Why People Drink and Why it is Good to Stay Sober
Many reasons may lead people to drink; as with any other drug, the causes can be varied:
- Genetics: It seems that there is a specific genetic predisposition to fall into drinking. This would not justify all cases. In addition, there are heavy drinkers whose ancestors have been teetotalers or vice versa.
- Education: Education appears to play a more significant role than genetics in the development of alcoholism. The lack of good patterns in the home can lead to the misuse of alcohol. It is more usual for a person to develop a fondness for drinking when, as a young person, they see that the older people around them do it regularly.
- As a way to connect with others: Many drugs favor social relationships. The English custom of tea time is well known as an excuse to develop the gathering between family or friends. Every day there are more and more cafes where having a drink or a good cup of coffee is a way of being intimate. Other cultures, such as the native South Americans, take coca together to feel good about themselves and the other members of the group. Drugs fulfill a social function by making people lose personal insecurity and can be more trusting with their interlocutors. We must not forget that many young people enter the world of drugs precisely to not feel different from others. It is a way of feeling that the group they approach accepts them. The entrance to the world of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, or ecstasy, for example, occurs for this reason. Alcohol is the most used social drug, and Its use is continually encouraged in society. It appears advertised on television, related to a more accessible and happier way of life. It is common to drink alcohol at important moments in life, during the most important celebrations of the year, etc. All this makes the individual feel attracted to this drug. To avoid being different from others, you may have the urge to drink. It is challenging and requires personal effort not to drink when most people do. It is paradoxical how one of the harmful drugs is so valued socially.
- To overcome personal problems: Some people drink to overcome sadness, depression, or lack of personal happiness. Alcohol or narcotics can be a gateway to unhappiness.
- If you or a loved one are having difficulties getting and staying sober, contact us to answer questions on what level of attention is needed depending on the substance use disorder level and if sober living might be a good idea.
Alcoholics use at least five thought patterns to avoid relapse and remind themselves of Why it is Good to Stay Sober:
- The negative consequences. It involves remembering all the harmful effects of drinking. Keep in mind all negative memories, feelings of shame, humiliation, guilt, being out of control, being physically ill, or acting against your moral principles. These arguments or memories can be used prophylactically and as a technique to counteract the appetite or craving. By keeping these painful memories in mind, the alcoholic combats and eventually eliminates the choice of drinking as an acceptable solution to life’s problems. I remember yelling at people, drunk driving, accidents, and bruises. I recall that the next day after embarrassing my family and friends at gatherings. Being afraid of having done something terrible, killed someone, a hit and run. The humiliation of my friends, the shame at my job, I lost the woman I loved, and I hurt my family so much; I let everyone down so many times. Opposing arguments emotionally enhance memories about the effects of our behavior in very personal areas, for example, physical damage or sequelae due to accidents, aggressions, fights, or falls. Beyond the familiar feelings of guilt of the drinker, these arguments allude to moral responsibility for their behavior, which frequently begins with: if there weren’t. The sober person often remembers being in trouble with the police, being arrested or charged with domestic violence, or even going to jail. Memories of financial problems, unsuccessful attempts to detox and rehab, hangovers, lies, vomiting, nausea, tremors, physical misery, and sadness are essential. Also, consider losses of all kinds, be they material, friendships, opportunities, image, etc. For others, damage refers to the denial of their actual appearance, of recognizing the loss of what they had and their fears. Some come to create an atrocious image when they refer, for example, to the poison of alcohol.
- The benefits of sobriety. These arguments inspire the advantages of sobriety and complement the previous one. It is not enough to lament and fear the harms of alcohol; we must also celebrate the benefits of gravity. This is especially appropriate when experiencing high-stress situations, with a high risk of relapsing when use has been stopped. The benefits of abstinence extend to all facets of life. The alcoholic can remind himself that he now has better health, a better relationship with his partner, better family relationships, better income, and a sense of personal freedom that is unique and special to each one. Now I can save money. It’s not like before; now we
do nice things together; I have many responsibilities today. I can’t drink anymore and have to respond to (Any critical figure in the person’s life, their children, relatives, parents, grandchildren, friends, partner, etc.) When I don’t drink, others look at me well; they look for me; they need me. I’m a good person when I’m sober. Now I’m in the light of sobriety, so I can’t go into the darkness of consumption. There isn’t a day that I don’t give thanks for living sober. That I am not surprised by the beautiful pattern of things that happened to me today. Some arguments are based on the new emotional stability, which recent research attributes to neurochemical changes in the production of brain peptides. For example, I feel comfortable and have peace of mind. I have so much to lose, nothing to gain. Nothing is more important than my sobriety, nothing. I can believe it’s the way to relieve myself of this, but I have so much to lose! Look at me now. I have freedom; it’s not worth losing. I have invested so much; it has cost me so much. I found joy and satisfaction and am in a natural state, not intoxicated; I love life and see images from before and now. In short, it is observed as a cognitive process of maturation to use this type of argument to avoid relapse through cognitions that value the positive of abstinence, creating an adverse emotional reaction towards addiction and the losses.
- Rationality. It is based on the theories of rational behavior, which emphasize that no one does things without making decisions, and the only person responsible for these determinations is oneself. The abstinent alcoholic will reason that deciding to stop drinking was because it was the most sensible thing to do at that time and in that context. Sobriety is built through a voluntary choice; therefore, it is rational. There are no valid reasons to drink; there’s no need to do it. I can’t convince myself otherwise, but I’m entirely sure now. I will not take chances, and there is no way to go back, no and no. I set out to do it and achieved it, and now there is no way to go back. I may be failing in other things, but not in this one! Each person will choose their booklet of reasons against relapse and can update them throughout their sobriety.
- Avoid the first drink. This is a central theme of the Alcoholics Anonymous program and is used in one way or another by recovering alcoholics, whether or not they are AA members. This argument is based on the conviction that the alcoholic person has recognized the loss of control over drinking and that said loss is irrecoverable. This concept was described as the central axis of Alcoholic Dependence Syndrome. In this argument, social drinking is not an option, nor is controlled drinking, and it is the basis of the principle of total abstinence for the person who develops alcohol dependence. I will not drink today; tomorrow will be another day; I will never drink again, but one day at a time; I will not serve myself even today, just for today. I’m a real alcoholic, and I can’t control it. I’ve committed and can’t break it no matter what happens. I’m incapable of drinking, and to avoid slipping, I don’t get into slippery places; there is no relief with a drink, only more anguish; there is no enjoyment. I have already tried a thousand times and failed. The argument of “being able to enjoy drinking” is countered by the conviction and the repetitive reminder that such apparent pleasure is illusory since there is no way to stop consumption once it is restarted and that any form of consumption is risky. Interestingly, for AA, the concept of risk rises to include cough syrups, chocolates filled with liquor, or cakes prepared with liquors, which are seen as a trigger to reawaken the excessive desire for drink. This belief comes from the idea that the alcoholic individual is born with an “allergy,” a concept assimilated in The Big Book of AA since it distinguishes the moderate drinker who can drink, definitively and clearly, from the “alcoholic or problem drinker” who develops an illness and cannot drink responsibly.
- The Power of Faith. This is the argument from spirituality. Several philosophical positions agree that the human being is a biological, psychological, social, and spiritual being, and the alcoholic disease devastates all spheres of his humanity. Appealing to a higher power to help you think consistently with your experiences and moral expectations has significant strength. Instead of just using inspirational language, the person delights into building a conscious personal relationship with their creator. The recovering alcoholic seeks a sense of being cared for, protected, and trusting in a higher force.
- On the other hand, if a position of belief in a superior power is assumed, it is implicit that each human being is continually under the observation and supervision of said power, omnipresent, and by incorporating this realization, understands that he can deceive everyone else except himself. This cognitive process can range from an occasional invocation when you feel vulnerable to a constant attitude of conscious prayer directed towards the higher power. Many find the Serenity Prayer helpful, repeating themselves many times: Give me the courage to change the things I can change, for example. With this argument, a transformation of consciousness is carried out towards a continuous relationship in the present moment, where “character defects” such as falsehood, deceit, and lies no longer fit.
Today I don’t fight, and I give everything to the creator; I leave everything in the hands of the creator.
I ask him not to let me go mad. You have to help me, and I do everything I can, don’t abandon me now; only my faith can save and help me; the one above knows everything.