Author's note: I gave up drinking two years ago.

Fads come and go as quick as autumn in western Montana, excitement builds, they don't last long, and there's a long depressing aftertaste that's hard to get out of your mouth. Just like fad diets, "fad quits" like Stopobter and Dry January have their roots in challenges on social media. While its tempting to participate in these challenges and cutting back on alcohol consumption is never not a good idea, fad quits won't solve the problem if you're a hardcore drinker.

Montana's Alcohol Density

Montanans like to drink (duh!) The Montana Department of Health and Human Services (DPHHS) provides us with data to show how many alcohol retailers there are in our state by county.

Credit: Montana DPHHS / Canva
Credit: Montana DPHHS / Canva

The DPPHS website is HERE

Ravalli County, with over 42,000 residents, tells a similar story with about 2.5 alcohol retail outlets per 1,000 people. Lake and Granite Counties aren't that different either, with ratings of 3.03 and 5.44 respectively. Drinking is as much a part of Montana culture as eating beef: it's very easy to get if you want it.

The issue is so well-known by now that the National Traffic Safety Board is recommending that all new vehicles sold in Montana come pre-installed with an alcohol monitoring device. 66% of all fatalities in the Treasure State were the result of impaired drivers (source)

RELATED: NTSB Recommends New Vehicles Have Breathalyzers In Montana

Why Fad Quits Don't Work For Addicts

For the same reason that New Years resolutions don't work: trying to address bad behaviors by simply excising them from your life for a while with no accountability is a recipe for failure. Don't get me wrong...stopping drinking is great but it can have serious consequences if you're a binge drinker or if you don't address why you started drinking heavily in the first place.

Not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic, just like everyone who works isn't addicted to their job. If you're a Montanan and you know someone with an alcohol problem, do what I did: tap HERE to see what community services are available. And talk to your doctor about it.

Stay safe, fam. I'm rooting for you.

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