Perhaps from the outside looking in, it seems odd that a liquid, mostly water with some chemistry added in, could have such a significant impact on human behavior, thought, emotion, and reaction. Why does drinking change the way a person behaves?
According to the Treatment Episode Data Set Report (a research project done by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), about 50 percent of treatment center admissions in rural America are for alcohol.
In the U.S., we love our alcohol. That just goes without saying. Alcohol consumption has become a regular part of our lives and such a frequent and normal occurrence that we don’t even think twice about.
We know that there are unintended consequences of alcohol consumption. We know that drinking alcohol can lead to poor choices, drunk driving, fights, public drunkenness, legal issues, unhealthy sexual decisions, bad hangovers, failed drug tests, career problems, family problems, and so on.
It’s not hard to see plenty of signs that alcohol consumption —even excessive consumption—among women is being normalized. Taken one at a time, these signs may not be startling. But step back and look at the bigger picture and things look a little more sinister.
Imagine you go to a popular bar with friends on a Saturday night. That night, thousands of drinks will be served, some to people drinking excessively. You might not realize that every American is paying several hundred dollars a year for that excessive consumption of alcohol.