Imagine having to justify why you're not drinking alcohol at a social gathering. Sounds odd? That's the societal perception we're challenging today with our guest, Stephen Ginsberg, the founder of Restore Detox Centers. This episode promises to strip bare the societal norms around alcohol consumption and expose the clever marketing strategies that alcohol companies employ to lure new drinkers. We take a hard look at the effects of alcohol, not just on the physical and spiritual level, but also on the global scale. We unravel the potential dangers it poses and the critical need to debunk the socially accepted drug narrative.
Have you ever thought about the impact of alcoholism on parenting? We dive into this topic, exploring the importance of being aware of underage drinking risks and the necessity for regular drug and alcohol testing. Along with Stephen, we also share insights on the power of authenticity and vulnerability in supporting a loved one grappling with addiction. This episode serves as a reminder that help is available, and recovery is not just a possibility, but a reality for many. So, join us for this in-depth conversation that promises to shift your perspective on alcohol and its societal implications.
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This is the Addiction Recovery Podcast with Steven T Ginsburg, founder of Restore Detox Centers in sunny California. Enjoy your experience. Hey everyone, welcome back to another episode of Addiction Recovery. My name is Steve Coughran. I'm here with Steven Ginsburg. He is the founder of Restore Detox Centers out in sunny California. Steven, like I always say, it's so great to be together with you.Steven Ginsburg:
These episodes are really short, but I'll take every minute that I possibly can with you so great to be together again, I love it when we get a chance to convene and to focus on things that maybe aren't necessarily spoken about although they should be on a day-to-day basis and just to provide really important and imperative information to help people in this plight and everything that we're facing this nation.Steve Coughran:
Absolutely so. Here's the topic of today alcohol. So I don't drink. I don't drink for various reasons. I used to drink. I was never a full-blown alcoholic but, trust me, I definitely let it get out of control and there are a lot of consequences of my drinking back in the day. So I don't drink. I haven't drank for probably 18 years or so. But here's the interesting thing, Steven, and I'll know if you see this in your own life, I'll go out for work. So I'm with a client, whether I'm traveling or whether we're wrapping up the day or whether we're at lunch, and they'll say to me hey, so what are you drinking, Steven? Let's go get a margarita, let's go get this, and I'll say to them I'll go and get a bubble water or I'll go get some water, because I don't even drink soda. I don't like soda a lot, but I love bubble water. And they'll look to me and they'll say you don't drink and it's like I did something weird or I'm like some weirdo. But why is it that people don't say oh, you don't use heroin, You're weird. You don't do meth. Oh, that's weird. Why is it with alcohol? Why do I get that kind of response?Steven Ginsburg:
It really is amazing and there's such a lengthy response inherently tied into that. But alcohol is one of those substances, that is, it is detrimental and harmful period and that's no judge on anyone who's drinking. It's just a harmful substance. That's just a general, accurate statement. But it's one of the only harmful substances where people have to explain why they're not ingesting it. They actually have to provide an explanation or have to feel, to your point, some degree of Unease, even if it's momentary, or a reason to justify to some degree or why they're not choosing to ingest this harmful substance. Not laughing because it's funny, I'm kind of chuckling because of the irony of it. You know, let's make no mistake about it. Alcohol is a drug, just like any narcotic or any other drug. Yes, people have moderate alcohol use and and if that's fine for them, that's fine for them. There is no, there is no benefit. More and more medically they are finding even a drink can be detrimental to the body's Neurological and anatomical well-being, let alone the spiritual damage that it causes and the emotional upheaval it causes. But alcohol is a drug. The base ingredient of alcohol, which is ethanol, that is a drug and it's that drug that produces the desired effect that people like with alcohol, and it's dangerous, it's counterproductive, there's little to no upside but plenty of downside. And it's not because I'm a tea toler, it's not because, by the grace of God, I'm recovering alcohol, it's because I'm here to speak truth and I sit in judgment of no one. But it's great information for people to have and it might change some of their pattern or habits or it might get them to a point where they just decide to abstain from alcohol, and I love all the above well, and it's interesting because, you know, I come across people like.Steve Coughran:
I was working with the CEO once and he said to me he's like, hey look, steve, I made a pact myself that I'm not gonna drink for a year and I was like, oh yeah, why's that? And he's like, well, I mean, I just think my drinking's got a little out of control. Sometimes I stay up too late, I say dumb things, you know, whatever it may be, you know, personal reasons, family reasons, whatever. Maybe I'm sure went a lot deeper than that and I don't drink and I'd, you know, I'd hang out with them and you know, maybe that a little bit of influence, but I definitely not taking credit for that, but it's just interesting because he realized that that you know, there is these harmful effects or that is impacting his life, there's implications with drinking. But I think a lot of people just brush that stuff to the side and, like I said, you're like a weirdo if you don't drink so much of it is the long term big picture, marketing and reach of the alcohol companies.Steven Ginsburg:
They are starting from a very early age demographically to capture their next generation of drinkers. So many times alcohol is associated with monumental joyous events in our life holidays, dinners, weddings, births of children, great sporting events, alcohol, alcohol, alcohol. So it is. The hard wiring is there, Society is wired in and, make no mistake about it, these are monumental, massively well funded campaigns to ensure that they are back filling the next crop of drinkers and continue to encompass and draw in and draw near the current crop of drinkers. And that is. There's no human element to it. I had the blessing and privilege of actually treating someone who had a very high position with a publicly held alcohol company and I was very proud of that company for seeking us out and allowing us to treat the individual. But I was even more proud that they wanted me to plug in and provide awareness for their company. That's reality. That's a company with a heart. A huge percentage of these companies. They are about one thing they want to produce revenue. We are the ones to provide the revenue and they're going to do everything in any way they can to draw in and draw our children in.Steve Coughran:
Yeah, absolutely Well, and it's interesting because I think the US spirit sales. Across the United States they've been declining, so in fact, they've dropped by 4.2% during the first half of 2023. I don't know what the second half of 2023 looks like, but I'm sure it's probably following the same trend. I imagine that it's because there's a lot more competition on the market, such as with the legalization of marijuana, or maybe people are realizing the dangerous, harmful effects of alcohol, or maybe they're replacing it with other bad things like fentanyl or other prescription drugs or illegal drugs. Whatever it may be, what are your thoughts on that, steven?Steven Ginsburg:
I think it's a very apropos point, Steve. I think when the tide comes in, we both know it also goes out, and I think during the pandemic and the aftermath of the pandemic, when people were more confined, it actually magnified some patterns and habits that were there and some of those very people. If you look at the percentages, if we could stretch that demographic across our nation and even, I bet, if we could stretch it globally, there's a certain percentage of those people that had a moment of clarity and they're like, hey, I've got to step away from this or cut way down. And then some people they're drawing them into a space where they're seeing I really do need some help. I have complete unmanageability behind my alcohol use and they've sought that help and that is starting to dwindle the numbers as well. So I'm encouraged that there's a decline in that capacity. I assure you that those big companies out there will find a way to do everything they can to backfill those numbers. Just like we take our lives a day at a time in recovery, they will take their lives a day at a time with that revenue cycle to make sure that their product is out there in the hands of others.Steve Coughran:
Yeah, which is sad, but they're well funded, they got a ton of money, so let's talk about this. So I mean, people may be listening to this episode and they're thinking okay, steven, steven, are you saying, if I come home and have a glass of wine every night just to relax and just take the edge off, are you calling me a drug addict?Steven Ginsburg:
No, I'm not, and so I like that conversation to tell you the truth, because I'm not here to call anyone anything. If there's unmanageability in your life behind a glass of wine, if there's emotional upheaval in your marriage behind a glass of wine, if you have a disconnect from your children behind a glass of wine, if you're productive and suffering at work behind a glass of wine, I'm here to help you. And if none of those factors exist and you're enjoying a glass of wine at night, more power to you. God bless you. I'm your biggest fan. It's none of my business. There's only a problem when there's a problem presented. But I think, if you continue to look at some simple responses to that individual and ask them, I have an idea for fun, since it's not an issue. You just come on one and have a glass of wine. Why don't we go 30 days a day at a time and you not have that glass of wine? And tell me if you notice any difference in your life, in your well-being, in your mental capacity, in your sleep, on that month when you abstain compared to that month when you participate. And it's all up to them. Yeah, some of them will never do that and I support that. Some of them will do it and they notice huge difference. Some of them do it and they notice no difference at all and they're like Steven, not for nothing. I'm glad I did this, going back to my glass of wine, and again, god bless them. I support that. If there's not unmanageability or powerlessness in their life, they have every right to it. I'm the alcoholic, not everybody else.Steve Coughran:
Yeah Well, and you talk about alcoholism and other addictions being a progressive disease. What do you mean by that?Steven Ginsburg:
It's an illness. It's a person who is categorically suffering from alcoholism. As a reaction very akin to an allergic reaction to the ingestion of alcohol, it produces the phenomenon of craving and then that phenomenon of craving puts them in a state where one is never enough and 12 is too many, and that, categorically, is an individual who's suffering from a problem with alcohol abuse. Quote unquote. Normal drinkers don't have a drink and then have seven drinks, end up in a blackout and have no way to get home or don't remember where they are or what they did behind their evening of drinking. And where it's a progressive illness is it can start out at one level. It can start out innocently enough, it can start out with a certain pattern and then through the days, weeks and months and through the years, it can escalate in propensity and soak in those consequences. And that's where the unmanageability bears its head. That's where, suddenly, you have someone who, without daily drinking, will go through actually a severe physiological reaction. They will go through a detox, if you would. They will have DTs, they will shake, they will tremor, they will have fever, they will sweat, they will be sick, and that is true dependency. And that's where we need to intercede on their behalf and help them both to abstain and to pick up new patterns and habits.Steve Coughran:
Okay. So what about with kids? You know kids are sneaky. I mean, you've been there, I've been there, and kids may be drinking, like right under parents' noses, and maybe parents know that, but they're like, hey, I'm going to buy my kids alcohol and let them drink at home, because I'd rather them drinking here than drinking out at a party. And they're doing underage drinking. Okay, that could be happening. But there may be some parents that have strict rules at home but the kids are sneaking it. So how would you know, or what would you say to parents to like catch this or to just be more aware of and not so naive when it comes to their kids?Steven Ginsburg:
The first and foremost, I will rely on an avenue that I absolutely believe in Every parent should test their child, and they have panel testing that you can buy at CVS, at Walgreens, on Amazon, you can buy it anywhere. It is so easy to buy drug and alcohol tests where your child will give you a urine sample and you will know if they've ingested alcohol or anything else. It's imperative that we test our children again and I'm very repetitive about this and I'll continue to be. It's not because of your child, moms and dads, it's the other kids. So you're off the hook. Your kid is perfect and wonderful? Of course they are. It's the other children. And when they come at our children and they offer them a drink, or everyone at that party is having a drink, or everyone at school at lunch runs off and there's a bottle mix and they want them to try it. And peer pressure. Look, it's easy to say don't submit the peer pressure. Let's all jump into their shoes. In this day and age, with social media and everything else that goes on and bullying, add infanum and see us stand up to that tidal wave of peer pressure. You take that away from them because you've simply given them an out. Hey, my mom and dad are gonna be testing me If I drink it or shovel my test. No one's gonna see me again until we graduate high school, figuratively speaking. That's one remedy right there. The second remedy is this is really simple you don't want your child or children going to the house where the mom and dads sign off on. Well, at least they're gonna do it on my roof. That's the house we avoid like the plague and we certainly don't want to allow that to be our house. If we permit it, we promote it. Do not for one second be those parents. I'm collecting all the keys. They're 16 years old or they're gonna on our roof. You are part of the problem, you are not part of the solution. There is enough trouble out there waiting for our children as they go through young adulthood and on. Their brains are nowhere nearly fully developed and we're gonna have them ingest the chemical that causes anxiety. Alcohol causes anxiety. Alcohol perpetuates and causes depression. Alcohol causes dehydration. You got a child. There's a student athlete. You want your child dehydrated. And where's the upside to any of this? And they're not ready to make adults in their own right, to have enough problems around alcohol use and abuse. We're gonna ask a child with a still developing brain to make good choices, and good, sound decisions. Where alcohol is concerned. You are putting them in harm's way and make no mistake about it, and I am very bold on this. Don't be that house, be the opposite of that house.Steve Coughran:
No, and I appreciate your candor and that's what people need to hear. So I think those are two great tips Drug test your kids testing for drugs, testing for alcohol for their sake. And then also, just don't be the enabler. And we put together another episode. If you haven't listened to that, check out episode number four, where Steven and I talk about how love is not enabling addiction. That's a great episode you wanna check out as well. Okay, we'll end it here, steven. That was a great episode for everybody who's listening. If you ever have any questions, if you wanna submit a question for us to answer on this podcast, or if you just wanna provide us feedback, please email us at hello at restoredetoxcenterscom. You could also go to our website, restoredetoxcenterscom. We have a lot of great resources there that you might wanna check out, so I'd encourage you to do so.Steven Ginsburg:
But, steven, yeah, it's great joining you today, absolutely, and please, if you have a loved one, a child, someone in your life or your family who's suffering, or any of this that's concerned, please, please, do not hesitate to reach out and contact us. We are here with you all and for you all and all things, and the best way to the solution is through authenticity and transparency and being vulnerable and realizing that there's a better way. So, thank you all so much for joining us.