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Alcohol- a tricky relationship for first responders

 Is alcohol the new smoking?

Trigger alert.. sorry I was supposed to say that BEFOREHAND. 

@doc_amen joins @dhrupurohit  and chats a host of topics including alcohol , and data suggesting marijuana is detrimental to brain health as well (citing higher incidence of ADHD in teens).

I know suggesting alcohol is bad mmkay to first responders goes over like a fart in church.  But I’m not one to avoid a conversation just because it’s uncomfortable.

I was in a fraternity in college and yes- alcohol remained a large part of my social and fun time post college and into this job.  LUCKILY I wasn’t an angry or destructive drunk and LUCKILY I don’t have an addictive leaning into it.  If I did, I’m sure my life would not be as it is today.

Maybe it’s my late 30s #gettingold but a couple drinks definitely wrecks my sleep, plugs my sinuses, bloats me up, fogs my brain for the next day much more obviously.  

It is odd, and sad that many of us (my cop and non cop friends) MAKE it awkward if someone isn’t drinking.  If a woman declines a drink- she’s pregnant or trying.  It a man declines a drink he has to leave soon, isn’t feeling well, or is being a little B****.

I still do enjoy the occasion beer or drinks.  If you’re getting married- get me a few and imma be a sweaty, dancing, mazel toving, chair lifting sonnuvagun.  

I think it’s mindful to think of our relationship with alcohol. I think it’s wise to recognize that our brothers and sisters over self-medicate with it in part because of its social acceptability.  

I think it’s responsible to know that alcohol has ruined and continues to contribute to the ruin of many personal lives, careers, and actual LIVES.  It has guided the hand of suicides of real people WE KNOW, and will continue to do so.

In my eyes, the best things we can do are be sensitive to that, be mindful of how we visualize, use, enjoy or lean on alcohol, and how we may be contributing toward its relevance in stress coping or “fun” associations.  

As always, I want to know YOUR thoughts. Thanks again for sharing them, sharing this post and page, and keeping our convos fruitful.

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Mar 31, 2023

I feel like alcohol is a catch22. For some of us, we come to rely on the feeling of non-feeling… checking out for a little while. Some of us do become dependent on it and because it is legal and socially acceptable it’s not hard to do.

I can honestly say at the time I hit the addiction side of drink alcohol likely saved my life. I didn’t have the tools to live and Alcohol got me through. over the last 19+ years I’ve learned to live without partaking and still have a great time. It can be done…. It can.

Fear is a huge motivator and in your line of work you have to push fear so far down…

Mar 31, 2023
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Thank you for sharing your experience and good for you for your road to healthier processing and balance!

Recognizing one person‘s toll can be another’s treat and another’s poison. Context matters- and everyone is truly unique in their journey and experience .


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