Why Is Drinking After Work Common?
To many, alcohol is an easy way to relax after a stressful day. You may find yourself pouring a drink after work because work is very stressful for many people regardless of the occupation. Yes, alcohol may seem like an easy way to relax but it is certainly not the best way. It can have short- and long-term effects on your body.
Having a drink (or a couple) occurs frequently after work. Stress and substance abuse, such as alcohol, can be common in people who do not have effective ways to manage their stress. Despite the relaxing effects you think alcohol may have, it is a depressant. Alcohol disrupts the chemical balance in your brain and affects the way you think, feel and behave. For someone who is experiencing a stressful day, wine after work, or beer whatever you prefer, may help you feel at ease but the feeling does not last long.
Drinking after work has also become a common culture for work-related activities. Many companies have found that it is a way to celebrate recent accomplishments from the company or it can bring people together to network and brainstorm. Despite being in a work-related setting there is the risk of overconsumption. This can have serious repercussions for both the individual and their company.
What are the Dangers Of “Stress Drinking”?
Drinking after work is not the best way to relieve stress after a stressful workday. As stated before alcohol consumption can have effects on your body short- and long-term, especially when consumed regularly and frequently.
Relying on alcohol to mask the stressful feeling you have after work could cause you to drink more alcohol. This can lead to a tolerance to alcohol. This means that you will need to drink more alcohol over time to get the same relaxing feelings you had in the past. Alcohol dependence is the result of this because stress does not go away with alcohol, it could pile up. So instead of dealing with what is stressing you out, you use alcohol to give you a short-term relaxation feeling.
Short-Term and Long-Term Health Risk Of Alcohol
Some short-term effects that alcohol can have are:
- Injuries, such as falls, and motor vehicle crashes: Drinking alcohol can make you unstable on your feet which can result in falls while at home. Also, alcohol can make it difficult for you to concentrate, impair your judgment, and make quick reactions to a certain situation. So if you drive after drinking you may be involved in a car accident.
- Alcohol poisoning: Alcohol poisoning is a medical emergency that results from high blood alcohol levels. Symptoms include vomiting, unconsciousness, and slurred speech. If you notice these symptoms in someone who has been drinking, call for medical attention immediately.
- Miscarriage and stillbirth or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs): The first couple of weeks in a fetus is the most crucial. This is also too early for a woman to notice that she is pregnant. Due to it being such a critical period in a fetus development alcohol can cause miscarriage due to the fetus being unable to process alcohol as well as an adult. Alcohol can also cause FASDs which can cause deformities in the joints, limbs, or fingers of the infant and slow physical growth before and/or after birth.
- Sexually transmitted diseases: When drinking at a bar with other people, including some of your coworkers, you may engage in risky sexual behaviors included unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners. These behaviors can result in sexually transmitted diseases including HIV.
The long-term effects that can occur from drinking alcohol frequently are:
- High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems
- Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, voice box, liver, colon, and rectum.
- Weakening of the immune system increases the chances of you getting sick.
- Learning and memory problems, including dementia.
- Mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.
- Social problems, including family problems, job-related problems, and unemployment.
- Alcohol use disorders or alcohol dependence. Which can make it harder for you to quit.
By limiting the amount you drink, especially after work, you can reduce the risk of these short- and long-term effects on your body.
6 Tips To Avoid The Urge To Drink Alcohol To Cope With Stress
Here are 6 tips you can do to avoid the urge to drink alcohol to cope with stress
- Limit the number of drinks you have: This will limit the short- and long-term effects on your body. This will also help you get the number of drinks you drink to 0 as you keep yourself accountable. To help you achieve limiting your number you can download drinking counting apps on your phone to help you keep track of how much alcohol you’ve had.
- Have compassion for yourself: You might have heard the saying “it is easier said than done”, and that is true. When you’re so used to a routine of drinking 2 beers after work, or other alcohol, it is hard to break that routine. So give yourself some credit for taking steps to reduce your alcohol intake. Making small goals may help as well. For example, having a drink after work every other day then reducing it to every 2 days. Remember to be kind to yourself.
- Speaking with your HR department: Your company may have frequent work-related events where alcohol is involved. You can make suggestions to your HR department to include sober activities. You can still celebrate achievement, network, and brainstorm sober. It can be better to do these things sober because people can work with a clear head, not say things they don’t mean, or make promises they cannot keep. Some sober events include bowling, mini-golf, or escape rooms.
- Swapping out the alcohol: Instead of drinking beer after work or pouring another alcoholic drink, try finding non-alcoholic drinks that you like. Having a selection of alcohol-free drinks at home that you like is a good way to avoid alcohol. You can have a different non-alcoholic drink every night to avoid getting bored of the same drinks. Also, when around your coworkers remember that drinking alcohol is not required just because everybody else is drinking. You can swap out alcohol for flavored sparkling water or soda.
- Finding alternative activities to replace alcohol: Instead of pouring yourself a glass of wine to reduce stress after a long workday, how about trying to pick up another activity to reduce stress besides alcohol. You could go for a walk, do yoga, or find an exercise class that occurs around the time you are off from work. You can also find yourself a hobby such as sewing or reading books. If you’re not sure what will work for you yet, try a few activities a couple of times and pick the one best for you. This will help you focus on something else besides alcohol. Watch how these activities eventually take the place of alcohol in your life.
- Ask for support: Reducing the amount of alcohol you drink can be very challenging. You should not do it alone, especially when many people are going through the same challenges as you. You can join a social group that shares the same hobbies as you, such as arts and crafts, yoga, or music. You can also be connected with other sober people who share similar interests as you on apps or online communities. Connecting with other sober people, or people who are also trying to avoid frequent alcohol consumption after work can help people stay accountable. It is like having an accountability partner. Remember there are a lot of people in the same boat as you, so don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed.
Treatment For Alcohol Addiction At Coastal Detox
Alcohol withdrawal can be very dangerous and painful, and in some cases fatal. It is never a good idea to stop cold turkey or try to detox alone. Completing a medically supervised detoxification protocol within a licensed detox facility is the safest and most effective way.
If you or a family member is dealing with alcohol addiction and are ready to take the next step towards recovery, Coastal Detox is here to help.
Coastal Detox is located in the city of Stuart on Florida’s treasure coast. We are a licensed and accredited medical detoxification facility. At Coastal Detox, our mission is to help each client experience detox from alcohol and other substance addiction with ease. To begin recovery, the first step is detoxification, to rid your body of any drugs and alcohol. We provide safe and highly effective medically supervised detox for all substances of abuse.
If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse, and you have been putting it off please contact Coastal Detox today. A future free from substance abuse is possible.