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The Grey Area Before Addiction

My died a year ago, today, of alcohol related liver disease and internal bleeding. He had been going through a hard time with his marriage and business for a few years. I didn’t see him much during this time and my family & I didn’t know how bad things had gotten. I feel so strongly that if he knew about what I blog about here, he could have pulled through this time.

Harvard doctor’s say most all people will go through a time of heavy drinking in their life – ususally in college, then they pull out of it and slow down. My theory is that this time of heavy drinking is no longer limited to college. The latest studies all show new demographics of heavy drinking – especially upper middle class women, the elderly and, now college students have taken binge drinking to a whole new level. I also believe you can add the newly divorced, stay at home moms and stressed out techies.

Here are some of the “experts” in this field…

The new study, done by researchers with the CDC and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, found that about 70% of all American adults drink alcohol at least now and then, about 30% report excessive drinking, and 3.5% have alcohol use disorder. It is higher among heavy drinkers (10%) and binge drinkers, ranging from 4% among those who report binge drinking once or twice a month to 30% among those who binge drink 10 times or more in a month.

Almost alcoholic

The knowledge that only 10% of heavy drinkers are alcoholic may be reassuring, but that doesn’t mean the other 90% aren’t have problems with drinking. I spoke with Joseph Nowinski, PhD, coauthor of Almost Alcoholic. In the book, Nowinski, a clinical psychologist in private practice, and coauthor Robert Doyle, MD, a psychiatrist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital, describe how drinking negatively affects up to one third of drinkers who aren’t classified as having alcohol use disorder.

“There are many people in the almost alcoholic zone who are having alcohol-related problems but who don’t connect the dots between these problems and their drinking,” says Nowinski. “These people dismiss the possibility of being an alcoholic—and they truly don’t qualify under current definitions—but may need to take a step back to look at how drinking is affecting their lives.”

The marketing now is more prevalent than ever for the glamourous side of alcohol, especially wine to women & beer & sports.

Hanger employee sick days after super bowl have risen to a new level.

But our society continues to send the message that if you have a small or large problem with drinking you are an alcoholic and need to stop. That is the problem. Which also includes alot of judgement, blaming, and the usual slander that society loves to indulge in. No one wants to stop, or admit it and be judged, which means no one practices moderation, or nutritional support, or mindfulness because they won’t AKNOWLEDGE there might be a small issue (or large) issue.

NOW we are finally recognizing that people can use a little help with all addictions or addictions to be – and that is what this blog is about. For years I have been giving nutritional advice to friends about offsetting the damages of drinking, but now I feel it is more about the whole picture. Nutritional support through this time is very important, but mental & spiritual support is too.

It could be sugar, alcohol or what ever – but recognizing it and working with it and through it is better than going down that slippery slope.