Alcohol – A socially acceptable drug

Alcohol is a legal and socially acceptable drug to consume that does not carry the same stigma as other drugs. It is part of the Australian social culture. From my experience, those who genuinely enjoy the taste, drink alcohol in moderation and only on special occasions. 

However, for a lot of people, alcohol helps people to forget worries of their daily lives, it helps them numb pain and insecurities, it helps to increase confidence in social settings and decrease social anxieties. People can often consume alcohol as a result of peer pressure as well. We are social beings and don’t want to feel left out and alienated in social settings.

When these issues are underlying alcohol consumption, it often leads to excessive alcohol intake. What has also become apparent is that societies idea of excessive intake is very different to what research shows is excessive and bad for our health.

Alcohol increases inflammation in the body and therefore can cause and exacerbate practically any chronic disease. It also leads to nutrient deficiencies as well. 

Alcohol in small amounts and on occasions can have some health benefits through hormesis, however these benefits are lost when it becomes excessive. Like anything, the poison is in the dose. Based on this, I would strongly urge you to assess your alcohol intake on a weekly basis, regardless if you have a health issue or not. Take steps to reduce your intake and look critically at yourself to understand the reasons as to why you consume alcohol regularly.

More often than not, people know they shouldn’t be drinking as much alcohol as they do. Which comes back to the age-old question of “why do humans do things that we know logically we shouldn’t do?” Well, this is because we make decisions based on how we feel and our emotions, rather than logic, especially around our health. Because of this, what often happens is that we logically justify our choices in our minds or our “thinking/logical” mind finds itself in psychological conflict where we feel guilty and anxious for the choices that we know we shouldn’t make.

All of the reasons that I mentioned above for why people drink excessively, has everything to do with emotions and feelings. 

Read this post to learn on how to change behaviours around your diet and lifestyle that you know on a logical level you shouldn’t be doing.