October 25, 2011 12:17:00 PM
Several news organizations have invited comments on issues deemed important for consideration in choosing among candidates for public offices in this election year. I, personally, am very concerned about the growing abuse of alcohol as a drug and the seeming encouragement of such through our state laws and city ordinances. I am especially concerned about the safety and well being of the wonderful young people pursuing an education on our campuses.
Having served on the Mississippi State University faculty for 40 years, I have always been dismayed over young lives ruined through alcohol abuse. I am not advocating a return to prohibition (we, through history, have learned our lessons about such), but I do believe our leaders could do much to educate the young about the facts regarding alcohol dangers, and to curb exploitation of the young by profiteers through glamorization of alcohol use.
Alcohol is a dangerous drug, and according to my understanding, alcohol, alone, has no nutritive value. Nutritional benefits often attributed to alcoholic beverages comes from the fruit, grains, or other plant components used in production, not the alcohol. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of publicity touting alcoholic beverages for nutritive value, and suggesting health benefits associated. Many in the medical profession will even recommend red wine, or sometimes an alcoholic toddy before bed, particularly for the elderly.
Excessive use of alcohol may become a crutch for those that have trouble living with the stresses of normal life. People use alcohol, like other altering drugs, to escape from life's normal responsibilities. It is a way to hide from the normal functions of society. Unfortunately, regular use of alcohol can become addictive, destroying health, family relationships, and normal mental functions.
Clinton H. Graves
roscoe p. coltrain commented at 10/27/2011 7:13:00 AM:
Mr. Graves, while you are spot-on about alcohol, most who abuse it really don't want to be reminded of it.
In one hand they have their drink, and in the other they have their sack of excuses and justifications.
And the rest of us? Well, we pay their bar tab.
msudad commented at 10/28/2011 9:18:00 AM:
Dr. Graves, Thanks for taking the time to put the spot light on this growing problem.
roscoe p. coltrain commented at 10/28/2011 11:36:00 AM:
And then you have local officials who encourage more deaths and sorrow by legalizing the use of alcohol in venues that will require people get behind the wheel and drive after the event.
But when another branch of government catches you doing it, you go to jail.
It makes no sense.
raider commented at 10/28/2011 10:46:00 PM:
There are no venues that "require" anyone to get behind the wheel after drinking. That's a bold-faced lie. I doubt if you can name one that even encourages anyone to drink and drive.
Everyone that drinks and drives makes their own decision to. It is an individuals responsibility to see to it that they have a designated driver if they plan on drinking.
As far as the health benefits...there probably are not many if any benefits. However, this is a free country and I prefer that alcohol remain legal and available for those of us that believe we have a right to make decisions for ourselves. Personally, I decided to quit drinking a few years ago but I'm not going to stop other people from deciding for themselves.
raider commented at 10/29/2011 10:26:00 AM:
@roscoe - That's not what you wrote. You specifically said the venue would "require" the individual to drink and drive. No one is required to drink and drive. In fact, no one is required to drink just because alcohol is offered by the venue or establishment.
You have a personal dislike of alcohol and you would like to impose your dislike of alcohol onto everyone and stop people from drinking.
And yes, it is a personal decision to drink. Not yours. If you do not want to drink, then don't. That's your personal decision. See how that works. You make decisions for you and I will make them for me.