Today (October 27th) is National American Beer Day. In 2019, the US beer industry shipped the equivalent of more than 2.8 billion cases of 12-24 oz beer, 82% of which was domestic. US beer production has changed significantly in recent decades. In 1983, there were 49 breweries. By the end of 2019, there were 6,400.
Obviously, there is a market in the US for beer. It is pervasive. Certain annual celebrations—like the Superbowl, Memorial Day, and Father’s Day—have become almost synonymous with cracking one open. But Americans don’t need a holiday to drink.
Beer can be especially tricky for people with Alcohol Use Disorder, because it can allow for rationalizing your alcohol use; there is a myth that drinking it isn’t “as bad” as drinking hard liquor. Before I got sober, there were countless times I told myself I would “only” drink beer or wine.
Based on what sober friends have told me, I’m not alone. But controlled drinking rarely works. Not only would the liquor exile not last long—while it was happening, I drank a ton of beer. If you’re drinking 15 beers a night, it doesn’t matter that they have lower alcohol content. Plus, some have higher ABV than others.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, overall alcohol sales have increased. But especially sales of beer—and a lot of it. The third week of March, when people were stockpiling things they thought they’d need during quarantine, sales of 24 and 30-packs rose by 90% from the year before.
A 2017 study found that 1 in 8 Americans meet the criteria for Alcohol Use Disorder. Many people have—or know someone who has—struggled with their alcohol use. While it’s hard to find a breakdown for addictions to either drugs or alcohol, an estimated 22 million people in the US are in recovery from a Substance Use Disorder. Instead of celebrating beer, today is a good day to honor your recovery.
You could try journaling about how sobriety has changed your life for the better. Sometimes it helps to think about the answers to specific questions, like: how have my relationships changed since I got sober?; who have I gotten closer to and how?; what are some new hobbies I’ve picked up? These questions also give you a chance to evaluate where you could grow.
If you are struggling with your alcohol use, there is hope. TruHealing Centers offers high-quality treatment for substance use and mental health disorders in facilities across the country. Our staff—many of whom are in recovery themselves—will help you build healthy coping skills and a great life in long-term recovery. Call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.