Do you think we well really ever address the issue of alcohol in this country? Ever?
Does it say nothing to you that when watching an NFL football game we have to endure commercials that sell us beer, drugs so men can have erections, and whatever a woman in a bikini can sell. Is this what’s required to watch football? A beer and an erection? I’m just asking…
I understand the draw of alcohol – I also understand the demons that come from alcohol. I’ve been a part of the collateral damage that comes along with alcohol – and from experience I can tell you the damage never really goes away.
We need to not glamorize alcohol – we need to speak openly and quite frankly about what can happen when alcohol – in any form – takes over your life. For those of you who believe you don’t have a problem when you put away a 12 pack of beer during the 3 hours the football game is on because “it’s only beer” well – beer is alcohol. For those of you who think that downing a bottle or two of wine at dinner is perfectly normal – well – wine is alcohol. If you can’t get through the game or through your dinner without it – well – you might just have a problem.
Alcoholism isn’t the vision you have in your head of the drunk of the street with the cheap bottle of whiskey in the brown paper bag. It’s the folks who have to have their wine everyday just to” take the edge off” – it’s the folks who just have a beer or two or three to “unwind” – if you drink every day of the year – you might want to ask yourself why.
Alcohol – in any form – is its own drug. For those who are prone to addictions – it’s the perfect drug of choice. It’s social – it’s accepted – and in some cases it’s demanded of you to be able to enjoy life fully! “Come on – one drink – it won’t kill you.” The thing is – it can kill you. If you become addicted – it will kill you. Slowly, but it will surely kill you.
I’m not some tea-teetotaler on a soapbox – I’ve done my share of heavy drinking, and I still like my shot of whiskey on occasion. I’ve had my own glass behind the bar where everybody knew my name and I’ve gotten behind the wheel of my car when I had no business even opening the car door. I was lucky – I never hurt anyone. I did my share to help Jerry Lewis and his Kids by drinking my way through the Labor Day telethon – and I’ve donated my fair share to the San Diego Padres and Chargers respectfully by drinking their $9.00 beers at the games. I’ve embarrassed myself at family functions and said some pretty hurtful things to others when fueled with that liquid courage! Sadly – I wouldn’t remember what I had said – but some wounds have never healed.
Thankfully – those days of more than one drink are over for me. My family faced some major trouble a few years ago all fueled by alcohol – and that prompted me to look at my life and stop the cycle. I saw firsthand what alcohol can do and how it can ruin lives and families. When I realized that family genes were not on my side when it came to the battle of addiction – I knew it was time to stop before I ruined my own life. I will on occasion enjoy a shot of whiskey – but – it’s rare.
There needs to be a discussion in America about alcohol. An open, honest, non-glamorized discussion about what can happen when that one glass of wine or that one beer becomes an addiction. If we’re going to sell it – there should be warning labels, and there should be literature about alcohol addiction in every liquor store in the country. In every grocery store shelf that has alcohol – there should be literature warning you what can happen. In every commercial there should be a warning about what alcohol can do to your body. How many more people have to die before we get it?
Perhaps the girls in the bikinis could make a commercial warning of the dangers of alcohol. We could show it in between the commercials for bud light and the erection drug!