Have you been thinking about drinking lately? It might not be a bad idea. Many people don’t reflect on their drinking habits extensively. Drinking becomes something social you do when you go out to have fun with friends. Most people don’t think too hard about the drinks they have to relax after a hard day or how many beers they have at a sporting event. Drinking in these situations feels natural, so what need is there to think about it?
Thinking about drinking is difficult because it’s hard to evaluate your own drinking habits and know when too much is too much. If you don’t fully understand what a drinking problem is and what the red flags are, you may be leaving yourself open for trouble down the road.
Michigan State University has created a program called, “Thinking about Drinking.” This program is a confidential way for people to evaluate their own drinking habits and see how these habits may be affecting them. Alcohol use can affect your personal relationships, your emotional health, and your physical health.
Recognizing an alcohol problem can be hard. Recent studies have shown that binge drinking has become a big problem in America. According to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report more than 80,000 people die in the United States every year due to binge drinking. Many of these people are young adults or underage drinkers. Many people who take part in underage drinking on college campuses think they’re too young to have a real alcohol problem. When most people think of alcoholism, they imagine an old man stumbling around drunk or passed out at the bar midday. The reality is a lot more complicated than that. Anyone can have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, regardless of age, sex, or background.
Many states such as Michigan are taking steps to help people make healthier choices regarding alcohol by creating programs such as “Thinking about Drinking” or ignition interlock programs. These programs help individuals be more self-aware and make safer choices when it comes to drinking. Through education and alcohol awareness we can help promote healthy drinking choices that can prevent a fun night out with friends from turning into something that you regret.