This time of year as the weather gets nicer and the sun is out longer, it is common to see BBQ’s and cookouts, as well as concerts and festival. Although these can be very enjoyable, they typically involve drinking alcohol, and for individuals who have concerns with alcohol use this can be a very challenging time of year. For example, individuals may be influenced to drink heavily during the summer months when their peers are doing the same. Furthermore, studies have found that individuals associate alcohol consumption with socializing and leisure time. Some individuals will continue drinking alcohol despite negative consequences, leading to issues such as binge-drinking or alcohol use disorder. For individuals who are unsure of whether they do have a problem with drinking, there are many ways to get help, which are outlined below. There are also plenty of ways for people to have fun and enjoy the beautiful weather without drinking alcohol, even if it something you are not used to or familiar with. Alcohol usually does not create fun, but it can actually prevent fun! If you plan to go to an event that involves drinking and you do or may have concerns with consuming alcohol, here’s what you can do:
• Have an exit strategy – know what your triggers are for each situation and when it is time to leave. For some people, they may feel a physiological need to drink, which is a huge red flag that they should leave and get support.
• Learn and utilize coping skills – Going to individual therapy, group therapy, and/or AA meetings are very helpful and effective in learning coping skills for high-risk situations.
• Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
If you or someone you know are struggling with alcohol use and would like more information or support from a mental health professional by attending individual and/or group therapy, please contact Interact at 215-487-1330 or email us at Greenridge@intercommunityaction.org for more information about our counseling services.
Author: Kelsey Dailey, M.S.
Schuckit, M. A., Smith, T. L., Clausen, P., Skidmore, J., Shafir, A., & Kalmijn, J. (2016).
Drinking Patterns Across Spring, Summer, and Fall in 462 University
Students. Alcoholism, clinical and experimental research, 40(4), 889-96.