Drinking culture has become so normalized that choosing not to drink may be considered ‘boring’ or abnormal.
From parties and brunches to any social gathering, the consumption of alcohol has been ingrained in our daily lives whether we acknowledge it or not. However, I fear that, as a society, we have forgotten that alcohol is still a drug that intoxicates us and can lead to severe problems which affect the community and us individually.
One of the reasons why alcohol is accepted so much is because it enables people to socialize without the fear of anxiety. It allows you to ‘let loose’ and pass the time, but the problem is that people don’t know their limits. Science states that intoxication occurs when the alcohol intake exceeds your body’s limit to break it down. If everyone could have a few drinks and then stop, alcohol would not be an issue, but the issue lies when people go overboard. Which then leads to health issues, addiction, and mental health problems.
The alcohol industry is a multi-billion dollar business whose growth relies on society accepting and normalizing drinking culture. This helps sustain the industry to sell even more, increasing alcohol consumption to the point where the negative aspects of drinking are overshadowed. This also ties in with celebrity culture and how they promote drinking or even sell their own brands of alcohol.
As a society that feeds off social media, we can’t help but be sucked into the world of these celebrities and feel the need to live like them. So if they are promoting or selling something, we almost feel like we also have to experience that, and alcohol is one aspect.
Most drugs are made illegal for a good reason, but the number one thing they have in common is that they are intoxicant, meaning they lead you astray from your right frame of mind. If this is the reason, then why is alcohol legal? I’m not saying it should be illegal; I’m pointing out the fact that alcohol is so glamorized to the point that despite it being a drug that intoxicates you, it is so glamorized in society that it is the norm. Excessive drinking in certain environments can lead to bad choices, which can cause social conflicts and even blackouts to the point you can remember anything.
Another aspect drugs and alcohol have in common is they are addictive. People may not realize this, but alcohol dependency is an addiction. If you feel like you can’t function without it or even go the weekend without it, it’s an issue people consume alcohol to have a good time, which is the only way they can; something much more profound is missing in their lives.
For example, it is common for people to grow up in an environment where alcohol abuse is apparent, leading the parent who abuses this substance to turn violent, etc. Furthermore, the children affected by this can also lead them to repeat patterns and even have psychological problems.
This is what makes alcohol toxic because it can almost be used as an excuse for people to behave in negative ways when in fact, there is no excuse. Alcohol can also be used when grieving a loss or going through something hard. However, it is mistaken as something that helps, but we all know it does not. It brings out intense emotions and makes us want to do certain things we would never do without drinking.
Scientifically, alcohol slows down our brain, which makes us lose coordination and accurate speech. However, it also releases dopamine which is why we can get addicted to the feeling, but it comes down like every other drug is not great. We’ve all said, “I’m never drinking again” while hungover,” but the initial feeling you get when drinking makes people drink again.
Furthermore, People turn to alcohol when dealing with stress but don’t realize it worsens it. When dealing with mental health issues, alcohol is the one thing you should avoid as it worsens your matters and makes you dependent on this substance without actually dealing with your problems from the inside out.
When it gets to the point where someone becomes an alcoholic or depends on alcohol to feel stable, there are many consequences. For example, women are more prone to the effects than men, as men can break down alcohol faster. W men are more likely to have nerve damage, heart muscle damage, and more.
People in today’s society see alcohol as a substance used to have fun but don’t realize the long-term effects, both physically and mentally. Alcohol needs to be seen as a drug and not just something that is normal just because it’s legal. B promoting healthy consumption, raising awareness of this substance, and deglamorizing it; we can make society more responsible.