Social drinking is not only acceptable in our society, but it’s often encouraged. Whether celebrating a win at a sporting event, toasting to a wedding, or getting together with friends at a party or festival, alcohol is often present, and a majority of the crowd partakes.
Unfortunately, for some social drinkers, there’s a fine line between enjoying a few drinks during Happy Hour and having one too many and taking risks; many of these types of drinkers avoid or ignore the signs of problematic drinking. While drinking alcohol is present at most “social” events, alcohol can have negative social effects, too, which affect the wellbeing of a drinker:
Accidents & DUI Convictions
Each year, thousands of people are injured and killed in an accident that was caused by a drunk driver. Despite the strict state laws that prohibit driving under the influence if you have a BAC of 0.08 or higher, many social (and chronic) drinkers are unaware of how much they have consumed.
When you’re out in public with friends, having a couple of cocktails with dinner, you may think you’re “good” to drive. Even if you aren’t legally drunk, you could still be impaired, and you are increasing your risk of causing an accident or even a DUI conviction.
Poor & Risky Decisions
Getting behind the wheel of a car after drinking isn’t the only risky decision that one can make. Maybe you decide to go home with someone you don’t know or accept a ride from a stranger or someone who has been drinking. Alcohol impairs judgment and more often than not, people let their guard down and become trusting. Impaired decisions can put you at risk for injury, being assaulted, or robbed.
Society treats social drinking as normal and fun until someone does something embarrassing or dangerous. The “party animal” is the life of the party until he or she has one too many and starts a fight, passes out in a compromising and vulnerable position, or breaks things.
In the age of everything going viral overnight, your words and actions can be recorded and posted on social media before you even finish your drink. We all know and have seen the downsides of “going viral.”
One’s alcohol consumption can damage relationships from intimate and family to work. Let’s say you drank too much the night before and are too hungover to go to work. While an occasional “sick” day goes unnoticed, leaving your coworkers to pick up the slack too often can strain your work relationship and may even put you at risk for being fired.
Alcohol can bring friends and loved ones together, but it can also divide and destroy relationships. Have a heated discussion with an uncle while drinking Scotch or embarrassed your significant other at a work party? There may be so many times you can say “Sorry,” until someone stops accepting your apologies.
Drinking alcohol isn’t always a bad thing, but it’s best to keep drinking habits in check to ensure that you stay happy, safe, and healthy.