How Society is Designed to ENSURE You Become a Drinker

And to Keep You One as Long as Possible.

Photo by Diana Parkhouse on Unsplash

“in order to rise as an original creature with original meaning in life, one must first accept the death of the identity imposed by one’s culture.”
Abhijit NaskarThe Constitution of The United Peoples of Earth

Would it surprise you to know in the 1930s to 1950s cigarette companies actually used doctors in their ads to push cigarettes as being “less irritating” to your throat and not a threat at all?

Over time, with the realization of research that began linking smoking directly to the nation’s sudden spike in lung cancer, the smoking industry had to change tactics to obfuscate consumers by saying that only “certain” people were prone to get it and it was a “case by case” situation.

Needless to say, it was finally recognized that ANYONE who smoked cigarettes for a long enough time was susceptible to lung cancer and there was no “safe” amount of smoking that one could truly do based on how increasingly addictive it was for anyone who decided to partake.

Seeing this story play out and the devastation that the cigarette industry took as a whole (the percentage of smokers reduced from 45% in 1965 to 15% today), smoking’s consummate wingman, the alcohol industry, understood that they needed to get in front of this to prevent their industry from following the same route.

Therefore, since then, there has been a very calculated and well thought out plan by the alcohol industry that has confused the public as it relates to the dangers of its product. They have, over time, indoctrinated the masses to accept their product as not only an added benefit to our lives but also a necessary part of our maturation and development.

It is through this plan that, for many, alcohol was never truly a CHOICE they made just like the decision to live life without driving was ever a choice. You can, in fact, live your life without driving, but the world has been created to be so “pro-car” that this decision doesn’t cross many people’s minds as reasonable.

However, if driving was linked to numerous health risks, increased anxiety and depression, as well as numerous negative social consequences for your life over time, wouldn’t you want to have this information upfront before you got so used to driving, so you can make an informed decision?

These are, of course, many of the dangers of alcohol, but most of us growing up were only made aware of the danger of becoming ADDICTED to alcohol. And wasn’t alcohol addiction always presented at somewhat hereditary, which meant only “certain” people were prone to get it and it was a “case by case” situation?

Sounds familiar, right?

However, much better than how the smoking industry just tried to confuse the public, the alcohol industry has masterfully taken it a step further by completely integrating itself into the very livelihood of our existence to make it not a choice of IF we will drink, but WHEN and for HOW LONG.

With any long term and deep-rooted indoctrination, enlightenment and consciousness are the first steps to changing our thinking, so in this newest segment of AINYF, Society versus Sobriety, we’ll enlighten you on some of these techniques and give you tips and strategies to overcome them.

Today, we’ll start out with the most pernicious of all the ways that we are almost programmed as children to become and stay drinkers for as long as possible…


This is one of the first things I began to notice almost immediately when I stopped drinking. It’s similar to the phenomenon of when you are considering buying a certain type of car and then all of a sudden you see it everywhere. This is known as the Baader-Meinhof Effect or frequency illusion effect.

For me, I had a distorted form of it in that, since I was no longer drinking, I began to recognize how often drinking was portrayed in situations through marketing that was either A. completely wrong as it relates to the reality of how it would probably play out in real life or B. unnecessary for the situation at hand.

Movies and commercials are going to give you the best opportunities to see this. It is important to note, as an industry, alcohol typically falls within the top 5 of advertising expenditure in the U.S., spending anywhere from 1.5 B to over 2 billion dollars annually.

You’ll see this every day as you watch any show. A quick exercise is to count how many alcohol commercials you’ll see during any given 60-minute show. And then notice how this number probably doubles when you’re watching any sporting event, as men are typically more likely to drink than women, even though women are starting to catch up.

Many of these commercials will show someone drinking alcohol to bond with their co-workers, after a hard work out, or as necessary to relax on that much-deserved trip to Antiqua with friends. Through these consistent images, we subconsciously associate alcohol with all of these activities, so we immediately think this is what we should do in these situations.

This is pretty natural and most people get this is the purpose of commercials — to make us think about the product in certain situations to increase the chances of us buying said product. Nothing earth-shattering there.

Where alcohol takes the crown, however, is their ability to be much more subtle in their advertising in MOVIES and SHOWS that really opened up my eyes.

Here’s how you can become more conscious of this. The next time you watch a movie or your favorite mini-series, note how many times the characters bring alcohol into the situation.

This will not be a focal point of the story or even a topic that they will even address, but it will just be a subtle inclusion that (if we really think about it) either seems a bit out of place or at least “questionable” if that same situation were to play out in real life.

Here’s an example scenario to help you understand what I mean:

Tom comes into his boss, Ronald’s, office to discuss the consideration of Tom as a partner for this 20-year-old law firm. You can clearly see that it’s still light outside. Also, Tom just had lunch with his wife, Rita, so you can surmise that it’s probably around 2 pm or so.

Ronald says, “Come on in, Tom,” as he looks up casually while pouring a brown substance into a lowball glass. There is no indication of exactly what it is, but the viewer can surmise it’s some type of alcohol beverage.

“I’m just pouring myself a quick drink. You want one?”

“Sure. Why not?” Tom replies.

What the f*ck???

It’s 2 pm in the afternoon, and they’re at work. In what world is this normal behavior?

As I alluded to, it’s not heavy-handed, as Tom would probably only take a sip or two, but the thought has already been subtlely planted in your head — When you are super successful in the high stakes world that Ronald and Tom live, these are the type of things you do.

How about this one?

Two parents are at home with their kids having dinner. The mom just finishes the lasagna and puts it on the table. “Dig in everyone,” she says.

The father asks his daughter how school was, as he cracks an Amstel Light and takes a sip. The mother then sits down with her glass of wine to listen to the answer.

Is this HAPPENING in households? Do most people drink beer and wine with their family dinner with their kids?

Probably not. However, the way it is portrayed in movies/shows is this is NORMAL, and happens in most of them. Therefore, the viewer then thinks it’s okay to do or it makes them feel better about themselves since they DON’T drink in front of their kids.

It’s so subtle and minuscule, that’s it’s almost imperceptible, but it’s there and slowly pushing alcohol on you…ALL…THE…TIME.


The first step to begin undoing this indoctrination is to just become conscious of it. Take some time over the next week or so and just start paying attention to this in movies and shows. Do the commercial count challenge to see how much alcohol is advertised and with what shows.

Once you realize that you’re being constantly berated with images encouraging you to drink, you’ll then be able to better understand WHY you have the desire to do so in different situations. You can then observe HOW this affects your decision-making and increase the chances that you will be able to control or resist drinking altogether if that’s what you desire.

Conscious-drinking is always the goal. If you drink, it should be because you have all the facts and have decided to make this decision for your life, not because the decision has already been made for you.