Are Your Summer Drinking Habits Cause for Concern?
Many people view the summertime as a time to kick back, relax a little bit, and enjoy the warm weather. That mindset also often sets the stage for overconsumption of alcohol. From block parties, float trips, weddings, and lazy days at the beach, these activities can easily become alcohol-fueled events.
Why Alcohol Consumption Increases In the Summertime
Research published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol found that, in terms of annual seasonality in alcohol use, the summer months were the most popular time (excluding December).1 Although heavy drinkers are likely to continue those drinking habits year-round, some individuals may be influenced to begin drinking heavily during the summer months when their peers are doing the same.
One survey also found that respondents associate alcohol consumption with socializing and downtime. The summer months are full of both, so naturally, the drinking habits of many people may increase during this time. Holidays like the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, and Labor Day may also play a role in this behavior.2
Even annual sales reports reflect an increase in alcohol consumption during the summertime. According to Bevspot, a cloud software company for bars and restaurants, an analysis of annual beverage sales data revealed a spike in beer sales during the months of July and August followed by a considerable drop throughout the fall season.3
Although an important part of the self-care process is making time for fun and leisure activities, this should not be confused with a license to abuse alcohol or drugs. There is never a good reason to overindulge in alcoholic beverages, as the consequences far outweigh any short-term benefit a user might seek.
How Much Alcohol Is Too Much?
Some individuals with a family history of substance abuse or prior addiction problems will avoid alcohol altogether. They may have recently completed a drug and alcohol rehab program and are actively working to maintain their sobriety on a daily basis.
Others may choose to consume alcohol, but may not realize when they’ve had too much until it’s too late. Patterns of long-term binge drinking and heavy drinking can easily lead to full-blown addiction, so it’s important to know how much is too much.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines “at-risk” drinking as a pattern of alcohol consumption that could increase a person’s risk for alcohol use disorder as well as other health and personal problems. For men, “at risk” alcohol consumption is having more than four drinks on any single day (or 14 drinks per week). For women, it is having more than three drinks on any single day (or 7 drinks per week).
Of course, this is not an exact science and it may even vary from person to person, but generally speaking, consuming too much alcohol too often will lead to adverse physical, social, and emotional effects.
If your family has approached you about your drinking habits or you feel like you may be struggling with alcohol use disorder, an alcohol rehab program can provide the life skills, peer support, education, and behavioral therapy that is necessary to overcome your addiction.
Treating Alcohol Use Disorder and Addiction
It’s not always easy to diagnose alcohol use disorder, especially in someone you love, but taking an honest look at a person’s behaviors and drinking habits is essential to their overall wellness and the well-being of those around them. The NIAAA cites several signs and symptoms of alcohol use disorder that you can look for.5 They include:
- Drinking more alcohol or for a longer period of time than intended
- Wanting to stop drinking but being unable
- Getting into situations while drinking that increased their chances of being hurt
- Having to drink more than they once did to achieve the same effects
- Continuing to drink despite the fact that it causes social, physical, and emotional problems
- Spending a lot of time drinking or recovering from hangovers
- Neglecting obligations to family, work, and friends as a result of drinking habits
- Giving up hobbies and leisure activities to drinking alcohol instead
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when the effects of alcohol wear off
- If you or a loved one is showing any of the signs and symptoms listed above, you/they may be suffering from alcohol use disorder, but you are not alone. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 15.1 million adults ages 18 and older suffered from alcohol use disorder. Unfortunately, only 6.7 percent of adults who had AUD in the past year received treatment.6
Taking the first step to seek help is the hardest part of overcoming alcohol addiction. Although addiction recovery will require hard work, dedication, and time, it can be done.
At Extra Mile Recovery Center, our alcohol and drug rehab program is designed to help individuals who struggle with chronic relapse. We provide the tools and skills necessary to avoid relapse and maintain long-term sobriety for a fulfilling life in recovery. Our addiction treatment professionals provide personalized treatment programs to best meet your every need. Even if you’ve tried to get sober multiple times and failed, we can help you.
Don’t let yourself or a loved one live another day shrouded in addiction. It may just seem like summer fun, but alcohol addiction is no joke. Get help today by calling our rehab center. A member of our admissions team is waiting and ready to help you begin your recovery journey.