By Cristina Utti
People drink alcohol for many reasons.
Some drink to relax after a long day at work. Some drink to “socialize” because it loosens them up. Some people drink to feel like they “fit in.” Some drink to relieve anxiety. A common misconception is that drinking alcohol makes us more likeable, funnier, more desirable, etc. In fact, the opposite is true.
I worked in the restaurant business for many years. Alcohol and partying is a big part of that world. Most restaurants give their employees a free shift drink—this is one free alcoholic beverage after your shift. In most places I have worked, no one leaves after one drink, so you end up giving the money you just made right back to the restaurant. People hang out and drink, and everyone has their “drunken identities.” Stories are told over the next days about who went home with whom, who got sick and threw up, and other “fun” things people do when they are drunk. Our culture seems to think these stories are funny, that people need to consume huge amounts of alcohol so that they can have sex with someone, or are so scared to talk to others that they have to drink themselves into throwing up.
Even in the corporate and professional worlds, people often go out for drinks together. Conversations had when we are drunk may seem wonderful when we are in a drunken state, but what good are they if we cannot remember them the next day? What good is it if we feel we have to drink to be able to talk to our coworkers? Drinking alcohol feeds us the lie that we are making friends. In reality, if we have to consume alcohol to be comfortable to talk to certain people, they are not our friends.
If alcohol changes your behavior, and you think that you are a better person when drunk, beware. If you find yourself “needing” to drink before heading out with friends, or having a few before you get to a party, trouble is brewing. Binge drinking often happens at parties and can lead, eventually, to addiction.
If you like yourself more when you have alcohol in your system, remember that it is a lie. We are better people just the way we are, before putting any chemical-changing substance into our bodies. If you think you or a loved one may be drinking too much, seek out help before the problem gets out of hand. Alcohol poisoning and detoxing from alcohol can be fatal. This is no laughing matter.
If you feel you or a loved one is addicted to alcohol, please contact us anytime at 800.218.6727.