As Economy Slumps, Alcohol Sales Rise
The economy is slumping but alcoholic beverage sales are on the rise. That’s the sobering news from Wall Street market analysts. In times of trouble, many people look for ways to escape. Alcohol is the time-honored American method of “drowning our troubles.” If money is tight, Americans don’t stop drinking, they just look for cheaper things to drink. A Goldman Sachs analyst is predicting a surge in beer sales as people ease up on more expensive spirits.
Stock analysts expect alcohol consumption to increase by 1% to 1.5% this year. Hard liquor sales are predicted to rise 1%, beer 2% and wine 2%. However, American’s economical angst doesn’t appear to be affecting our aversion to fat. Light beer is the fastest growing segment of the alcoholic beverage market with Coors Light leading the pack with increased sales of 6.8%.
Addiction experts see such news as a dangerous warning sign. In times of stress, many casual drinkers increase their alcohol intake, sometimes unconsciously. A drink of alcohol can feel relaxing. You don’t feel quite as worried about how you’re going to make ends meet. Unfortunately, it can become too easy to escape your problems in an alcoholic haze. But alcohol won’t solve your problems. At best it merely puts them off, but when casual drinking turns into problem drinking, it just makes things worse, causing serious problems with your relationships, health, work and finances.
Over time, alcohol alters the balance of some of the chemicals in the brain. It affects GABA which inhibits impulsiveness, glutamate which stimulates the nervous system and dopamine which triggers feelings of pleasure. Chronic drinking destroys some chemicals and increases the levels of others. Alcohol comes to control your ability to feel good. Without alcohol, you feel depresses and physically unwell. Your body craves alcohol to avoid these negative feelings and feel good again. When this happens, you have become addicted to alcohol. You are an alcoholic.
Fortunately, alcoholism is a treatable disease. Experts say that the sooner you recognize the problem and seek help the better. Treatment at an accredited alcohol rehabilitation center offers alcoholics and their loved ones hope for the future. Intensive treatment by caring and qualified addiction professionals addresses the physical, emotional, psychological and social repercussions of this complicated disease.
Tomorrow: Treatment options