Blog | Alcohol Abuse

Is Alcohol Delivery Contributing to the Growth of an Alcohol Abuse Problem?

You can order a pizza or get someone to drop off groceries. You can receive flowers and find books, toys and clothes in your mailbox. You can get almost anything delivered to your door. Alcohol is no exception.

Grocery stores, major online retailers, restaurants and more allow you order alcohol. Is this delivery service contributing to alcohol abuse problems?

Want a Drink? There’s an App for That

Apps connect drinkers to their beverage of choice. Some apps cater specifically to alcohol delivery. Others focus on delivering food or groceries that can include drinks. These apps provide a convenient service if you run out of wine in the middle of a dinner party or order too little beer for a cookout or event. They can also contribute to over-consumption on these occasions or contribute to an individual’s alcohol abuse problem. They take the worry out of driving to get more alcohol. This is good for public safety, but they also mean some people will keep drinking when they otherwise wouldn’t or shouldn’t. With a delivery app, drinking more than is healthy becomes simpler.

Avoiding the Stigma

Man drinking aloneApps and online ordering help people avoid stigma associated with drinking. They don’t have to go into local liquor stores or grocery stores where they may be recognized. They don’t have to worry about buying larger quantities of alcohol on a regular basis. They don’t have to repeatedly patronize bars. Apps and the Internet make it simple to anonymously buy large amounts of alcohol or to sign up for subscription services that will regularly deliver. Men and women can bypass the social stigmas that might otherwise limit how much, how often, and when they drink.

When individuals don’t have to worry about getting behind the wheel after drinking, they may feel comfortable drinking more than they otherwise would. Many drinkers who choose to imbibe at home are less able or less interested in staying within healthy or even legal consumption limits. Drinks made at home tend to be stronger or larger than they would be out at a bar or restaurant too. These locations often pour slightly less than a standard drink. At home you may pour slightly more. This leads to drinking more than intended or more than you realize.

For example, 1.5 ounces of liquor is considered one alcoholic beverage. If you fill some shot glasses to the top, you have actually poured up to twice that amount. You may think that you made yourself two cocktails, each one with a full shot of liquor, but in reality, you drank four alcoholic beverages.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism[1], “defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dL. This typically occurs after 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men—in about 2 hours.”

You may have planned on a drink or two after work and ended up with four drinks, a binge, instead. This comes with serious health consequences.

Recognizing Alcohol Use Disorder

Drinking at home makes it easier for alcohol use problems to go unnoticed. Apps help you hide how, when, and why you drink. This can hide substance abuse and addiction issues from individuals who would otherwise offer help and support. Alcohol delivery may even let you hide these issues from yourself. Take an honest look at your alcohol use habits. You don’t have to be physically dependent on alcohol to have a substance use problem.

The following signs indicate a need to take action and change the role alcohol plays in your life:

  • Experiencing health problems related to alcohol use including hangovers, headaches, and general low energy or pain
  • Drinking at all hours of the day
  • Choosing drinking over responsibilities
  • Being unable to manage responsibilities due to intoxication or hangover
  • Lying about how much you drink or how often
  • Hiding alcohol at home or at work
  • Spending money on alcohol rather than other life necessities or luxuries
  • Developing chronic medical issues related to alcohol use
  • Driving under the influence
  • Mixing alcohol with other drugs such as painkillers or mental health medications
  • Being unable to moderate use of alcohol or stop drinking for any length of time

If you recognize any of these signs in your life, don’t continue to hide behind alcohol. Find supportive, integrated treatment services immediately; call Michael’s House. The sooner you get the help you need to stop drinking, the sooner you can get your life back.

[1] “Drinking Levels Defined.” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Web. 11 Apr 2017.