Alcohol abuse

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Alcohol abuse is a problem that encompasses more than alcoholism (a chronic, lifelong acquired disease in which a person is dependent upon alcohol); one can abuse alcohol without being dependent on its effects.[1] Over 17 million people in the United States are either alcohol abusers or alcoholics. Alcohol abuse is a problem for people of all demographics, but is highest among people aged 18-29. People who start drinking at a young age are much more likely to become alcohol abusers than people who do not start drinking until the age of 21, but there is little objective, independent evidence to suggest a correlation. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan threatened to veto the Democratic House of Representatives' bill that would federally raise the drinking age to 21, citing states' rights concerns.

Since the drinking age was raised to a nationally uniform 21, drunk driving-related deaths have dropped substantially, at almost the same percentage as driving-related deaths that do not involve alcohol. Drinking age opponents and independent studies suggest that vehicle safety, seatbelt wearing, and increased use of designated drivers account for the substantial decrease in alcohol- and non-alcohol-related driving deaths. Furthermore, the trend started in 1969 but plateaued in the mid- to -late-1990's when cops 'n shops programs became popular. However, the introduction of cops 'n shops and slowing of the decrease in drunk driving deaths may be unrelated.

Contents

Health effects

The health effects of alcohol abuse are well documented and range from mild to severe. Effects include:

  • chronic liver damage
  • reduced memory and brain function
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Heart disease

Withdrawal

Alcohol withdrawal (colloquially known as "The DTs") can vary in extremes from minor shakes and discomfort to full blown seizures, hallucinations and even death in some cases. The level of withdrawal is correlated to the amount one drinks over length of time. Symptoms include:

  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • tremors of the extremities (particularly hands)
  • seizures
  • intense cravings for alcohol
  • hallucinations
  • coma
  • death (in severe cases)

Treatment

Conservative values are an excellent way to combat alcohol abuse.

Faith based treatment

St. Paul defends his preaching (Giovanni Ricco)

The Apostle Paul wrote concerning drunkards and becoming free of enslavement to a drunken lifestyle:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor [a]effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. - I Corinthians 6:9-11 (NASB)

The Bible teaches that excess alcohol use is a sin.[2] Bible believing Christians commonly assert that the root cause of alcoholism is often spiritual/character issues and through the power of God these can be addressed. [3]

Many troubled people turn to alcohol as a means to escape their personal problems rather than rely on the power of God.

Christian author Sue Earl wrote:

Is God absent in heaven? Has God become indifferent and cold like some men, who have totally destroyed their sense of feel, or is God suffering with the sufferers? Mankind tries to deaden pain with drugs, alcohol, escapism, but if we attempt to deaden the pain we become indifferent and lose the ability to love. God is not an arbitrary force or blind fate of destiny who has no feelings. God is love. Love has a cost — suffering. God cared so much about people's sufferings that He sent Jesus to suffer and die for mankind. Not only did Jesus suffer when He died, God suffered. Christ's suffering reveals a passionate and loving God. For God to be man's redeemer, He had to be involved in Jesus' death. God made atonement and took away sin.[4]

Australian online opinion writer and lecturer in ethics and philosophy at several Melbourne theological colleges, Bill Muehlenberg, in his essay The Unbearable Heaviness of Being (In a World Without God) wrote:

Announcing, and believing, that God is dead has consequences. And it is we who suffer the most for it. We cannot bear the whole universe on our shoulders. We were not meant to. We must let God be God. Only then can men be men. Only then can we find the way forward to be possible, and the burdens not insurmountable.[5]

Atheism and alcoholism

According to the World Health Organization's (WHO) regional office in Europe, "The WHO European Region has the highest proportion in the world of total ill health and premature death due to alcohol.[6]

See also: Atheism and alcoholism

Atheists and atheistic cultures often have significant problems with excess alcohol usage (For more information please see: Atheism and alcoholism).

Secular countries/regions and alcoholism

Secular Europe:

According to the World Health Organization's (WHO) regional office in Europe, "The WHO European Region has the highest proportion in the world of total ill health and premature death due to alcohol.[7]


Australia:

An Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD) report indicated that 20% of Australians drink at levels putting them at risk of lifetime harm.[8]


Alcoholism was a serious social problem in the former atheistic Soviet Union.[9] Between 1940 and 1980, this atheist state had the largest increase of the amount of alcohol usage in the developed world.[10]

Asian countries:


History of communism:

Alcoholism was a serious social problem in the former atheistic Soviet Union.[11] Between 1940 and 1980, this atheist state had the largest increase of the amount of alcohol usage in the developed world.[12]

Atheism, alcoholism and anger

Atheism, alcoholism and anger

Irreligion, alcoholism and various generations in the United States


Recent generations in the United States:

Binge drinking and brain damage

A 2012 study suggests that a habit of binge drink risks serious brain damage including increasing memory loss later in adulthood.[13][14]

Currently, there is a downward trend in intelligence scores in secular countries (see: Intelligence trends in religious countries and secular countries).

Atheism, binge drinking and suicide

Binge drinking is a potent risk factor for suicide.[15] Atheists have a higher suicide rate than the general population.

References

  1. http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/FAQs/General-English/default.htm#whatis
  2. Is alcohol abuse a sin or a disease?
  3. Is alcohol abuse a sin or a disease?
  4. Empowered for Life Success: Living in God's Grace, Truth, and Love, By Sue Earl. page 70-71
  5. http://www.billmuehlenberg.com/2008/05/26/the-unbearable-heaviness-of-being-in-a-world-without-god/
  6. World Health Organization's (WHO) regional office in Europe - Alcohol usage of Europe
  7. World Health Organization's (WHO) regional office in Europe - Alcohol usage of Europe
  8. One in eight deaths of young Australians attributable to alcohol: National Council on Drugs report By Jane Mower, Updated 19 Nov 2013, 7:28pm
  9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18245818
  10. Alcoholism in the Soviet Union
  11. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18245818
  12. Alcoholism in the Soviet Union
  13. http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/binge/a/aa000818a.htm
  14. http://www.scripps.edu/newsandviews/e_20121022/koob.html
  15. O'Connell, H; Lawlor, BA (October–December 2005). "Recent alcohol intake and suicidality--a neuropsychological perspective". Irish journal of medical science 174 (4): 51–4

See also

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