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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Alcoholism is a social illness.

Alcoholism is just as bad as drug addiction if not worse. Both will destroy your life but is two different kinds of addictions. Whereas street drugs are something illegal and only obtained by cover of anonymity alcohol on the other hand is a legal and most acceptable drug. It is a social disease in my opinion.
When you use alcohol you don’t need to hide it away and it is available at all liquor stores especially for that reason. You can buy as much as you want and you won’t be arrested for it. There is no law against having a whole room full of any kind of booze you can think of and that reason alone makes it so much different from drugs.
It is socially acceptable to have a few drinks and in a public venue. There are many places you can go to drink yourself into a coma and only if you cause problems will you be asked to leave. Now we are clear on the difference let’s get to the real problem of alcoholism. Some people start drinking to dull pain they have experienced in life. If it didn’t make me ill I am sure I could easily have become a serious drinker after Emile died.
A very interesting thing about it that not many people know is that it is also a genetic problem, if it isn’t in your genes and you don’t have an addictive personality you won’t easily become one. But the problem is you won’t know it until it is too late. Most people don’t plan on becoming an alcoholic just like others don’t plan on becoming drug addicts. It just happens and by the time you realise it you are stuck in the claws of the illness.
Only when you can admit that you have a problem can you seek help. Not because your wife threatens to leave you or you can lose your job, because then you will never stop. My brother and his wife are alcoholics and a few years ago he almost beat her to death in a drunken rage.  In order to let him get bail I arranged for him to go to rehabilitation. Only the threat of prison made him go to a rehabilitation centre. He didn’t stop drinking but merely stopped beating her up. They have four children of which three of them have left home at very young ages to get out of the situation of living with drunken parents.
Most alcoholics who haven’t decided to change live in complete denial that they have a problem and are always ready with excuses why they are drinking. There is a great organisation called Alcoholics Anonymous who is there for the support and help of people who wants to stop drinking. It is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience strength and hope with each other so that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.
There is no easy way out of this and it takes hard work to recover. Alcoholism doesn’t damage you alone who is in the clutches of it. It has an impact in everyone around you, your family, friends, workplace and innocent people who comes into contact with you. Take drunken driving for instance. Many people die on our roads every day because of it, and innocent people.
You will see I call it an illness, because it is an illness in their bodies and their mind. They find reasons for drinking and hide the fact from everyone, become sneaky and if they don’t stop drinking it almost always gets worse.  One fact that many people don’t realise is that is can strike anyone from any walk of life and any age. Most of them have underlying problems that started the drinking in the first place. Alcoholics Anonymous helps them to work through these problems, to identify it and come to terms with it. It can never be “cured” but you can become a recovered alcoholic. Many fight the battle of the need for a drink constantly. It is always at the back of their minds. That is why it is an illness not badness.
If you think you have a problem and you want to change your life contact any AA in your area and they will help you to become sober and live a fulfilling life again. It need not be the end of your life.
Blessed Be and Namaste!!