I have struggled for awhile now to come to terms with our societal acceptance of alcohol. It is so pervasive, seeped into every nook and cranny of cultures around the world, and yet for all its supposed acclaim, the damage it inflicts upon people of all walks of life is so tremendous I am just astounded that we allow it such free reign.
Let’s get straight to the facts. Alcohol is a POISON, that is what creates those loving effects of delirium and joy. Your frontal cortex, the part of your brain that stops you from doing really BAD things is practically shut down by this poison, and as logical would lead us to believe, people end up doing immensely regretful things while under the influence of alcohol.
Human beings are petty overall, we hold grudges over stupidities, very few of us have any real hold on our emotions, we are easily hurt, become angry over the smallest of things, overall we are not bastions of control and humility. Most of us are just insecure children attempting to pretend that now that we are a bit older we know what the hell we are doing with ourselves.
Throw in alcohol into this mix and you have a shit show.
Yes, the majority of people who drink do not drink until they are drunk out of their minds and do not cause harm to others. But there is more ways to harm others and ourselves then getting into a car accident or attacking another physically. Families are torn apart year after year due to alcohol abuse, and the damage it inflicts on friendships and intimate relationships is just as large. Verbal and physical abuse happens daily all over the world because peoples self control has been stripped away by alcohol.
Now let’s be real here, you do not need to be an alcoholic to have major problems happen in your life because of alcohol. And many people these days drink to a point where they are practically alcoholics even if they do not realize it.
The problem is that people use alcohol as a way to self medicate. Even alcoholics do this. People do not become addicted to a substance solely because of that substance. It just happens to be what they used to drown out their pain when they were younger and it stuck with them as they grew up. Some of us are lucky and become addicted to more positive things like writing or painting or music or a host of other hobbies that do not damage ourselves and others in the same way as alcohol does.
People who deem themselves non-alcoholics but who need a glass or two of wine to “relax” at the end of the day are medicating themselves to deal with stress instead of finding more positive outlets. People who go out and drink every week and who need alcohol simply to be able to have fun are using it to deal with anxiety and nervousness, instead of asking themselves the question ‘ why am I not comfortable enough in my own skin to have fun with my friends without drinking all this alcohol’?.
There are almost no positive benefits to alcohol, and even the bit of research we find on improvements in health in regards to beer or wine do not come close to the amount of deaths and psychological damage alcohol causes rampantly throughout our society, and frankly I am tired of people making excuses for this.
We all need to grow up, it makes no sense that alcohol and cigarettes are legal when they are so destructive, yet other drugs are illegal when in comparison to the former they can offer much more constructive benefits to individuals when done in a controlled setting.
Just because we want to give people the freedom of choice does not mean we should allow people access to things that could cause them to harm others. We are all in this together.