Thanks in large part to 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,” per Rudolf Moos, Professor emeritus of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine, shared in a statement regarding a recent survey. This 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.
Continue to read on in this recent article shared by CNN to learn more about this study, what constitutes binge drinking, and help assess if your drinking is a problem. We know the recent years have taken a major toll on our healthcare professionals, and subsequently many have adopted unhealthy habits as a means of coping.
If you know a healthcare professional that is experiencing an alcohol/substance use disorder, please encourage them to reach out to the NE LAP at (800) 851-2336 or (402) 354-8055 to begin their recovery process.
Michelle Hruska, LIMHP, LADC
NE LAP Coordinator