We listen to our hangover more than we listen to the experts!
It’s the hangover stupid!
It is not health research or government advice around problem drinking but the gut reaction and the memories of deadly hangovers from past social events that are coaxing individuals to reduce their alcohol consumption, according to a report by analysts at Oxford Brookes Academy.
Psychiatrists at the Headington college reviewed the State’s official safe drinking criteria to what men and women really believed was an ok amount to drink.
The results, publicized by the periodical Psychological Science & Health, which also involved analysts from the University of Liverpool, are profoundly scary.
We ignore the experts
Less than 2 percent of responders stated they paid any notice to formal guidelines when choosing how much was excessive, while only 4 percent claimed they thought about their future health and wellness when deciding how much to consume.
The NHS suggests that to keep the “danger of alcohol-related injury reasonable” a person needs to drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week, dispersing this volume over 3 or more days to stay clear of large quantities drunk on a single day.
As one unit of alcohol is a half a pint of lager or cider, a solitary (25 ml) shot of strong spirits or a small glass of red or white wine, formal guidelines do not even permit a single daily alcoholic beverage.
By the way, a small glass of wine is much less than you think – less than 100 ml!
Bucket of wine anyone?
The bulk of responders confessed to settling on short-term, individual alcohol consumption limits based upon past experiences of ‘unfavorable conditions’ pertaining to alcohol use, like hangovers, humiliation, anxiety, and panic.
Scientists have stated this “displays a disconnect between clinical perceptions of risk and the experiences that individuals call on to evaluate when to stop consuming alcohol”.
Doctor Emma Davies, the Head of Psychological Science at Oxford Brooks, stated:
“We can observe that the general public’s challenge is to discover a means of integrating the progressively sturdy scientific findings of the dangers of alcohol use into the real lived experiences of individuals who consume alcohol on a regular basis.
“Drinkers design their own limits for what is a suitable amount of alcohol consumption, which is not based on professional advice.”
We need a better way to get the message out
Dr. Mark Burgess, senior director of the Division of Psychology, Health and Professional Advancement at Oxford Brookes, claimed we needed a “new approach to public well-being interventions around the threats of extreme alcohol use” and demanded more targeted treatments.
He stated: “Individuals who have unfavorable experiences when coming close to their own ‘excessive’ drinking limit might be more open to treatments as their bodies are already indicating for them to quit.
Nevertheless, people who have a more favorable experience are likely to be less ready to modify their habits, in spite of it being more crucial for their health and wellness to do so.”
Hangovers are scarier than cancer
It seems strange but people are quitting drinking more because of the nasty hangover rather than the huge cancer risk or many other serious diseases caused by problem drinking.
In a way, that doesn’t matter so much, as long as people are taking action and not wallowing in denial.
If you are already feeling miserable because of the impact alcohol is having on your life – make now the moment you decide to take action.
Click here to join us for a free quit drinking webinar and download our guide to quitting drinking without willpower.