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Society's attitude does matter

December 10, 2010
By Terri Kelly Barta

If I had just one wish in this world, I would wish to take away the effects that binge drinking has not only on the drinker, but on the family and friends of that drinker. Living in a world where the person you love doesn't care about anything but his or her next drink is heartbreaking.

My dad abused alcohol, as did one of my brothers, and the gene seems to be passed down to the next generation as well. It is a continuous cycle.

Often a person drinks too much to take the edge off an internal pain of some kind. The emotional pain is too much to bear. The alcohol doesn't solve the problem or take away the pain, it just anesthetizes the person enough that he or she no longer cares about the pain, at least temporarily. When the person sobers up enough, the pain is back just as bad as before the drinking episode. Nothing is solved.

Theymaybe without conscious thoughttake everyone around them down. The people who love them try to help by picking them up and trying to rescue them. Soon the family and friends realize that no matter what they do, nothing works, only the person drinking excessively can help herself or himself.

People lose their jobs, their spouses, contact with family members, friends, they lose interest in outside activities as they are turned inward. The person once known as a productive person with talents of their own is reduced to feeling like nothing.

Some people can't seem to find the strength to change what they don't like about themselves. They end up in misery for the rest of their lives. Family and friends encourage them to get help, but only the person suffering has the power to change.

Some people who believe the 'bottle' is their best friend, have chosen to give it up and re-invent themselves. They have chosen a path that is very difficult, but not impossible. They do it one step at a time, sometimes slipping back along the way, but always keeping their eyes on the prize, a new way of life with dignity.

Some people simply cannot drink moderately, so they have to resolve not to drink at all. It is a very difficult journey. One that takes a lot of support and encouragement. It can be accomplished with much determination.

Statistics show that the younger a person is when they start to drink, the greater effect it has on the body. If a drinker begins at 12 or 13 and continues throughout life, they increase their risk of having problems with binge drinking and alcoholism. Young people who are still growing and maturing need to take a look at that fact and make wise decisions concerning alcohol use. Alcohol use can be postponed until children reach adult status and are of the legal drinking age. It just might be that you avoid serious problems later. Think about it. It could be a gift you give to those who love you.

In a perfect world, no one should have to suffer from the disease of alcoholism but the world isn't perfect and people do suffer. Make wise decisions when young, so you won't have to take the journey of trying to get your life back.

 
 

 

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