Monday, August 23, 2010

Alcohol's Debris

If I had no religious inclination I would not touch alcohol. Here is why.

The National Institutes of Health's division on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) said in 2004, "We do know that heavy drinking may have extensive and far–reaching effects on the brain, ranging from simple “slips” in memory to permanent and debilitating conditions that require lifetime custodial care." Additionally, ladies who drink during pregnancy contribute to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which "... can lead to a range of physical, learning, and behavioral effects."

A Wikipedia article Short Term Effects of Alcohol adds, "Moderate alcohol consumption 30–60 minutes before sleep, although decreasing sleep onset latency, disrupts sleep architecture" including, "...late night disruptions in sleep maintenance." Even with moderate amounts, "Short-term effects of alcohol include the risk of injuries, violence and foetal damage."

The Partnership for a Drug-Free America list many negative results of consuming alcohol. They list dizziness, slurred speech, disturbed sleep, nausea, vomiting, impaired judgment and coordination, and "increase the incidence ... of aggressive acts including domestic violence and child abuse." To this long list they added headache, thirst, fatigue, severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, convulsions, and "permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and liver," Fetal alcohol syndrome with its cases of "mental retardation and other irreversible physical abnormalities" and "children of alcoholic parents are at greater risk than other children of becoming alcoholics" conclude their list. says 25,000 people die unnecessarily each year in America from alcohol-related car wrecks.  George Washington Medical Center says, "Alcohol costs American business an estimated $134 billion in productivity losses, mostly due to missed work: 65.3 percent of this cost was caused by alcohol-related illness, 27.2 percent due to premature death, and 7.5 percent to crime."

Each of these problems carries with it its own destructive patterns involving family members, employment, government aid, law enforcement, and psychiatric effects. Who wants any of these problems?

But the fact is I am a religious person. I can avoid all these devil-derived problems if I will listen to God. What has he said about strong drink?
In the Old Testament:
  • Lev. 10:9 The priests should not drink wine before coming to worship.
  • Prov 20:1 "Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, And whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise."
  • Prov 23:20-21 speaks of heavy drinkers coming to poverty. 
  • Prov. 23:30 and its context reveals who has deep sadness, contentions, complaints, and "wounds without cause."
  • Prov 31:4 reminds kings and rulers not to drink wine or strong drink.
In the New Testament: 
Jesus wants me to have a good life in the here-and-now, and eternity too. 

So what is The Struggle

Is it how much it takes to be drunk, 'buzzed', or unsafe? Can I drink a small amount of alcohol and not effect someone else? Is drinking doing something for the good of others (like Jesus would do), or for selfish pleasure? Who gets hurt?

Why hurt?

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