A teetotaler is someone who does not drink adult beverages at any time, for any reason. Believe it or not, there are natural teetotalers in the world. They do not refrain from drinking for religious, health, or even social reasons. They refrain because they have a natural dislike of the taste. Such people are not even remotely tempted to drinking an alcoholic beverage.
Other people are born with the taste just waiting to be activated by their first sip. They never encountered an alcoholic beverage they didn’t love. They find a reason to drink everyday, whether or not there is a party to attend. Never mind Facebook, their social network of choice is based around drinking beer.
According to a recent study, about 1 in 5 people in the UK are teetotalers. Some have criticized the findings of this study because it didn’t take the high influx of Muslims (teetotalers by religion) into account. Popular media is definitely on the side of social drinking. The message from every other TV ad is that there is something wrong with you if you aren’t having a beer (or three) with your friends every evening after work. But beyond religion prohibitions and a natural aversion to the taste, there are some good reasons why alcoholic abstinence might be a good policy for you. Here are three:
You never have to quit a habit that you don’t start. Considering the number and diversity of people who end up needing a professional recovery program due to a drinking problem, it takes a certain amount of hubris to automatically assume that you will be immune from alcohol-related problems.
Sandy’s Place recognizes the fact that substance abuse recovery for women can pose different challenges. If you are a stay-at-home mom, you don’t just get a sabbatical from raising the kids. Add to the mix a necessary income outside of the home, and time off for recovery might seem like a bridge too far. You should know that there is always a way for the willing. But the better way to deal with recovery is to not need it in the first place.
Quite apart from alcoholism, there are health-related concerns associated with drinking. According to the National Institute of Health:
Drinking a lot over a long time or too much on a single occasion can damage the heart, causing problems including:
- Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle
- Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat
- High blood pressure
The same article details threats to other aspects of health such as:
- Immune system
These are not minor concerns. Heavy drinking is not the same as alcoholism. It is possible to be a heavy, habitual drinker without a clinical diagnosis. Alcohol-related diseases and complications are not just for alcoholics. Also, there is no clear line between moderate drinker and alcoholic. If there is such a line, it is hard to recognize until long after you have crossed it., It is true that for some small amount of health problems, low doses of alcohol can be of benefit. But for every one such health reason to drink, there are a hundred to leave it alone.
For the Children
Even if you happen to be one of the rare souls that can imbibe copious amounts of alcohol without apparent ill-effect, there is an excellent chance that will not be the case for the majority of your circle of influence. Your children will be among those who are directly influenced by your actions. If you have a trusted place in the community, your kids will not be the only ones you effect. It is almost impossible to dissuade your kids from engaging in behavior they have seen you model.
Social drinking is a choice, not a necessity. Refusing to drink is also a choice. Treatment issues, health issues, and influence issues are just three reasons to just say NO. The reasons to say YES are far less compelling.