends and associates may take notice, it’s important to realize that real friends will want to spend time with you no matter what. Those that don’t may have a drinking problem themselves and are uncomfortable around your healthy change in behavior.

Wine is Good for Me

While numerous studies have suggested consuming alcohol, red wine in particular, can benefit the heart and improve cholesterol levels, all speak of consuming in moderate amounts. In fact, a majority of US health agencies recommend no more than two drinks a day for men, and only one for women.

So, while some studies suggest drinking in moderation is good for health, the amount is really key. If you find you are drinking more than one or two glasses each day, you are no longer promoting health.

Drinking Relieves Stress

It’s no secret that stress can wreak havoc on our health. And no one can really blame a person if they want to somehow “take the edge off.” But alcohol consumption is not the healthiest ways to deal with stress. For those with unhealthy drinking behaviors, the one or two glasses needed to take that edge off turns into three, four and more. Stress and alcohol feed off of each other.

There are much healthier ways to alleviate stress such as meditation and yoga.

Quitting drinking is incredibly difficult, but, with the right support, it can be done. If you or a loved one has a drinking problem and is interested in exploring treatment, please contact us today.  We would be happy to speak with you about how we may be able to help.

Priscilla Hurd, LPC, M.Ed.

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