Alcohol, the accepted drug of society

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The increase in the crime rate is often blamed on the widespreaduse of illegal drugs. Seldom do we associate alcohol abuse with its effect on the breaking up of families and the economic cost such as health care, social services and prison. The reason is alcohol (a drug) is legal and consideration about revenue and taxation plays a big part in government’s decision to regulate and penalize abusers.

Society has no sympathy for the marijuana or other illegal drug user but is quick to forgive the alcoholic as a sick person with a disease that can only be cured if they quit drinking.

I personally felt relieved when I attended a program to stop my alcohol abuse and was told I had a disease. This made me think that all the pain I caused myself and my loved ones wasn’t my fault. I was sick. My wife didn’t buy what society accepted, and I soon realized I had a sin problem, and my addiction was a lust of the flesh.

A few months ago, the report about the research of British experts caught my attention. The study revealed that alcohol was more lethal than heroin, crack cocaine or methamphetamines (crystal meth). When considering their wider social effects, alcohol, heroin and crack cocaine were the deadliest. But overall, alcohol outranked all other substances, followed by heroin, crack, marijuana, ecstasy and LSD.

According to the experts, the reason alcohol scored so high was because it is so widely used and has devastation consequences, not only for the drinkers but for those around them as well.

Alcohol is also connected to high death rates and is involved in a greater percentage of crime than most other drugs.

In my experience doing a jail ministry, I find that we, including myself, are quick to seek treatment for the alcohol abuser but rarely consider those incarcerated for illegal drug possession or use.

It’s been said that alcohol is cunning, baffling and powerful. It not only affects the alcoholic but evidently confuses society.

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