Kate's Blog

The Dangers Of Alcohol (And Why We Ignore Them)

Back in my drinking days, I’d carefully read the back of food packets and avoid cheap, ultra-processed food…

But did I ever stop to think about what was in my wine? Nope! 🤦‍♀️

Don’t worry – I’m not about to launch into a lecture about the dangers. I’m more interested in why it’s easy for smart women like you and me to miss what’s right in front of us…

Key points

It’s been a confusing picture over the years

It makes sense that we’re confused – for decades, alcohol companies have funded research that downplays the dangers of alcohol and highlights the so-called benefits. Old studies from the 80s and 90s claimed that moderate drinking was good for us and wine had heart health benefits. This research was widely publicised, but the more recent studies debunking those claims have had nowhere near as much attention.

The last thing drinkers want to hear is that alcohol causes harm… It’s comforting to think that drinking is good for health. A study that finds a tiny, tenuous benefit is much more likely to be shared on social media. Even newspapers and news organisations like sharing stuff that makes their audience feel better!

Smoking is handled differently

We know that smoking is dangerous, which is why it’s banned in most public places. Smokers are made to go outside – away from others – in order to indulge their habit. We see horrific pictures on cigarette boxes illustrating the health risks and even in movies, smoking is often shown in a negative light nowadays.

Compare all of that to drinking and you can see why the health risks of alcohol don’t seem as bad. Booze is sold in pretty bottles, out on full view and has very little written on the packaging. Drinking is still glamorised in movies and on social media…and it’s still a big part of social events and day to day life.

You can be ahead of the curve

Here’s the truth: you can change without waiting for the rest of the world to catch up first. Think about where else this is true. Perhaps you started using natural remedies or shunning ultra processed foods long before it was really on anyone else’s radar. Maybe you’ve been doing yoga for decades – or avoiding plastic or meditating, long before those things became “normal”.

You’re not really a rule follower, right? If you’re reading this, the chances are alcohol hasn’t felt right for you and your body for a long time. It’s uncomfortable to really let all the information sink in, especially about the cancer risks. But in doing so, you allow yourself to make informed choices that align better with your values.

Hi, I'm Kate

I founded The Sober School to show you there’s another way out of your shame that doesn’t involve AA or rehab. 

Comments

23 responses

  1. Hi Kate – so true! I only have one cup of coffee a day, before lunch, as, if I have one after tea, I’m eyes wide open most of the night. I don’t apply that to waking up at 3 in the morning (it’s always 3) feeling hungover and spending the rest of the night completely unsettled.
    Joanne

    1. Society views alcohol differently compared to substances like nicotine, yet it remains an addictive substance that arguably warrants similar treatment.

  2. Yes I did this too. Worse, I’d binge smoke too along with the booze. Soooooo much healthier now I’ve ditched the drink.
    Tbh, what’s surprising is how easy it’s been, not to demoralise anyone who’s struggling, but when you think how ‘hard’ drinking is in so many ways ..,

    1. Drinking is the harder option and always remains so. But not drinking becomes progressively easier…

  3. I also loved this one, I enjoy the wonderful health benefits of a sober life., back to biking hiking & swimming, every day a little easier.

  4. So true Kate. And every bottle of alcohol should have a prominent label with warning of dangers and risks. We choose not to consider the risks when we choose to drink. But when u change your mindset thanx to Kate Bee’s teaching and leadership on alcohol and it’s many illusions and negative impacts…….it becomes kind of glaringly obvious. The best choice for every reason is always ……. choose alcohol free.

    1. We may choose to overlook the risks, but Kris, you’ve made the wiser choice – continue on your path!

  5. All of my fave soap operas are based around pubs. I have chosen wine by the decorative labels and I’m super critical about processed food and the rest! I’m not a practising Christian but wine is consumed by everyone and frequently throughout the bible. That was my get out clause, shameful I know

  6. I’ve been on Lexapro for 3 months. And it seems like now the medication doesn’t work and the Jamesons goes down smoother and faster. And I would be able to keep it to a 4 drink minimum during the week but now I feel like I could drink a bottle a day. I don’t of course and I really have to try and not have one single drink but I swear this medicine makes me want it .

    1. I’m not a medical professional, but mixing medication and alcohol isn’t usually recommended, so please seek expert advice. I can offer you a free webinar called Why You’re Trapped In A Battle With Booze And How To Break Free – it’s packed with tips and advice, so I know you’ll find it really helpful. Here’s the link to book a spot: https://thesoberschool.com/battle-with-booze

  7. Thank you Kate- Your words inspire me to strive for improvement and not beat myself up mentally when there are slips. Thanks Kate!

  8. “Dangers of alchol and why we ignore them”….OMG! Everything you said in this one I can totally relate to! I am that person!!! Much as i am loathe to admit i have problems i suspect i do.

  9. Kate, you’re absolutely right about drinking being glamourised in a way smoking no longer is. I’m in the middle of editing a monthly magazine I’m involved with (paid for with advertising) and I have already edited an article titled Wine of the Month’ and another about a new cocktail bar. A third article focuses on port and an article about interior design manages to mention gin. Alcohol is absolutely everywhere in our culture and is continually glamourised with no mention of addiction, long-term health issues or hangovers. I was never a big drinker but I have now been alcohol-free for over four months and I’m loving it. I’m also encountering lots of others who are doing the same. Thank you for all your positivity around an alcohol-free life.

    1. Well done on four months off the booze. 🙂 Even low levels of drinking has health risks, so none is obviously the best for our health. Sadly, alcohol is the most glamourised and romanticised drug on the planet. Just because it’s legal, doesn’t mean it’s not lethal for some.

  10. I’ve been a social drinker for 50 years and I’m aware of the health issues. Something takes over when I go to a social event. I start off steady then 3 hours later I’m out of control with more and more wine

  11. I’ve been thinking a lot about how being ethanol free aligns with the other health and lifestyle changes I have made, and one thing that stood out in this podcast was your term “value alignment”. I am definitely going to think of being ethanol free as a part of my overall value alignment. Thank you!

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