Has the way we drink alcohol changed?
Has the way we drink changed dramatically over the past few decades? Of course it’s always been the case that people have taken alcohol – seemingly in order to get drunk – and over the centuries what we drink and how we drink it has evolved many times. A basic appreciation of Hogarth’s Beer Street and Gin Lane is evidence enough – albeit satirically so. At face value it warns of the dangers of consuming ‘new-fangled’ highly potent gin versus the purported benign effects of drinking traditional ‘olde English ale’. That comparison is not a million miles away from that made between the apparent binge drinking culture that appeared to morph out of the “normal” level of drinking of the 1960s, 1970s, & 1980s.
Even today – new ways of describing or labelling the effects of drinking on our behaviour seem to appear as each week passes. Who’d have thought that ‘drunkorexia’ would ever claim to exist as a real ‘thing’? Apparently it’s the ‘phenomenon’ of people who are concerned about their weight skipping meals in order to ‘save’ calories so they can be consumed as alcohol. Of course the condition shouldn’t be dismissed – the phenomenon is certainly creating a problem for those who suffer it.
The same as it ever was?
Of course – drink problems are largely the same as they’ve always been and are causing exactly the same kind of behaviours as they’ve always caused. You could say that the only differences in recent years are the amount of alcohol drunk (is there such a thing as a small glass of wine anymore?), the frequency of drinking, the heavy consumption of alcohol being considered normal (where did the repulsive phrase “mummy juice” come from?), the potency of the alcohol, and the early age at which youngsters are starting to drink. That said – I have no doubt Hogarth could have made the same, or at least similar, observations in 1751!
Tips to help you quit drinking alcohol
Allen Carr’s Easyway is the complete opposite of other methods of quitting drinking. Collectively we call those other methods ‘the willpower method’.
I looked at the most up to date version of the ‘Drink Aware’ site to see what tips they offer and as well intentioned as it is – it’s the complete reverse of Allen Carr’s Easyway. The advice given, rather than help someone quit drinking easily, is likely to cause abject misery and failure.
The willpower method suggests that you avoid temptation – with some advising that when you quit drinking you should find restaurants that don’t serve alcohol! Wouldn’t it be easier and so much more pleasant to change the way you think about alcohol so that you can enjoy going into any restaurant, bar, club, or party without feeling left out or deprived because you’re not drinking?
The hard way to quit drinking alcohol is to frequently remind yourself of why you want to quit drinking. Wouldn’t it be so much more wonderful to keep reminding yourself of how happy you are to be free?
Mainstream advice recommends cutting down gradually. Yet they don’t recognise that cutting down is even harder than quitting. How many times have you tried to cut down in the past and failed? It ends up as torture and misery.
Willpower methods bang on and on about “quitting”. The key is to realise that you’re not “giving up” anything at all. You’re getting rid of something that was causing you tremendous problems.
So many other methods of quitting drinking put fear in your mind – warning of terrible “serious” physical withdrawal symptoms. Yet when you probe further they substantiate them as being “irritability, poor concentration, feeling shaky, feeling tired, difficulty sleeping or bad dreams”. It doesn’t sound that tough does it? I know blokes who feel like that when their football team loses at the weekend!
Help lines and advice lines such as ‘Drink Aware’ go on to talk about physical symptoms including trembling hands, sweating, headache, nausea, vomiting, palpitations and lack of appetite….but in the small print they do actually admit that they are extremely uncommon. Even at their worse they sound no more unpleasant than a touch of flu! If you’re worried about what alcohol is doing to you – would you waste a single moment worrying about having flu for a few days in return for your freedom? Of course not. In fact – most people who quit drinking with Allen Carr’s Easyway do so without any unpleasantness at all. Even heavy drinkers.
Of course if you’re worried about quitting drinking you should talk to your GP but first maybe decide to find out a little more about Allen Carr’s Easyway to Quit Drinking and why you really don’t have to be afraid of alcohol withdrawal. Why not take a look at our alcohol seminar and on-demand service information and Frequently Asked Questions on our website?