Drinking wine can be an enjoyable experience, both relaxing and stress relieving. Millions of Americans are drawn to the allure of wine. In fact, studies show that around 32%, or a little less than one in three adults aged 21 and older are monthly wine drinkers. Varieties in taste, flavor, and even accessibility make it a popular choice for alcoholic beverages. It’s used as a beverage for dinners, for vacationing, celebrations, and even as a pastime hobby. But as with all alcoholic substances, wine in excess can have negative consequences on the body and mind. As tolerance builds, wine drinking can quickly become problematic. I can’t stop drinking wine, is an indication or sign that alcohol use disorder is at play.
Understanding the signs and symptoms of overindulging in wine is critical. While it may feel casual or innocent, excessive drinking has been linked with numerous health issues like disease, mental health issues, and more. It’s important to know when alcohol becomes a problem.
For more information on getting help for alcohol abuse, contact AspenRidge Recovery today at 855-281-5588.
Culture of Wine Drinking
Drinking wine instead of beer, seltzers, vodka, whiskey, or other alcoholic beverages appears to be more socially acceptable. The culture around wine drinking may contribute to its underestimated harmful effects.
In recent years, much like craft beer and micro-breweries, creating and tasting wine has become an art form. This may have led to an increase in the acceptance of wine drinking. Moving into 2022, wine market sales were 16.8% in a year, according to Forbes.
However, the same risk of developing alcohol dependence with wine is the same for all other forms of alcoholic beverages. Identifying the cultural factors that may lead to increased acceptance of regular wine use is helpful.
Common cultural factors of “the wine culture” include:
- Wine drinking is viewed as less “destructive” than beer, whiskey, vodka, etc.
- There is some evidence that regular wine drinking helps reduce risk of heart disease.
- Drinking wine is generally viewed as a classy and distinguished beverage without risks.
- Regular wine use is socially more acceptable among well-established families.
- Wine is often used in religious practice, and many feel it is appropriate to share with children.
- Regular wine use is often not viewed as alcoholism, but as a coping strategy for daily stressors.
It’s not unusual for adult household members to consume wine on a regular basis. Is drinking a bottle of wine by yourself harmful? Understand the facts of alcohol consumption and limits to stay informed about deadly consequences and what to do if alcohol abuse is a daily, or even weekly trend.
Risks Factors of Too Much Wine
Even though the wine culture is generally more accepted within the United States, drinking too much wine does have risks. Drinking any form of alcohol increases the risk for alcohol abuse and dependence due to the powerful addictive properties of alcohol.
Alcohol is the active ingredient in all alcoholic beverages. This substance, no matter how it is brewed or fermented, is what causes the increased risk for addiction. In fact, wine may have added risk factors. These additional risk factors may include:
- Excessive wine drinking is more acceptable, leading to less awareness of negative impacts.
- Wine does not need to be “chased” or mixed with other drinks. Many prefer the overall taste.
- Viewed as more natural and healthier than beer, vodka, or whiskey.
- Wine has a higher alcohol by volume (ABV) than expected and is higher than domestic
To put things into perspective, drinking a bottle of wine every night is equivalent to five beers or around six or seven shots. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), binge drinking is consuming more than five drinks for men in a single sitting, or four drinks for women. Excessive alcohol use, which can contribute to alcoholism, is consuming more than four drinks a day for men, or three drinks a day for women.
If you’re thinking, I can’t stop drinking wine, it may be a sign of higher tolerance and dependency on alcohol.
Effects of Wine on the Body
Wine has its risks. It is more socially acceptable and identifying problem wine drinking may be harder than expected. Understanding the cultural factors of regular wine drinking and the risks associated with wine use is the first step towards developing awareness of wine alcohol abuse and dependence.
Outside of the risks and cultural factors that contribute to extensive wine use, the effects of wine on the body are well researched. Wine does have some beneficial properties when used in moderation. This may include reduced chances for heart disease.
It’s important to note that any alcohol use does place a stress on the body’s nervous system and increases the risk for alcohol use disorders. Becoming aware of the specific impact wine has on the body may help in determining safe or unsafe wine drinking.
Negative impacts of excessive wine drinking include:
- Increased stress leading to higher heart rate, shortness of breath, and less sleep.
- Risk of depression, anxiety, and mental health disorders due to less serotonin development.
- Higher chance to develop a chemical dependency and a tolerance to other forms of alcohol.
- Unhealthy diet and inconsistent metabolism leading to potential weight gain or loss.
- Reduced physical activity from wine use increases chances for other health concerns.
How to Stop Drinking Wine
Stopping wine use can be difficult just like beer, vodka, or whiskey. The active ingredient of alcohol is present in all alcoholic beverages and can become highly addictive. Reducing or discontinuing wine use is important if you feel it has become problematic.
Becoming aware of the impact of wine can help safeguard yourself from further health problems and substance use disorders. There are many ways you can help yourself to stop drinking at home. I can’t stop drinking wine, what to do.
Self-help tips and tricks include:
- Engaging in regular exercise
- Improving diet
- Practicing breathing, mindfulness, meditation, or other stress-reducing methods
- Talking to friends and family about your concerns
- Participating in community-based support groups
- Dedicating to safe hobbies and interests
- Removing wine or wine paraphernalia from the home
- Keeping a sobriety journal
Long-Term Recovery Tips
Seeking professional help for a substance use disorder is necessary when considering safe rehabilitation options. Attempting recovery on your own is difficult and dangerous. The risks of quitting cold turkey can be drastic and even life threatening.
AspenRidge can provide both a supportive and knowledgeable recovery process. Professional help is a critical component of safe and effective recovery, however having a personal support group is highly recommended. If you feel it is time to reduce wine use, or any other alcohol use, it is important to seek professional and personal support systems. A strong and safe support system is a critical factor for long-term recovery. Healthy Support systems reduce the chance for relapse.
Such support groups are empowering and accountable. The benefits of a support group include:
- Reduced feelings of loneliness and isolation
- Increased accountability leading to less risk of relapse
- Higher self-esteem and less feelings of guilt
- Aids in challenging irrational thoughts and self-doubt
- Supports the development of healthy coping strategies
AspenRidge Recovery Centers is dedicated to helping you navigate the difficulties that arise during recovery. AspenRidge offers evidence-based alcohol addiction treatment center with multiple locations in Colorado. If you are interested in learning more about AspenRidge Recovery Center’s multiple recovery programs, contact our staff at (855) 281-8855 to speak to an admissions staff member.
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