Many people don’t think of alcohol as a drug, but it is. It’s a class 2 narcotic and in the same category as tranquilizers and barbitates, drugs that slow down the central nervous system as the body’s “command headquarters” and you will understand how much damage alcohol can do to a body. You may wonder why alcohol is legal for adults if it is a drug. The truth is, alcohol has been around for thousands of years long before the medical world had much knowledge about it. If alcohol were to be discovered today, it would never be made legal. But it is so widely accepted that to try to outlaw it would be lamost impossible.
The active ingredient in alcohol is a chemical called ethyl alcohol. If you remove the water from ethyl alcohol, you get ether. When a person drinks, the liver filters alcohol from the blood steam and eliminates it from the body. The liver can filter about one ounce of alcohol per hour. If someone drinks more than an ounce per hour, the person becomes intoxicated, or drunk. Toxic means poisonous. When you are experiencing ani of the effects of alcohol, such as slurred speech, slower reaction times, vomiting, slowed down heartbeat, and dizziness, you are having symptoms of poisoning. And if alcohol is taken into the body at too fast a rate, the brain basically “ goes to sleep” and forgets to tell the heart to beat and your body to breathe. So you die, it is called acute alcoholic poisoning.
The news is full of tragedies related to alcohol use. Recently in my community, an 18 year old who was driving home from work was hit by a young dringking driver and killed. And then there was the popular cheerleader who, as a result of her boyfriend’s crash, was thrown out of his sports car and died on the road. Her boyfriend had been seen drinking earlier at the football game. And then there were the two girls who, cruising around late one night, paid dearly for their poor decision making. The girl driving pulled out in front of a police car. Both girls were killed. The girl driving was found to be legally intoxicated. Another incident checked into a hotel to celebrate. Two guys, who had been drinking, got into a scuffle in the hotel room and begin fighting. One threw the other into a plate glass window, wich broke. That young graduate fell to his death. I could go on…. And on….and on.
Alcohol has also touched the lives of people who are close friends of mine. One friend, when she was a college student, attended a rowdy fraternity party where most people were drinking. She was hit in the face by a flying beer bottle and will have a scar for life. Another friend’s car was hit when a drunk driver ran a red light. Her car was totaled and she suffered numerous broken bones. My former boss was hit by a car while walking across a street again by a drinking driver. Once an avid runner, he now has so many leg injuries that he won’t ever be able to run again. The boy who lived next to my parents went party hopping with his girlfriend following their high school graduation. He was a star basketball player and had already been accepted to college, because he and some buddies chose to drink at the parties and between the parties. Early in the morning, the driver missed a cuve in the road and they crashed. Five of the six teens in the car died. And a junior high girl I know was raped at a party after having passed out from drinking. She doesn’t know who raped her, how many took part, and so forth.
So many lives are wasted because of someone’s desire to ingest a chemical that we know alters a person’s mind and mood, interferes with good judgment and vision, slows down muscle control and reaction time, and produces the dangerous feeling of having more power or control than usual.
Many teens tell me they drink not only appear more grown up but also to feel comfortable to loosen up in social situations. Some say alcohol helps you up, but that also means you may do or say things that you would not normally say or do if you were tinking clearly!!. For instance, among teens who have engaged in sexual activity, nearly half admit that they were intoxicated the first time. Many of these individuals would probably have postponed sex until they were more mature, and better prepared for it, had they not been drinking.
Alcohol gives us a fake sense of having fun, appearing sophisticated, and being a good communicator. Where do we get these false images? From the alcohol ads and from movies. They aren’t presenting realty. Just ask one of the 6.6 million children under age 18 who live with an alcoholic mother or father.
If you have ever been the only sober person at a social event, then you know how superficial the conversation is when everyone’s drinking. There’s no eal convertation. the topics aren’t interesting, and even if they were, no one stays on topic long enough for some in depth discussion to develop. Plus, people laugh excessively at things that, if they were sober, would’t even make them crack a smile. So, although alcohol may make people talkative, what they say isn’t worth much. We must learn how to open up and talk to others without using alcohol. We all can do it, and in the process, what we talk about may actually be interesting. When I was single and dating, I used to spend a few minutes before the date thinking of some interesting things to talk about in case the conversation slowed down. I never went on a date without at least five subjects to bring up. I was frequently told by my dates that I was a great conversationalist, they didn’t know that I planned it that way!!
Because your body is still growing, the negative effects of alcohol can hit you much faster than it would an adult body. Another danger is that alcohol exaggerates the normal depressions and embarrassments that we all have. Alcohol has been linked to teen suicides, which are at an all time high. It diesn’t help us fell to good about ourselves. So many of us seem to be looking for happiness in all the wrong places.
Thinks of the specific kind of food you really hate the one that will make you gag if you try to eat it. For me, that’s asparagus. I hate the teste of it, it’s gross and makes me sick to my stomach!. After the first time I tried it. I never willingly tried it again (on a few occasions, asparagus was hidden in food I was eating, and it made me sick again when I tasted it!). I bet that, like me, you have avoided the food that you dislike the most and have refused to try it a second time.
Now, if you have tasted alcohol, think of the frst time you tried it. what did you think abaout it?.
When I task people that question, most of them reply, ‘ I hated it,’ or ‘ It was gross’ or ‘ yuck’ or ‘ horrible.’ I then ask if they ever tried alcohol again, and many say ‘ yes.’ Why would they try it again if they disliked the taste so much? We don’t try a food we hate a second time. Why do we ever try alcohol again, knowing that we don’t like it? one reason and one reason only; peer pressure. Our friends are drinking. Or some one tells us that it’s cool. Or we think it’ll make us look grown up. Don’t fall for this way of thingking! Nothing that you drink will make you cool! You are what’s cool, your real self! Not the fake person that alcohol causes you to be.
A very few people have told me that they liked alcohol the first time they tried it. when I ask what they were drinking, they usually answer that is was a wine cooler. The alcohol industry knows that to attact young drinkers, especially females, they need a sweet taste, so they add lots aof fruits flavor and sugar to the liquor so that you can’t taste the alcohol. Isn’t that nice of them? They take away the bad taste for us because they like us so much right? Yeah, sure. What they like is our money!!
Can you believe it!! how rude and pressuring can you get! I’m an adult, you would think that I could drink water without someone making a big deal out of it. and you would expect that people would not make such assumptions in public. But they do, and we have all got to learn to live with it and live with them.
Why do people want us to do what they want to do? Because it validates their actions. People think that if they can get other to do what they are doing, then doing it is O.K. that kind of reasoning is not only faulty, but dangerous.