Switching from beer to liquor

People are switching from beer to liquor a report from KYW News Radio and CBS Philly.com states today January 31st 2012.

It’s well known that in economic downturns people cut back spending on other purchases before they give up their alcohol use. “First things first,” is the saying we hear in Alcoholics Anonymous.  Maybe that’s not the same intended meaning in AA.

CNNMoney reported in June 2010 that alcohol sales rose throughout the past recession.  Business insider reported Feb 2010 that folks were drinking more but were opting for cheaper alcohol to adjust to the “new normal of economic hardship.”

This may be a fine technique for saving money but not recommended for reducing the negative consequences of large amounts of alcohol. In fact, the opposite tact would make more sense. Most people seem to get more drunk when drinking liquor than when drinking beer or wine. Beer especially takes longer to drink. The carbonation fills you up. The larger volume or water takes longer to drink and to absorb into your system. Yet wine has ethanol in it just like liquor. It is the large amount of ethanol that causes problems for drinkers whether you drink liquor wine or beer.

If you are trying to cut back your overall use of alcohol and you must drink liquor then at least don’t drink shots. Absolutely don’t play drinking games. If you drink at a bar you can alternate non-alcoholic drinks with drinks containing alcohol. Have the bartender stick a lime in your club soda and no one will suspect you aren’t drinking a gin and tonic.

Recently one man reported buying most of his alcohol at Costco, and spending $36 for 1.75 liters of liquor, rather than $25 for less than half that at his local liquor store. That is definitely one way of saving money in this economy. It is not a good way of decreasing the likelihood of excessive drinking. However, he did report, “It’s a lot harder to pour. “ Ahh… maybe a sober silver lining. That might keep some of us from getting too wasted.

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