Paul summarizes the article “America’s Drinking Problem Is Much Worse This Century” by John Tozzi
Alcohol abuse has shot up since 2001, and the number of adults who binge weekly may top the population of Texas. Americans are drinking more than they used to, a troubling trend with potentially dire implications for the country’s future health-care costs.
The number of adults who binge drink at least once a week could be as high as 30 million, greater than the population of every state save California, according to a study published on Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry. A similar number reported alcohol abuse or dependency.
Between the genders, women showed the larger increase in alcohol abuse, according to the report.
Kristi, with nearly 9 months of sobriety since her last drink, shares her story.
[7:09] Paul Introduces Kristi. I live in northern California near Stanford; I am 44, married and have 2 boys. I worked 25 years in software sales. I have been spending most of my time volunteering.
[16:28] Paul- When did you start realize after your Mom passed away, that this might be going in the wrong direction?
Kristi- Honestly, around 38-39 I started to realize I was drinking differently than I had in the past. I was working full time with 2 young kids, and I had to have 6-7-8 drinks at the end of the day.
[20:23] Paul- What was your first AA meeting like?
Kristi- I was so overwhelmed. It was 9:00 on a Saturday morning, and there were 300 people there. I realized that all meetings weren’t this way. I jumped right in, started going to meetings, got a sponsor, and worked the steps. I was working on will alone. I don’t think I realized the importance of a higher power, and letting go. I managed to stay sober for quite awhile.
[28:43] Paul- You sound like you are a high bottom drunk, and have a lot more to lose, am I correct?
Kristi- I didn’t get the DUI, or drive my kids drunk. But I wasn’t present. I can really sit and appreciate the moment now. I am feeling good; I have a skip in my step. When you live in gratitude, you can’t live in fear and resentment.
[32:07] Paul- What’s on your bucket list in sobriety, what do you want to accomplish in this life?
Kristi- I would like to learn Spanish. I would really like to write a book.
[33:31] Rapid Fire Round
- What was your worst memory from drinking? My husband and I went to San Francisco. I took a small bottle of vodka with me. I got so wasted at the party I don’t remember conversations I had, and I woke up in the hallway.
- Did you ever have an “oh-shit” moment? Repeat times over and over again being drunk on a Tuesday for no reason.
- What’s your plan moving forward? Live in the present, and being of service.
- What’s your favorite resource in recovery? I really like the book “Living Sober” and the Recovery Elevator podcast.
- What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (on sobriety)? I don’t have a problem I can’t make worse by picking up a drink.
- What parting piece of guidance can you give listeners who are in recovery or thinking about quitting drinking? Do it, you will feel better. You will live in a more honest and peaceful world. Quit poisoning yourself.
- You might be an alcoholic if you are hosting a party, and drinking wine with the guests, and sneaking off to have shots of vodka by yourself.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
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“We took the elevator down, we gotta take the stairs back up, we can do this!”