Alcohol—The Good, The Bad, and How It’s Becoming Even More Prevalent
Beer May Ward Off Arthritis, Dangers of Day Drinking and More Businesses Are Introducing Liquor
Beer and Arthritis
I’m not a beer drinker, but a study has found that those who do drink beer may be reducing their risk of rheumatoid arthritis by a third, according to AARP. A study conducted by Harvard Medical School researchers found that women who drank two to four beers weekly cut their risk that much compared to women who never drank beer.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a wicked disorder that mostly affects women. If you’re thinking of the sore and stiff joints associated with aging that many people have, think again. Rheumatoid arthritis is debilitating. I’ve seen people with gnarled hands and knees swollen to double their size, and the disease is not always limited to seniors. A Tylenol or Advil isn’t going to help the pain RA, from what I understand; it takes serious medication to find relief. This is another example of how alcohol, taken in small amounts, can be beneficial. I’m afraid I’m going to have to take my chances, however. I just can’t stand the thought of beer.
This also makes me think of one of the myths surrounding beer—that you won’t get as drunk on beer, for example. Most people probably know that you can develop a drinking problem with beer just as you can with any liquor. Then there are people who think they can stay out of trouble if they switch to beer after having a couple of drinks. Or maybe they just want to delude themselves.
Dangers of Day Drinking
Here’s an article on the Women’s Health website directed toward women about the dangers of drinking during the day, which it seems we do more often in the summer. It cites several reasons. First, it’s so easy to have one of those refreshing summer drinks when you’re out and about and socializing during the day that it can become a habit. In addition, you’re probably drinking more on these occasions, and thus, you’re more prone to accidents. Also, you can become dehydrated drinking alcohol in the heat, which has its own set of problems. Here’s something surprising—you’re at greater risk of getting melanoma, too, perhaps because you may not be as careful about sunscreen if you’re drinking, but also because alcohol may cause you to be more susceptible to UV rays!
Family Dollar and Taco Bell Now Offering Liquor
Following on the tails of Starbucks, which I posted about in May, Family Dollar stores are now test-marketing the sale of beer and wine to see if they can ward off a takeover. Here’s the article from Fortune magazine. Does this seem odd to anyone else? Not all states allow retailers to sell wine and beer, so they won’t be available in all Family Dollar stores, but still…. It just seems off, that restaurants and now stores are turning to liquor to boost sales.
Taco Bell, too, is joining the club. In April, the L.A. Times reported that the restaurant chain is opening a new, “fast-casual restaurant … called U.S. Taco Co. and Urban Tap Room.” Besides wine, it will serve a spiked milkshake. I’ve said before that I love half a glass of wine with dinner, but I have a difficult time thinking of me and all the other responsible drinkers when I hear about more and more establishments selling liquor.
Perhaps what we need is a group of people in the early stages of recovery to talk about how these places are now a trigger for drinking. We need someone to say that until now, if they felt vulnerable early in recovery, they knew they could go to Taco Bell for a bite to eat and not be tempted. They won’t be able to do that anymore now. But also, now, even when they walk into a Family Dollar Store they’ll see liquor. (Actually, Dollar Tree bought Family Dollar at the end of July.) Yes, they’re responsible for their recovery. But these are the people that come to mind when liquor becomes ubiquitous. I’m just sayin’.