“Secondhand Drinking” – the negative impacts of a person’s drinking behaviors on others – is “A Phenomenon That Affects Millions.”
This title is the first in my new series of Quick Guides. Why this series? They’re to share 21st Century brain and substance misuse-related research and science in a way people can use the information to self-elect change. This research and science has unleashed an explosion in discoveries about the human brain, its development, its functioning, what changes it, what can heal it, its ability to regenerate cells and so much more.
But it doesn’t help if we don’t understand this science, which is the point of my Quick Guide series. Each Guide addresses a specific topic in a short, easy-to-read manner, with key concepts hyperlinked for further information, including the Quick Guide to Addiction Recovery | What Helps, What Doesn’t.
About the Quick Guide to Secondhand Drinking
The explosion in 21st century brain research is radically changing our understanding of what happens to the brain when it’s under the influence of alcohol and when it’s on the receiving end of a person’s drinking behaviors. As a result, this science is giving us new language for talking about a phenomenon that affects 90 million Americans and hundreds of million more people worldwide. This phenomenon is Secondhand Drinking (SHD).
As stated, secondhand drinking refers to the negative impacts of a person’s drinking behaviors on others. These behaviors are not intentional. They are not the “real” person coming out, rather they’re the consequence of the chemical in alcoholic beverages changing brain function when alcohol is misused. Drinking behaviors include: verbal, physical or emotional abuse; driving while impaired; “falling asleep” most nights right after dinner (and the beers and wine consumed after work); being so drunk one is not aware of their surroundings or actions, thereby putting sober friends in the role of protector and monitor, making sure s/he doesn’t wander off, have unplanned or unwanted sex, drive impaired…; domestic violence; committing a crime; creating a safety risk or productivity burden for co-workers (e.g., reporting to work hung-over); sexual assault; going off on random tangents; being especially loving or attentive and expecting it to be reciprocated; generating significant economic costs to others related to lost workplace productivity, health care expenses for problems related to excessive drinking; and criminal justice and law enforcement expenses related to alcohol consumption, to name a few.
In other words, SHD crosses spectrums from those directly affected by SHD — family members living with someone whose behaviors change when they drink, for example — to a community’s citizens paying the quality-of-life costs and/or tax dollar contributions for law enforcement and criminal justice expenses of alcohol-related crimes. It can be as indirect as a co-worker whose own workplace experience suffers as a consequence of their fellow-employee’s ongoing exposure to SHD.
People on the receiving end of drinking behaviors can experience a range of negative physical, emotional and/or quality-of-life impacts, often related to ongoing activation of the brain’s fight-or-flight stress response system. Thus attacking the underlying problem, a person’s drinking behaviors, from the other side – preventing and protecting oneself from secondhand drinking – offers a sea change opportunity.
So how does a person protect themselves from secondhand drinking without interfering with another person’s right to drink? What does stress and stress-related brain and physical changes have to do with SHD? How is it possible secondhand drinking affects 90 million Americans? And perhaps most importantly, why should we care?
Where to Purchase Quick Guide to Secondhand Drinking | A Phenomenon That Affects Millions
You can purchase it from most eBook retailers. The image to the right shares a few. Here are the links to Kindle, iTunes and Nook. If you don’t have any of these devices, Kindle has a free reading app that allows you to read the Kindle version on most major smartphones, tablets and computers.
With 90 million Americans affected, you’ll want to check out this Quick Guide. Even if you don’t think it affects you personally as an HR manager or teacher or law enforcement officer or therapist or the neighbor next door, you’d be surprised how it does. Additionally, it’s a quick read, and its protection and prevention messages may be just what you’ve been looking for but could never put your finger on why.