You may have done it at least once in your life. You went out, had a bit too much to drink, and you ended up contacting someone with slurred speech and an unsound mind. For some who party hard, this behavior becomes a repeated ritual. Although it sounds like a common mistake to commit while intoxicated, people need to realize what drunk dialing or texting really represents: a lapse in control.
A recipe for drunken disaster
According to 2014 data from the Pew Research Center, 64 percent of Americans own a smartphone capable of calling, texting, and chatting with others online. In fact, the most popular form of communication reported by users is text messaging at 81 percent. When this trend is combined with 1 in 6 American adults who reported binge drinking at least four times a month to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of drinking while texting is bound to occur quite frequently.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) lists temporary blackouts and other losses of memory as warning signs of abusive activity. Most of all, a major signifier of a full-blown addiction is the loss of control. This behavior is characterized by consuming larger amounts of alcohol or drinking for longer durations than originally intended. This symptom becomes especially concerning when individuals make an effort to reduce or control their use but fail to do so.
Learning to communicate correctly
Unfortunately, many people who continually misuse their phones while intoxicated are in denial of their disordered behavior. In most cases, loved ones will need to reach out and start a meaningful conversation in order to identify the root of the problem. Only then can an open and honest form of communication take place.
Speaking to a person abusing alcohol without an acknowledgment of the underlying issue requires addressing a number of mental obstacles. Sociologist Stanley Cohen states that denial manifests in three main ways: thinking nothing happened, interpreting one action as another one, and justifying the behavior as acceptable. In order to confront these barriers, a friend or family member with an underlying drinking problem must:
- Gain cognition or knowledge of the facts
- Accept emotional disturbances that fuel their behavior
- Recognize a responsibility to change
- Take action after being informed
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