When It's Not Just A Casual Drink

Published: Oct. 18, 2023
From Weekend Stress Relief to Long-Term Health Issues: Are You at Risk?

Thanks in large part to the lasting effects of the pandemic and related stressors, many people have turned to alcohol as a coping mechanism and means to blow off steam. Although some may only drink on weekends and not daily, “this leaves many drinkers mistakenly assuming that a moderate average level of consumption is safe, regardless of drinking pattern,” said Rudolf Moos, a professor from Stanford University School of Medicine. A recent survey found that many moderate drinkers above age 30 actually end up binging on the weekend – defined as five or more drinks in a row within a short period of time.

Why does this matter if it’s moderate consumption? Well, the study finds that people who binged were about five times more likely to experience multiple alcohol problems, such as "getting hurt, emotional or psychological problems from alcohol, having to use more alcohol to get the same effect, and experiencing effects of alcohol at work, school or caring for children," said study coauthor Charles Holahan, professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. "What this means is that an individual whose total consumption is seven drinks on Saturday night presents a greater risk profile than someone whose total consumption is a daily drink with dinner, even though their average drinking level is the same," Holahan said.

We know the recent years have taken a major toll on our friends and family and even ourselves, and subsequently, unhealthy habits may have been adopted as a means of coping. But help is available.

If you're concerned about your drinking habits or the habits of others, reach out to Best Care EAP and schedule a confidential appointment with a counselor. Get started by completing our Counselor Registration Form. If you have issues with the form, please call our office at (402) 354-8000 or (800) 801-4182. We'll be glad to help.

For additional information on mental health and well-being topics, please visit our Resource Hub.