America, Can We Talk About Your Drinking Problem?

And the culture around drinking, the way we drink, has grown more intense. Epidemiologists say that excessive and binge drinking begins in college, and that for many it continues through early adulthood with after-work happy hours — so much so that Thursdays, in many circles, have become “Little Friday”— code for hitting the bar after (or in some Silicon Valley companies during) work.

Cues from popular culture make alcohol look glamorous and fun: “They send the message that you’re missing out if you are not up on the latest cocktail,” said Carrie Wilkens, also a clinical psychologist treating substance abuse. And as adults age and feel burdened by the responsibilities of family and work, drinking can be an instant stress reliever.