There is a lot of marketing that goes into advertising products with the intent to encourage their purchase, including everything from product name, style of the logo, shape of the container and color of the product itself. Marketing experts also spend time putting together the perfect words to sell the product, often telling us how it will make our lives better. Companies are also using social media influencers and focusing on “feel good” activities, such as music performances, sporting events and large gatherings.
You may be surprised to know that the alcohol industry’s voluntary codes for marketing and promotion emphasize responsibility, leading to messaging such as “drink responsibly” or “think before you drink.” However, according to a 2014 study completed by The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, while most of the ads analyzed (87%) incorporated a responsibility message, none actually defined responsible drinking or promoted abstinence at particular times or in certain situations. Additionally, when responsibility messages were accompanied by a product tagline or slogan, the messages were displayed in smaller font than the company’s tagline or slogan 95% of the time.
While these are good messages if consumers notice them and heed their warnings, they could also be considered laughable attempts at making it seem that the alcohol companies really care about your well-being (which, of course, they do, as they want you to buy more of their product). While it may be a drink or two for some, or five or six for others, we know that, at some point, alcohol causes your reactions to slow, your skills to diminish and your perceptions to be skewed. This is the impact of alcohol on the brain/body whether you are aware of the changes or not, and no matter who you are.
But all that’s irrelevant, because there is someone behind you who is very aware of those changes, and they’re inviting you to join them on the side of the road by lighting the way in shades of red and blue. Your day just dramatically changed. What do you do? You know that piece of brass in your pocket works wonders and offers you elite membership, but how about now? Are you entitled to a break? Identifying oneself when stopped is something all sworn members know to do, usually because we are armed and need to let the officer know.
Are deputies different these days? Are some forgetting that we are in a “fraternity” and supposed to take care of each other? Or maybe, they just are not aware times have changed. We should all be aware that law enforcement does not tolerate DUIs as they seemed to have done several years ago. Police agencies are demanding more and better accountability from their personnel regarding laws. Whatever the reason, why would you put that burden on a brother or sister officer? Let’s say you have control over your drinking, it is not worth taking the chance. Don’t drink and drive!
If you are having trouble gauging your limitations or not sure of how to set them in the first place, give me a call or talk to one of our docs at Psychological Services Bureau (PSB) at (213) 738-3500. Together, we can try to put you back on the right course. The first step is yours to take, but we will be with you for each subsequent step if you want us to be.
The people listed on this page have agreed to give up their anonymity so that others who are in need of help can access support from a POF member. Don’t worry about bothering us; helping those with drinking issues is one of the ways we stay sober.