Episode 485 – The Social Cost of Alcohol


Today we have Jennifer. She is 41 from Hamilton, OT Canada and took her last drink on January 18th, 2024.


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[02:09] Thoughts from Paul:


Paul shares some information from an article he saw on the Instagram page recoveryroadmap.me. It discusses how in Canada, despite bringing in $13 billion in tax revenue, the net social costs in 2020 was $19 billion. And it is even worse in the US.


The bright side of all of this is that we are becoming aware of this major deficit, and change is taking place. The demand for alcohol is lowering as people are becoming more aware that alcohol is not good for you. Two years ago, The Huberman Lab did a podcast called What Alcohol Does to Your Body and he debunked the myth that alcohol is good for you.


Paul also shares that thanks to an initiative called Sounds Right, musicians who use natural sounds can list “Nature” as a featured artist and royalties from the tracks will go toward environmental causes.


Exact Nature: https://exactnature.com/RE20


[08:33] Paul introduces Jennifer:


Jennifer is married and they have a daughter and a standard poodle. She works for the family business and for fun she plays paintball, tennis and volleyball – anything active with friends.


Jennifer says that as the “good girl” growing up, she always wanted to be bad and says that drinking fit in with that. During the week she was excelling in school, but on the weekends, she went to raves with friends and started smoking weed. She enjoyed the duality of her life and the same pattern continued at university.


While in her first year of college, her father bought back his company with a ten-year plan of Jennifer becoming the CEO. The stress and responsibility of this and her parents divorce a few years later all found her drinking escalating. Some of her friends told Jennifer’s mom about her drinking and staged a small intervention to which Jennifer was not receptive. She assured everyone she was ok, but then just began to isolate when she drank.


After the plan found her becoming the CEO, her drinking went from nights and weekends to drinking all day just to cope. She recognized that this was a problem but was scared to mention it to anyone. This is when she first joined Café RE, started listening to podcasts and trying to learn more about the disease. Jennifer tried a lot of moderation methods but was never successful until she got pregnant with her daughter at 35. She was able to quit drinking while pregnant and a few months after having the baby.


After returning to work, Jennifer says her drinking started right where she left off. She says she was beginning to have disturbing thoughts and finally concluded that she needed help. Not being able to come up with a good way to quit without anyone knowing, she decided to confide in her cousin who she knew would understand.


In January of 2024 at a dinner with her cousin, mom and husband, Jennifer was able to burn the ships, and everyone was very supportive. Upon going to treatment shortly after, Jennifer says she took her recovery very seriously and wanted to make it worth her time.


Journaling and practicing mindfulness are big parts of Jennifer’s recovery, she takes time to be present with her daughter and her life, attends meetings and counseling regularly and says stacking habits are important to her growth. Nurturing the sober version of herself has been great for her. Jennifer can see a future now


Jennifer’s best sober moment: Walking my daughter to school and being present.


Jennnifer’s parting piece of guidance: Don’t be afraid to ask for help.



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