A non-drinker considers the allure of alcohol
By Karissa Thurn
7th Grade, NCSS
In our advisory, we have free write every Friday. I have a passion for writing so when I learned that we can submit an article for the Star Journal for consideration, I was ecstatic. A couple Fridays ago I chose the topic of alcohol use for my free write. While I’m still pretty young I’ve seen some stuff in this town and have some questions about the subject.
Why are people addicted to alcohol? Is there a rush that comes with drinking? An occasional drink is a different story, but bar-hopping and getting drunk is not what I would call a good time. Is drinking a way to cover up pain related to a personal or global issue? Drinking could also be a distraction from reality. News about terrorism and mass shootings doesn’t exactly cheer everyone up; news stories add to our already stressful lives and thoughts. Studies at West Virginia University identify stress reduction as a reason for consuming alcohol. Not being at the legal age to drink and not having much desire to drink alcohol, I wouldn’t know what alcohol feels like, but I do know what pain feels like and there are easier coping strategies than using alcohol. In fact alcohol abuse can add to someone’s pain levels. For example, alcohol use can lead to problems within a family, car accidents or other accidents or even mental health struggles.
Is the allure of alcohol the taste? Because I’ve heard that vodka tastes like rubbing alcohol. If I had a choice of whether or not I drank excessively to avoid a problem, I would try hard find a different solution. Some people suggest drinking coffee as a replacement for alcohol, but I would choose tea or soda, because I’ve developed a taste for them.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), over 88,000 deaths each year are caused by excessive drinking. Could alcohol abuse be classified as self harm as well? The victim is harming his or her body with overflowing amounts of alcohol, which destroys livers, kidneys and digestion.
When an alcohol abuser has a family, the family can suffer as well as the drinker. Personalities can change and the drinker might not be the loving spouse or parent you know. Relationships might shift from healthy to unhealthy. Families have a tough choice when relationships are tested due to alcohol abuse; families can support and help a drinker or the family could leave, but the family might fall in the middle of that spectrum, staying with the alcoholic but enabling unhealthy habits. It’s all about how they respond to tough events. Family should be supportive, loving and most important, there for each other, but that’s challenging when alcohol abuse is present in relationships. So before you take that first sip think of who it’s impacting.
For more information visit, DrugAbuse.gov (https://goo.gl/DuXrMn)