I have been wanting to write on this subject for some time now. I am in the process of actually writing a book on this subject. My book will be an easy to read workbook that will be full of information to educate someone on all that is involved in drinking alcohol. We actually have a choice to drink or not to drink. It seems in our culture, it is a given that when you turn 21, you now get to drink. I often wonder if that 21 year old is ever sat down and discussed in detail all the risks involved in drinking. I know, you are thinking, “Beverly, do you really think young people actually wait until they are 21?” Right, I wasn’t born yesterday. I also was once a teenager as well. I can honestly say that I don’t recall anyone ever sharing with me all the risks in drinking. It was handed to me at the age of 13. Literally put in my hand. I didn’t take a drink, I just passed it back. By the time I was 13, I had seen enough of alcohol and wanted no part of it. I made up my mind in my wee little brain at a young age that it would not be a part of my life. Who would ever think that it would be a battle to…JUST SAY NO. Trust me, when you decide to say no, you will be ridiculed and challenged regularly. Saying no is not for sissies! -wink
In some of my research, I found out that April is the 33rd Annual Alcohol Awareness Month. 33rd! I am now 59 and I have never in my life heard that there was an Alcohol Awareness Month. Where have I been?!
My husband and I support two children from other countries through Compassion. Each month I print out the monthly prayer calendar. One of the prayer requests caught my eye; A prayer request for a young boy in Brazil. The request was to pray for him and his family due to his alcoholic father. It broke my heart. I thought, out of all the hardships that this young boy lives with; bad water, no food, extreme poor living conditions and education and now, this young boy has to live with the ravages of an alcoholic dad. If life isn’t hard enough, right?
When alcohol takes a hold and takes a bite out of your life, it doesn’t matter, how old or young you are, how poor or wealthy you are, how outgoing or shy you are, how likable or unlikable you are and it doesn’t even matter if you are a Believer or an Atheist. Alcohol is no respecter of persons. No one is above the perils of alcoholism.
Here are just a few statistics to get you to thinking:
*These statistics are from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Also, note these are 2015 statistics and in the United States only. Also, they use the term, Alcohol Use Disorder instead of the word, Alcoholism.
Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) in the United States:
* Adults (ages 18+): According to the 2015 NSDUH, 15.1 million adults ages 18 and older had AUD. This includes 9.8 million men and 5.3 million women.
I have to jump in here and say “Do you think that ANY of those 15 million adults said to themselves, “I think I’m going to be an alcoholic!” I would pretty much be willing to bet 15 million on the fact that “NO! Not one of them did!” Okay, back to the statistics….
» Youth (ages 12–17): According to the 2015 NSDUH, an estimated 623,000 adolescents ages 12–17 had AUD. This number includes 298,000 males and 325,000 females.
» An estimated 88,0008 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.
» In 2014, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 9,967 deaths.
I will be sharing more in later posts between now and April in honor of Alcohol Awareness Month.
I do hope you will follow along with an open mind and in no way do I intend to hurt or shame anyone in their choice to drink alcohol or not. My desire is to show another side that just may save a life or prevent some not so good things that could happen to you or your family.
I’ve lived the life of that little boy in Brazil. I know first hand how it feels to have a daddy that is addicted to alcohol. My dad began drinking at the age of 14. He has shared the story of how his parents were having a party and he and a friend sat under the table where it was being served and hid while partaking in the drinks the adults were having. He gained an appetite for more and he loved it. What I would give, if someone had reached him before he took that first drink. My life would have been much different than what I lived through for many years. It wasn’t pretty and it leaves many scars. My dad and many others had no idea they would become a slave to alcohol and it would change the entire course of their life.
One thing to remember is:
“It’s not about us!”
What we do and partake in will effect others, especially, our children and grandchildren.
Until we get together again on this subject, I have a challenge for you.
Get a piece of paper and draw a line down the center of your paper. On one side put a heading that says, “Positives of Alcohol.” On the other side, write, “Negatives of Alcohol.” Begin writing everything you can think of under each column. This is just for you, so you can begin thinking and deciding what stand you will take on the consumption of alcohol.
Heavy subject, I know. It is something that I know way too much about and yes, I have strong opinions on it. But, I am mature enough to only want the best for you and to share another side than what the world is pouring for you. Get it…” pouring.” That just popped in my head as I was typing. Seriously, I hope you will follow along and we can learn some things together.
Until next time,