Even Dogs Experience Secondhand Drinking

Even Dogs Experience Secondhand Drinking

I wanted to share the post I just wrote for my new website, SHD Prevention, titled: What if the Dog Had Been a Spouse, Parent or Child

In that post, I shared Budweiser’s 2014 drink responsibly PSA titled, “Friends are Waiting.” If you’ve watched this 1 minute PSA – along with the more than 22 million others who’ve viewed it on YouTube – you can appreciate how heartwarming it is.

But as I shared in my post on SHDPrevention.com, this PSA falls short of the expanded message…

Drinking Responsibly Means Not Causing Secondhand Drinking

Quoting from my article,

What if the devoted Cooper had been a spouse, child or parent?

Replace Cooper’s whimpers, looking towards the window when car lights approach and forlornly laying down to wait, with a spouse watching the clock, repeatedly texting, “where are you?,” calling Luke’s friends to see if they know where he is and calling local hospitals to see if Luke’s been admitted having been in a car accident. And what if Luke and his wife had children, and her angst was in turn affecting them: “Mommy, where’s Daddy?” or “Mommy, what’s wrong?” or “Mommy, you seem sad,” to which Mommy tersely responds, “Nothing, now go to bed!”

That’s what secondhand drinking is all about – coping with a person’s drinking behaviors. Drinking behaviors occur when the ethyl alcohol chemical in alcoholic beverages changes how a person’s brain works. Drinking behaviors include verbal, physical, emotional abuse; neglect; driving while impaired; physical assault, to name a few.

In the spouse scenario, Luke’s drinking behaviors included his “decision” to stay out all night without calling and not responding to her texts. Drinking responsibly would have involved Luke having a conversation with his spouse before going out or calling when he’s thinking of drinking beer #2 or #3 to say he’ll be staying the night.

In the Budweiser PSA scenario, Luke’s drinking behavior includes worrying his beloved Cooper all night. Drinking responsibly would have involved Luke making arrangements for Cooper’s care before going out with his friends for a social night of drinking.

Even the Family Pet Experiences Secondhand Drinking

As we saw in this one minute PSA, secondhand drinking – the negative impacts of a person’s drinking behaviors on others – has a profound effect on everyone who has to cope with them, even the family pet.

© 2015 Lisa Frederiksen

Lisa Frederiksen

Lisa Frederiksen

Author | Speaker | Consultant | Founder at BreakingTheCycles.com
Lisa is the author of hundreds of articles and 11 books, including "If You Loved Me, You'd Stop!," "Addiction Recovery: What Helps, What Doesn't," and "Secondhand Drinking: the Phenomenon That Affects Millions." She is a national keynote speaker with over 25 years speaking experience, consultant, and founder of BreakingTheCycles.com. She has spent more than 14 years studying 21st century brain research in order to write, speak, and consult on substance use disorders prevention, intervention and treatment; mental disorders; addiction (aka substance use disorders) as a brain disease; adolescent addiction treatment vs adult addiction treatment; effective treatment for co-occurring disorders (having both a substance use and mental disorder); secondhand drinking | drugging; help for the family; and related subjects. In 2015, she founded SHD Prevention, providing training and consulting to companies, public agencies, unions, nonprofits and other entities to address the workplace impacts of employee secondhand drinking and alcohol misuse.

4 Responses to Even Dogs Experience Secondhand Drinking

  1. Lisa, you drive this point home brilliantly. I will share all over the place!

  2. Midwestern Mama says:

    Lisa, thank you for expanding upon the Budweiser PSA by taking it to a human, family level. Your points are spot on. This summer when the PSA first ran, I showed it to my 22-year-old son who was just a month into recovery and I noticed a small tear in the corner of his eye. He paused. Of all the many messages he’s witnessed from grade-school to treatment programs, nothing really penetrated him or prompted emotion. However, our family dog has been the best treatment and recovery therapist ever. This PSA may have been the first time my son ever put himself in the other person’s – or dog’s – shoes. Since that day,I’ve witnessed my son taking even greater responsibility for himself and for our dog – not just feeding and walking him, but truly thinking about the emotional impact and the importance of relationship. To me, the Budweiser message was a significant step in the right direction. Could Budweiser be even better educated about the impact of second-hand drinking? Yes. For now, I’m pleased that Buddy is proving an effective spokes-dog! BTW, love all your posts from the variety of topics to the straight talk you offer. Keep it up. I’m in awe!

    Midwestern Mama of Our Young Addicts

    • That’s wonderful news how this PSA helped/is helping your son, Midwestern Mama! And I agree – it’s definitely a start. Thank you for the compliment on my posts – very much appreciated!

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