Are You a Responsible Drinker?
While alcohol use is accepted in our society, it is critical for each of us to achieve a responsible approach to social drinking. This approach can best be achieved through several methods. These include:
- Thinking about our drinking behavior;
- Increasing our self-control; and
- Becoming aware of things that occur before we choose to drink.
Thinking About Drinking
There comes a time when every drinker must gaze into the mirror and ask:
- “Why do I drink?”
- “Do I drink too much?” and
- “How can I stop?”
Abstinence—that is, not drinking at all—is very difficult to achieve in our society, since outside influences contribute to our drinking behavior. Unlike other self-destructive habits, however, alcohol use is socially acceptable. In fact, drinking has become a routine part of many of our daily activities, including business luncheons, evening parties, and visiting with friends. Even occasional drunkenness is tolerated in many circles.
Drinking is so ingrained in our culture that to refrain from it may be seen as a denial of that culture or an admission that we cannot conform to what is socially acceptable. To refuse a drink when offered, however, is a step in the direction of self-control.
Self-control is key when it comes to drinking. Counselors can facilitate your efforts to control this behavior, but just wanting to have more control does not solve the problem. You are the only person who controls your drinking.
So, how do we control our own drinking? Counselors generally focus on several self-help or self-control skills. These include: