Almost everyone who has consumed alcohol at some point of time in their life is aware about what social drinking is. It is the act of consuming alcohol with a primary purpose of socializing. Going out to a restaurant or a bar with friends, family members or work colleagues and indulging in a few glasses of alcohol falls under its definition. As opposed to chronic drinking, this form is less addictive and has fewer long term disadvantages.
Consuming alcohol in general is not something that should be condoned. But it goes without saying that as long as some degree of moderation is followed, the effects are less harmful to the human body. The subculture of social drinking has seen a rapid rise, and everywhere you look you can easily spot people indulging in it. Generically speaking, any activity that involves alcohol abuse and occurs within the company of a group of people, can be classified in the category. Given below are some facts about this form of drinking.
In most commonly seen cases around the country, people who indulge in occasional drinking generally do not know when to stop. Since they do not have the habit, they tend to consume more than what they are capable of holding in. One of the major reasons for this is peer pressure. As a result of this sudden excessive amount of alcohol in the body, they tend to display aggressive tendencies and get violent. One of the problems widely seen is that, people begin confronting each other for minor issues. Sometimes the situation can escalate beyond control and it can result in a major showdown. Some people even display self-destructive tendencies and cause harm to themselves or to people and things around them, even if they are unprovoked.
Drunken Driving
This is one of the most common problems that are observed. Almost all cases of DUI (Driving Under the Influence) occur due to drinking. People tend to go out in groups and indulge in it thinking that they will not consume too much alcohol. Pretty soon they lose track of how much they have actually consumed, and lose control over their senses. They still believe that they are fit to drive and resort to drunken driving unknowingly. This can be extremely dangerous, not just for the person involved, but for other people on the road as well. About 80% of road accidents are caused due to drinking and driving by one of the parties. This situation can easily be avoided by being responsible, and by choosing one person as the designated driver, and this person should not consume any amount of alcohol whatsoever.
Chronic Illnesses
Its biggest disadvantage is that because of its moderation, people do not realize when they are actually becoming addicted to alcohol. It is fair to say that every case of alcoholism has stemmed from it in some manner. Nobody is born an alcoholic, and it is this act that exposes them to alcohol in the first place. Over a period of time an individual's level of consumption gradually increases and before they know it they get addicted to alcohol. The result is a variety of illnesses and diseases that are caused by the consumption of alcohol. It is a known fact that excessive consumption of alcohol leads to several problems like heart diseases, liver failure, hallucinations, brain damage, cardiovascular problems and hypertension. These ailments can be avoided if one refrains from drinking socially.
The one quality that makes social drinking very dangerous and harmful is people's denial. There is a very fine line between it and 'dangerous dependence'. It is true that most people have no idea whatsoever when they have crossed this line. What starts out as moderate consumption slowly generates into a habit, and pretty soon the individual begins to feel a strong dependence on alcohol. Vehement denial of this dependence is the first sign that something is not right. If a person is having trouble saying no or refusing every time they have an opportunity to drink socially, it is time to take some curative action.
It is a well-known fact that almost 14 million Americans consume alcohol, or have consumed alcohol at some point in their lives. This roughly translates to about one in every thirteen people. Every single day there are about 500,000 Americans receiving some kind of alcohol treatment. Around 75 million Americans have been exposed to alcoholism in their family members at some point of time. This is about 40% of the entire American population. These are not small or negligible numbers by any means. The number of people that have been gripped by or witnessed the effects of alcoholism is simply staggering. How many lives have been disrupted and negatively influenced by this ailment are mind-boggling, to say the least.
Alcoholism is a disease that is self-inflicted and voluntary. It is the freedom of choice that drives a person to alcoholism, and it is the nature of human beings to abuse whatever freedom they have been given. Social drinking is an activity that has been the root cause of a lot of trouble for a lot of people. If a friend or a family member of yours is showing characteristics of an alcoholic, you must support that person. Do not write off his/her ability to pull themselves out of this situation, and do whatever you can to help them stop drinking alcohol. If you learn how to deal with an alcoholic properly, you can rest assured that the said individual will make a full recovery.