- An Honest Talk about Alcohol and Alcohol Addiction with Scott Pinyard -
To start, here’s a quote by Annie Grace from her book This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness & Change Your Life:
“Alcohol is the only drug on earth you have to justify not taking.”
How did a drink such as alcohol—one that causes car crashes, violence, financial problems, and serious health problems like throat, mouth, larynx, breast, liver, colorectal and esophageal cancer, a weakened immune system, a damaged liver, birth defects, erectile dysfunction, weight gain, depression, anxiety, damage to your nervous system, a shrinking brain, nausea, heavy sweating, and last but not least, diarrhea—become such a huge part of society?
How has a drink that can cause so much trouble become so ingrained and normal in so many countries?
Why Alcohol Is Such a Popular, Socially Acceptable, and Prevalent Drug in Our Society
Reading the above list of the harmful effects of alcohol (which in truth only touches the tip of the iceberg), it’s both wildly fascinating and downright scary to wonder how alcohol has become such a popular drug that is commonly accepted and prevalent in many countries and societies.
How can one of the deadliest recreational drugs and one of the most addictive ones also be the most legal and popular?
While the answer to those questions is complex and multi-layered, here are some of the major players:
First, a big contributor to alcohol’s popularity is societal influences like advertising, marketing, and social media.
Although alcohol sales and marketing are highly regulated, people are still exposed to a wide variety of alcohol and liquor advertisements.
Empirical studies show that targeted alcohol marketing results in individuals developing positive beliefs about drinking, and this has helped to create and expand environments where alcohol use is socially acceptable and encouraged.
These factors can result in the onset of drinking, increased alcohol consumption, and binge drinking.
But that is not the only reason. Another major reason why alcohol is such a popular drug is simply because of its ancient history.
Archaeological evidence suggests that the fermentation of alcoholic beverages is as old as civilization.
There was never a time in recorded human history when alcohol wasn’t part of our experience. That’s a lot of tradition to try to overcome.
Also, alcohol is endorsed by the Christian tradition. The transformation of water into wine is the first miracle attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of John.
Wine is a symbol of the Christian tradition. Outlawing alcohol would affect the religious beliefs of many people, since Christianity is the predominant religion in many countries in Europe, Russia, North America, South America, the Philippines, East Timor, Southern Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, and Oceania.
And last but not least, another major reason why alcohol is such a popular drug is simply that the alcohol industry is quite powerful as a whole.
The global market size of alcoholic beverages is expected to increase by nearly 19 percent from 2018 to 2024. The market was valued at 1.47 trillion U.S. dollars in 2018 and is forecast to reach 1.75 trillion dollars by 2024.
With the global alcohol industry contributing so much money and employing millions of people, making alcohol illegal would strike a significant financial blow to the economy of so many countries.
Given the reasons why alcohol is such a popular and socially accepted drug today, the ‘danger’ lies in the fact that many of us tend to ignore or forget the harm that alcohol can cause.
Therefore, here at The IPS Project, we wanted to look more closely at this topic and talk about it from an educational standpoint.
Today, Scott trains other coaches while also coaching people who struggle with alcohol; he also helps run some of the programs on This Naked Mind, and every month, he answers some of the more difficult and intense questions about alcohol from people on the podcast of This Naked Mind.
Looking at Scott today, you’d be surprised to know that he himself had struggled for 15 years with alcohol addiction.
So, not only does he know professionally how alcohol affects the brain and body and how to help someone in these circumstances, but he also knows emotionally what it is like to live with such an addiction. This makes Scott the perfect guest to speak about this topic.
In this interview, Scott Pinyard provides a general understanding of alcohol, the effects alcohol has on the brain and body, how to help someone struggling with alcohol addiction, and—if you are currently wrestling with alcohol addiction—how to be there for yourself.
I truly hope you will enjoy this talk and gain many insights and useful information from this interview with the head coach of This Naked Mind, Scott Pinyard.
Recommended Books about Alcohol Addiction:
EP 023 - Scott Pinyard on Alcohol Use Disorder, the Effects of Alcohol on the Brain and Body, and How to Provide Support
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Some of the Questions:
What You Will Learn from this Episode:
- – Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) was developed by the World Health Organization in 1982 as a simple way to screen and identify people who are at risk of developing alcohol problems.)
- – Alcoholics Anonymous (Alcoholics Anonymous is an international mutual aid fellowship with the stated purpose of enabling its members to “stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety.)
- – A brief history of Alcohol – Rod Phillips (Trace the 7,000 year old history of alcohol, from its first known origins in China to cultures all over the world fermenting their own drinks.)
- – How does alcohol make you drunk? – Judy Grisel (Follow alcohol on its journey through the body to find out how it causes drunkenness and why it affects people differently.)
- – This Naked Mind Group (This group is meant to be a friendly (and safe) place to talk about your hopes, inspirations, fears, regrets; anything that comes to mind related to the topic of alcohol.)
About Annie Grace and This Naked Mind:
At 26, Annie Grace was the youngest vice-president in the history of the multinational company where she worked. By 35, she was in a global C-level marketing role, responsible for operations in 28 countries. While everything looked to be going more than well for Annie professionally, alcohol had become such a huge part of Annie’s life over the years that she was drinking close to two bottles of wine a night.
After more than 10 years of drinking daily, Annie started to realize that alcohol was not serving her any good—yet she could not stop drinking.
In the fall of 2014, she started researching the answers to questions on why alcohol seemed to be the only thing in her life that she could not get a handle on.
After a year’s worth of research, something changed in Annie: her desire, both conscious and subconscious, for alcohol.
These were the building blocks that led Annie Grace to write and publish in 2015 her book This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness & Change Your Life.
In her book, Annie presents the psychological and neurological components of alcohol use based on the latest science and reveals the cultural, social, and industry factors that support alcohol dependence in all of us.
Rather than teaching us how to be sober, she shares in the book what had helped her, which is: taking away the desire to drink by changing our belief system around alcohol.
This method has proven to be effective, just take a look at the more than 2500 five-star ratings on Amazon from people who have read her book. In fact, it was so effective that, in 2016, Annie was asked by a psychiatrist in the UK to cooperate on a certification program using the This Naked Mind methodology.
And so, in 2019, the This Naked Mind Institute was launched, and the first class of coaches, therapists, counselors, and medical professionals were certified in the This Naked Mind methodology.
Today, This Naked Mind has grown into something bigger than Annie Grace. Offering countless free resources, a community, counseling programs, a podcast, etc., This Naked Mind has grown into a place of hope and change for a better future and a better life for many people.
This Naked Mind Facebook Group:
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Question about this episode: What did you enjoy most out of this episode with Scott Pinyard, head coach of This Naked Mind? Have you gained any new insights about alcohol, or is there anything you’d like to share related to the topic of alcohol?