Are You a Social Alcoholic? What Are the Dangers?

Are You a Social Alcoholic? What Are the Dangers?
Julie Doherty Naturopathic Physician Hackham, SA

An Accredited Member of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society, Julie Graduated with distinctions from S.A. College of Botanic Medicine and Natural Therapies Pty Ltd. Professional Qualifications include: Naturopathic Doctor, Herbal & Homoeopathic Practitioner: Diet and Nutritional Medicine: Remedial & Therapeutic... more

As a social alcoholic, or a social drinker, you may be considered as a low-risk drinker.

You may find yourself becoming defensive when friends or family members show some concern in regards to your increased consumption of alcohol. After all, you are just enjoying a drink socially; there is nothing to worry about.

Or is there? 

So what exactly is a social alcoholic, and what are the problems associated with this? Unfortunately, alcohol is still a very sociably accepted part of group gatherings, whether that be special events such as birthdays, anniversaries, business, sporting events, etc.

I am not going to deny that I enjoy the occasional drink of wine or two, but I believe that it has surpassed the enjoyment stage when you have become so accustomed to the taste and feel of alcohol that it leads onto the extra glass or two. It leads to the uncontrollable binge stage of bottles, and "Let's see how tanked we can get." For me personally, I do not see any pleasure, fun, or enjoyment in that.

In the short term it creates vomiting, headaches, migraines, and loss of bodily functions. The forgotten memories of the prior events, then days of getting your body back into somewhat of a normal state if you remain alcohol-free. 

In the long term, for those of you who may be interested, it can lead to kidney and liver malfunction, Cancer, Alzheimer's, and dementia. Now you may say to yourself, "This is a long way off and the care factor can therefore minimized to non-existent."

Digging a little deeper

Let's have a look at the people in your life.

What about your loved ones who have to stand by watching you destroy your life and deteriorate to a point where no one is able to help you? 

What is a social alcoholic? A person who drinks alcohol to excess habitually. Drinking alcohol in excess that is going to be detrimental to your body and your bodily functions is drinking in excess of 3-6 alcoholic drinks over the period of a week. So what can you do?

  • The first step is to realize the habit that has accumulated.
  • Begin to reduce your intake of alcohol, firstly at home. Keep no alcoholic beverages in the house.
  • Replace alcoholic drinks either with water, freshly squeezed juices, or Kombucha.
  • Kombucha is a great way to replace alcoholic beverages as it also helps to regain healthy digestion that has been damaged through excess alcohol consumption.
  • When you go out begin with water, then say a bitter, lime, and lemon. You may find that after this you don't want anything else to drink.
  • Don't allow anyone to have influence over what or how much you drink. It is okay to say NO!

However, if you want, just have one glass of wine or beer. This may well not be an option if you know that you are not going to be able to stop at this. Remember, what may give you a feeling of happiness and enlightenment is short term. You may undoubtedly have long term detrimental results for which you or your loved ones are not going to be happy with. It is quite common, and I know personally. I have had so-called friends trying to encourage me to have another drink, refilling my glass. Learning to say NO! once again to people is okay. You are not out to win the friendship of people who have no thought or care for your wellbeing.

This is not fun and it is definitely not what true friendship is about. For me, I didn't like what came with it: The vomiting, the migraines, and just that total feeling of being out of it. Remember you are the one at the end of the day who will do the suffering. Whether it be cancer, dementia, kidney disease, or something else. It could be financial crisis because you are not able to work or function effectively. If you are struggling with this, I have written a book called Why can't I give up Smoking, but this isn't just about smoking. It is helpful for anyone wanting to overcome negative addictions, understanding the hows and whys. Then the steps to move from these into positive living habits.  

Julie Doherty N.D - Empowering You to Optimal Health