Everywhere you turn, it seems like there is a new bar or microbrewery popping up on every street corner in Denver. And unfortunately, you’ve noticed that your loved one has taken full advantage of the drinking culture throughout the city.
When you go out to eat with your loved one, they’re constantly reaching for the alcohol menu and ordering drinks. If you go to a ball game with them, they always seem to have a beer in their hand. And even when you’re home during a normal or uneventful day, they make an excuse to drink.
Binge drinking is the most common and deadly pattern of excessive alcohol use across the country. And unfortunately, Denver is known for having a culture that is built around drinking. But there are ways to help your loved one break the cycle of alcohol abuse.
In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why people binge drink in Denver. You’ll also learn some new ideas for how you can help your loved one limit their alcohol use.
Why Binge Drinking is an Issue in Denver
Binge drinking isn’t just a Denver issue. In fact, 1 in 6 adults in the United States binge drink about four times a month. But what makes Denver stand out is just how much more binge drinking occurs here than in other comparable cities across the western half of the country?
For example, reports show that 1 in 4 Denver residents binge drinks. The question is, why?
If you’ve picked up on the city’s drinking culture, you’ve already nailed one of the main reasons binge drinking occurs so often in Denver. Alcohol is readily accessible in stores, restaurants, sport competitions and many other public events you can attend. While this could be said of many cities across the country, Denver has gone to extra lengths to normalize its alcohol scene.
For example, Denver residents have been able to purchase alcohol on Sundays since 2009. This used to at least be a small deterrence from buying or drinking alcohol on Sundays. Denver also has extremely low taxes on wine, beer and spirits, giving people even more incentive to buy an increased amount of alcohol than they would if taxes were higher.
Another problem is the lack of education around binge drinking. With more lenient laws, the fact that alcohol is legal to drink and all the advertising that makes drinking look fun, it’s not easy to recognize a bottle of beer or glass of wine as an addictive substance.
If we’re considering why so many people binge drink in Denver, it isn’t necessarily because more people suffer from depression than in other parts of the country. Instead, it may be because drinking is portrayed as a normal part of life that every Denver resident participates in.
How to Help Your Loved One with Binge Drinking
If your loved one is binge drinking, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re suffering from an addiction. However, it is possible for binge drinking to lead to an addiction if it becomes or already is habitual.
Even if your loved one isn’t currently struggling with an addiction, binge drinking is still highly dangerous and can lead to the following risks:
- Car accidents due to the physical and cognitive impairments alcohol can cause
- Poor performance at work or school
- Cardiovascular disorders, like heart attacks or strokes
- The development of mental health disorders like depression and psychotic disorders
- The development of dementia or other cognitive issues like memory problems
Luckily, there are actions you can take to help your loved one limit their alcohol use:
1. Participate in Non-Alcoholic Activities
It’s possible your loved one feels pressured to drink because alcohol is readily available everywhere they turn. Instead of going to a ball game or tailgate, encourage your loved one to participate in outdoor activities like hiking, biking, rock climbing or working out at the gym. Exercise and getting your loved one outdoors can release the same feel-good chemicals that alcohol does, which can help curb any interest in drinking your loved one may have.
2. Talk to Your Loved One Openly about Your Concerns
Maybe your loved one doesn’t even recognize how much they’re actually drinking when you go out to a restaurant or ball game. If your loved one seems open, try to talk to them about your concerns. Don’t accuse them of being an alcoholic or blame them for their actions. Instead, explain that you’ve noticed them drinking a lot more lately and that you’re here for them if they want to talk about anything. See if they would be willing to cut back on their drinking. A simple conversation may be all that it takes to help them be more aware of their drinking or realize that they may need some help.
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3. Help Your Loved One Find Addiction Treatment
Maybe avoiding drinking activities and talking to them about their alcohol use didn’t help. If your loved one’s drinking seems to be spiraling out of control, it may be time to seek an addiction treatment center that can help them overcome alcohol abuse. For example, The Raleigh House offers alcohol-specific addiction treatment that is designed to help your loved one safely detox from alcohol, get their nutrition back on track and discover healthier ways to cope with stress or mental health conditions.
If you haven’t been able to talk to your loved one about treatment, we also offer interventions to help convince your loved one that they can’t overcome their drinking on their own.
Your Loved One’s Recovery Awaits at The Raleigh House
Are you concerned about your loved one’s drinking habits? Even if you aren’t sure if your loved one is struggling with an addiction or not, it’s better to try to get them the help they need before their drinking threatens their own life or the life of another person.
If you’re ready to learn more, we’re available to give you more information about our intervention services and alcohol addiction treatment program and approach. Fill out our form or contact us today to get in touch with one of our friendly team members.