With the rising cost of almost everything, it’s not hard to see why the theme for this year’s Alcohol Awareness Week is, ‘Alcohol and Cost’.
We have a set of circumstances where more people from across the economic spectrum are feeling the bite from high inflation. Although, as always, it’s those with the least who are impacted most severely.
If the cost of alcohol was an iceberg, the financial bit might be the section you can see above the water. A recent survey by Alcohol Change found the average drinker spends £62,899 on alcohol in their lifetime, with people who drink 2 alcoholic drinks a day spending nearly £60 a week on booze (moneytransfers.com).
Even those drinking within the government guidelines could save up to £2,168 a year by giving up alcohol, according to moneytranfers.com.
Despite this, one in five drinkers still views alcohol as an ‘essential’ item in their shopping basket.
However, the cost of alcohol runs deeper than money and its impact on our physical and mental health is far less easy to track in spending apps.
A recurring theme that comes up in our Recovery communities is the notion of ‘regaining something that was lost’. As people have time away from drinking and their mood and health start to improve, they realise how big the impact alcohol might have been having on their day-to-day life.
Over time alcohol can have a powerful negative affect on our mental health, leading to a cycle of low mood and relieving this with drinking. Bit by bit motivation for the things we found joy in can start to erode, contributing further to a lower sense of wellbeing.
There can also be a cost to our relationships with loved ones, colleagues and others in our community. Even relatively infrequent drinking sessions can strain relationships, especially if this leads to unreliable behaviour. Slowly, trust can be lost, leaving someone feeling disconnected and undermining self-worth and confidence.
Even if I we don’t always realise it, the real cost of alcohol can be far greater than the price on the bottle.
If you’re concerned about the impact alcohol is having in your life, contact us to talk about what help we can provide.
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