At some point in each of our lives whether it has already happened or one day will happen, we’ll see one of our friends or family members impacted by the effects of alcohol. My father lost two of his brothers because of alcohol. One died from cancer and liver failure due to his alcoholism and the other was hit by a drunk driver riding his motorcycle at a very young age. My father named my brother after him, Greg. As I’m sure many of you who are reading this can name someone or know somebody effected by this poison, we must look at the leading cause of these accidental or long-term fatalities. We need to look at banning the production of all Alcohol manufacturers for the sake of our future and our livelihood.
Before I get into the long-term and short-term effects of alcohol I have a story of my own about two people I knew effected by alcohol. I had two friends I knew very well in high school that were severely impacted by alcohol but both on very different sides of the story. One was Jeremiah Holmes who was an avid hockey player and was on his way for playing for the Junior USA Olympic hockey team. Jeremiah was a kind soul and extremely kind to others and did not deserve to be hit by that drunk driver. His life ended so shortly in the split second, someone who deserved much more out of this life. The other was Zachary Benjamin. Zach wasn’t like Jeremiah at all. Zach was a little more clueless to the world around him and continuously made bad choices. Zach moved to Florida and within the first month got drunk and hit two young kids, ages 11 and 6 heading home from playing basketball. The youngest was killed and the other left on life support who later survived. Zach never turned himself in. Instead the next day took his Toyota Tacoma truck to get his front bumper fixed and thank the Lord the repair man noticed and called the authorities. Zach is now in prison serving only 7 years as his life also changed within a split second because of alcohol. The point I’m trying to make is that alcohol doesn’t care if you’re good or bad, right or wrong. One way or another it has a way to make an instant impact on many people’s lives and usually the impact is never good.
Drunk driving accidents are more common than ever nowadays. “Every day, 29 people in the United Sates die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver” (CDC). That’s 10,585 people who die yearly in America due to drunk driving. And it seems these odds are only increasing due to the fact we promote alcohol on every other commercial as well as major sports games. The NFL’s leading sponsor is an alcohol company, Bud Light. The NFL preaches to our children to work out sixty minutes a day yet when they watch their favorite sports team they are subjected to watching people on TV start a party by cracking open a bottle of corona during a commercial. And Lord knows anyone who watches football on Sunday knows just how many commercials there are. These companies may not admit it, but they are starting a chain for the future drinkers of America. But these advertisements aren’t just reaching our children. They connect to people like you and me. We see people on TV drinking and having a good time, reminding us of the good times we’ve had on a night out drinking in the past. Leading us to want to re-create those memories.
“Although not denying the importance of social factors, most psychological models of alcohol consumption are based on the assumption that drinking behavior is sustained for its personal effects. These effects are generally conceived in terms of a reduction in tension or anxiety” (Hull). Sure, it’s nice to go out and have a drink with a few friends to relieve your stresses. Than the next day you’re twice as stressed and would care to relieve it again. Maybe you’re worried about something at work or a relationship and a drink would calm the nerves and tension. “This cycle eventually leads to habitual drinking when alcohol consumption becomes a primary response to heightened internal tension” (Hull). We eventually become so combined to this idea that alcohol helps me relax or helps with my nerves that we let that become our norm. We forget that alcohol isn’t the only thing that helps with stress, it’s just easier than exercise and feels better. “People are motivated to bring about affective changes through the use of alcohol to the extent that they do not have satisfying positive incentives to pursue and enjoy and to the extent that their lives are burdened by negative incentives that they are not making satisfactory progress toward removing” (Cox et al.). We use alcohol for many, many reasons. This we all can call a true statement. But what Cox is trying to say is that we look to alcohol to bring changes in our body and mind because its easier and quickly effective to relieving this tension than burdening ourselves to deal with the problems that are making us want to drink in the first place.
If we’re lucky enough to survive without being hit by a drunk driver or starting your ignition while being drunk yourself, then we should look at what some of the long-term effects of alcohol will do to your body. “An estimated 88,000 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States” (NIAAA). Let’s look at that number and match it with the previous number we looked at earlier. 10,585 people die yearly from drunk driving. So, 77,415 people die yearly from alcohol related causes other than drunk driving accidents. If alcohol doesn’t kill you when you are young it will eventually come to get you as you get older. Some long-term health risks include high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver and colon (CDC). So many different types of problems the body can develop through the continuation of consuming alcohol.
So why on earth do we drink it? Well just like Jay Hull, the Dartmouth Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences said earlier of how the effects of alcohol reduces tension and anxiety. If there is a major psychological problem that we humans have nowadays is that a lot of us have anxiety. So sure, drinking could help relieve this, but it really does not seem like those pros will out way the cons of alcohol consumption. Due to the fact of developing habitual drinking pattern or putting yourself at risk by people who are drinking. Many will argue that they are safe when they drink, or they only drink a few times a week. No matter how many of you are like that, there are going to be 10 folds many more of people who cannot control themselves and put so many of our loved ones in harm. If alcohol were to be banned we would have a healthier, goal-oriented, safer society. Our world will not be damaged by a poison that’s become so easily accessible to ourselves let alone our children. These companies market a cancer to our world all while making a profit for it. We need to stop hurting our future by consuming alcohol. We need to ban alcohol.
Benjamin, Zachary. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoHOQH6xs_0
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Alcohol-Related Disease Impact (ARDI). Atlanta, GA: CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Impaired Driving: Get the Facts”. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/impaired_driving/impaired-drv_factsheet.html
Cox, Miles. Klinger, Eric. “A Motivational Model of Alcohol Use”. The American Psychological Association, Inc. June 1988. Vol 97, No.2, pg. 168-180. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Eric_Klinger/publication/19866619_A_Motivational_Model_of_Alcohol_Use/links/00b49529e4689e6234000000.pdf
Hull, Jay. “A Self-Awareness Model of the Causes and Effects of Alcohol Consumption”. Department of Sociology, Indian University. May 1993. Vol. 90. No. 6, pg. 586-600. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/7e30/bc7195cec58c749c22a3b8e6461bcb0d59d9.pdf
NIAAA. “Alcohol Facts and Statistics”. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-facts-and-statistics
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