There are few aspects of New Jersey life untouched by alcohol. The substance is interwoven into our intricate culture, our society, and even, these days, our very livelihood. It is nearly impossible to avoid alcohol all together and so recovering alcoholics must be aware and equipped with strategies of how to deal with a culture that is no longer more dry than not. The last three decades have seen a drastic change in the way adults drink, and the way they are expected to interact with alcohol. Nearly every restaurant sports a separate drinks menu, with a breadth and selection that often rivals the food: wine by the bottle and the glass, microbrews and seasonals, and specialty cocktails abound. Most holidays have some drinks or alcoholic traditions that go along with them. Christmas sees families toasting with spiked eggnog, and clinking their ice cold brewskis together on the Fourth of July. Birthdays and celebrations are punctuated with the popping of champagne corks, and during the difficult times, we have a drink to calm our nerves.

Any occasion where family is gathered is treated as an occasion to drink – good or bad. In fact, there’s an understanding these days that no one can survive interacting with their family sober. Indeed, even at kids birthday parties, there is almost always someone smuggling drinks out to the adults as they watch the kids play in the yard.

Sporting events are some of the worst offenders out there because it is as if the experience of competition cannot be truly thrilling enough without a pale ale in one’s hand. If you’re watching the game at the stadium, or the field there are workers who come to your seat with the express purpose of serving you your next beer. But even if you are watching the game at home on the television, every sporting event on t.v. is chock full of sponsorships and advertisements designed to tempt you with booze. And if you want to watch a game outside of your house, you rarely have any option other than going to a sports bar where the crowd is apt to be loudly intoxicated.

These days, even wound into our work culture is the notion that the default location for any after work socializing is a nearby bar, and office holiday parties are notoriously intoxicated affairs. “I need a drink” is a common way of expressing that it’s been a hard day – it is a baseline assumption that there is a requirement of alcohol just to survive in a job day to day. Our jobs have become so demanding and high stress that we have started to self medicate just to get through the day, and our work culture these days is more than happy to oblige by offering us a drink.


Why Is New Jersey and US Alcohol Addiction a Problem?

Discovery InstituteAll of these pressures stem from the same core thinking – that in order to “loosen up” and be more yourself, you need to be at least a little bit drunk. This is very dangerous thinking for several reasons. First, alcohol is a mind-altering drug. It doesn’t make anyone more like themselves – it by definition alters them, makes them less like themselves. And not only are you less like you, you are not as sharp, discreet, or capable as normal either. The second big problem is that when you have tied your social ability or self-worth to alcohol, alcohol becomes the default answer when the social interaction isn’t going the way you want.

Tongue-tied? Have a beer. Feeling down? Pour a margarita. Lacking confidence? Pound a shot. Make it a double!

These are all social crutches. These are all lies told to us by alcohol venders who want us to believe that they are a necessary part of our everyday lives. They are betting on chemical dependence to keep people coming back for more self medication, for more emotional lubricant. But this greasing of our emotional wheels comes at a cost. The sort of support that people are looking for emotionally is work that alcohol is categorically incapable of doing. Alcohol is far more dangerous than it is treated in our culture, more dangerous than most are willing to admit. The fact that it is treated as a solution instead of the problem that it is, is truly staggering.


Sober Living in NJ is Possible Through Discovery Institute Alcohol Rehab NJ

Alcohol is an extremely addictive substance and with the way we drain goblet after rocks glass after flute in New Jersey, it is no wonder we lose so many people to substance abuse every year. There is hope through Discovery Institute’s Alcohol Rehab in New Jersey. There you will find a competent and talented group of licensed medical clinicians and therapists who will support you in your journey to getting sober. Call today for more information.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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