Our society condones excessive drinking, but frowns upon the use of drugs because of dirty needles and other stigmas. Socially accepted alcohol consumption falls under categories like: cocktail parties, drinks before, during and after dinner, binge drinking, tailgate parties, college bashes, and any environment that condones excessive drinking. Excessive drinking can be dangerous for a number of reasons. One reason is the risk for causing automobile accidents. According to a report by CBS News in 2016, on average, 28 people a day were killed in DUI (Driving Under the Influence) accidents.
There is a socially responsible movement that promotes the assignment of a designated driver when alcohol consumption is involved in an activity. Unfortunately, not everyone heeds this advice and finds a designated driver beforehand. Both persons in a couple may choose to drink, or single people may drive by themselves to and from events. According to College Magazine, 3.36 million college students each year get behind the wheel of a automobile while intoxicated.
In addition to the risk of being killed or causing an accident in which someone is killed, heavy alcohol consumption can lead to alcoholism. Alcoholism is a dangerous disease. It can raise havoc with your physical and mental health by causing liver disease, heart disease, depression and suicide, to name but a few dangers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports in a large sample of suicide victims whose blood alcohol levels were measured after death, one in four had been legally drunk, with a blood alcohol content at or above the federal standard of 0.08, or 8 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood.
Aside from physical and mental decline of individuals, alcoholism can ruin a family. An alcoholic can be physically abusive, emotionally abusive, sexually abusive and neglectful. Women whose husbands are alcoholics may suffer greatly from battered wife syndrome. An alcoholic in the home can cause children to develop adverse behaviors and later become alcoholics themselves.
Not everyone who drinks excessively at social gatherings will become an alcoholic. However, if you tend to drink a lot at events and at home, you might check in with yourself and ask why. Is your drinking stress related? Are you depressed? Are there circumstances in your life you can’t control? Have you recently been traumatized, or were in the past? Drinking heavily may ease any physical pain you have in the moment, but later contribute to depression. People don’t become alcoholics on purpose, but the disease is progressive. If you are a heavy drinker, please get yourself some help before you risk going over the tipping point into alcoholism.