ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire)– Few things are more American than drinking heavily but worrying about how heavily other Americans are drinking is one of them.
Alcohol consumption is one of the leading causes of preventable death in the United States. More than 95,000 people lose their lives each year in the U.S. During the pandemic, frequency of drinking has gone up, as has sales of hard liquor.
The CDC reports nearly a quarter of Americans said they had more drinks over the past year as a means of coping with stress. Do you feel the need to drink but aren’t alcoholic?
If you find yourself between light social drinking and the classic signs of alcoholism, you might be what’s known as a “gray area drinker.”
The CDC says women who drink four or more drinks during a single occasion and men who have five or more drinks during a single occasion fall into this category. If you feel concerned about drinking, but you can never quit permanently, use alcohol to cope with problems, and can’t spend time with your family and friends without taking a sip, you are a gray area drinker.
Fix your drinking habits by establishing personal goals and analyze how alcohol interferes with them. Also, if you crave a drink, wait 15 minutes. Distract yourself and see if after a short amount of time, the need for a drink goes away. If you do need a drink, make one that looks fancy but don’t put alcohol in it! Sometimes a little downtime with a mocktail is all that’s needed, not the alcohol itself.
For those who have an alcohol problem the substance abuse and mental health service has a free, confidential helpline for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
If you or a loved one need help dealing with an alcohol consumption problem you can call 1-800-662-help (4357) or contact alcoholics anonymous at www.aa.org.