National Vodka Day
Today is National Vodka Day, yes you read that right, National Vodka Day. Lately, it seems that every day is “national something or other” day, whether it be real or fictional- Americans find something to celebrate. It comes as no shock, in a culture seemingly fixated on drinking, that many of these random “holidays” often revolve around some type of alcohol, be it vodka, tequila, beer, wine, etc. America has a very obvious, and unhealthy, alcohol culture. Every event, from football games and holiday parties, to bridal showers and summer cookouts, involves drinking. Young people joke about one day “pregaming” their children’s birthday parties, drinking on an empty stomach to get drunk “faster” is a way millennial’s save money, day drinking is normalized with boozy brunches and binge drinking is celebrated by toting the name “weekend warriors.” Our culture is obsessed with getting outside ourselves, and we do it by drinking every chance we get and ignoring the dark consequences and realities.
Alcohol is deadly, it kills more people every year than the opioid epidemic that we have been viciously fighting against for the past ten years. It’s estimated that over 88,000 people a year die from alcohol related causes, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. We don’t discuss alcohol poisoning or DUI’s when we talk about the drug epidemic. We don’t discuss the violence that alcohol often plays a part in. We don’t display alcohol related deaths on a sign when you enter the county, the way we do with heroin overdoses, because we don’t see alcohol as a “real drug,” and that is a real problem. Most people who drink excessively, also known as binge drinking, do not become alcohol dependent, but do experience short- and long-term problems associated with drinking. Binge drinking is considered consuming four or more drinks per occasion. If you read that, and are thinking to yourself, “Who doesn’t have four or more drinks at the bar” or “Who wouldn’t take advantage of an open bar at a wedding,” your judgement may be clouded by America’s alcohol culture. The way we think and talk about alcohol is damaging and has long term effects on our ideas surrounding alcohol abuse and alcoholism. All too often, we forget about the number of negative side effects alcohol has.
Alcohol has a number of both short term and long-term health risks, from motor vehicle crash, to breast cancer. Some of the negative short-term side effects of drinking are violence, such as homicide, suicide and assault, alcohol poisoning, car accidents and fetal alcohol syndrome in pregnant woman. The long-term effects of drinking are high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, breast, liver or colon cancer, anxiety, depression and alcohol dependence. If you or someone you know struggles with excessive drinking, binge drinking, or daily alcohol use, help is available. Fresh Start Recovery Center can help you. To find out which level of care is the right one for you, call to speak to one of our admissions specialists today at 833-440-8646.