Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and Safety Guide
ASERT has compiled resources for those with autism and those who care for people with autism relating to the current COVID-19 outbreak.
I really don’t like the taste of alcohol that much and I don’t find pleasure in drinking. There are other beverages that I find much more appealing. Alcohol is a drug in that it alters the mind and the body. One of the effects that alcohol is known for is that it decreases inhibitions that are important in regulating social interactions. Since social interactions are anxiety-provoking, stressful, and require all my mental faculties, I choose not to make it harder for myself by using alcoholic drinks. I have a tendency to be impulsive, and I think that alcohol would increase those tendencies. In social situations, feeling more in control rather than less helps me feel better, hence, I strictly limit where and how much I drink.
Speaking of control, I’ve seen the effects of alcohol and how drinking too much can cause someone to lose control and change a person. I don’t like being around people who have lost their inhibitions; it’s not fun or funny. People do careless, stupid, and reckless things that they know they would never do if they hadn’t been drinking. It’s too easy to drink more than you plan and the effects of alcohol can be unpredictable. I’ve never had too much to drink or lost control due to alcohol. Alcohol has short-term effects but it can also have long-term effects.
I’ve seen the long-term effects of drinking too much alcohol in somebody close to me. That person missed out on a lot of opportunities, in addition, it profoundly affected their physical and mental health and took years of good health away. They not only risked their own life but they put other people at risk by driving under the influence of alcohol. Seeing this example, plus knowing my own family has a history of problems with alcohol has made me incredibly careful of my own usage of this drug.
I also have to be careful because I take prescription medicines for depression and anxiety. These medications interact and exaggerate the effects of alcohol so I have to make sure that I drink much less than another person would. I am aware of this due to conversations I have had with my doctor about drinking and the effects on the medication. My doctor has advised me to drink less so that it doesn’t affect the medications I am taking.
I don’t keep alcohol in my apartment and I don’t drink by myself. The only time I do drink is on vacation with my friends. And I only drink one mixed drink in an evening after we’re done for the day and not planning on going anywhere else. My rules for drinking include: No driving afterward; someone else needs to drive or I need to stay there. Only one drink and never on an empty stomach (which means only after a meal for me.) Only drink with people I feel safe with and at a secure location. This means friends’ houses for me. Know how much alcohol content is in the drink and don’t drink too fast. These are my rules for drinking.
If you’re over 21, I would advise caution and I think it’s important to research alcohol and its’ effect on the body and mind. Knowing, understanding, talking with people you trust about alcohol, such as your doctor, before you get in situations where you feel pressured to drink can make a big difference in the decisions you make. I know for myself that self-knowledge plus understanding alcohol and its effects help me make better, more prudent decisions.