The Herald, 18 June, 1983
FROM what you read, see and hear, as well as from what you observe in the actions of others, you might think that everyone drinks alcoholic beverages. Fortunately, that’s not true.
What is true, however, should cause us all some alarm. Alcohol addiction is on the rise and at an earlier age.
More and more young people are regularly drinking alcoholic beverages. Alcohol-related deaths, including over half of all motor vehicle accidents deaths in Zimbabwe, are steadily increasing.
And, in spite of evidence to the contrary, people still believe that “It’s good” for digestion, relaxation, etc to have a “little drink”.
Thinking persons need to face the facts: Alcohol is a poison. Alcohol kills cells. Brain cells are especially affected.
Alcohol numbs the senses and distorts the reason. Alcohol breaks apart families causing divorce, child abuse and acts of aggression.
Money needed for food, clothing and shelter is squandered. Alcohol hurts and kills innocent people.
If you drink don’t make excuses. You made the decision. Peer pressure, a parent’s example, glamour ads — one or more may have played a part in your decision. But it was still your decision to make. Perhaps you need to work on saying a little-used word when a drink is offered: “No”.
LESSONS FOR TODAY
Alcoholics and problem drinkers are found at all levels of society, in rural and urban centres, and this in itself is a societal challenge.
Excessive drinking affects parts of the brain that controls judgement, thought, muscular co-ordination and speech. If people must drink, they should do it in moderation, but it’s better never to imbibe, since it leads to social issues like gender-based violence and other forms of abuse.
Abuse of alcohol results in absenteeism from work and school, work-related accidents, lower productive capacity, and decreased quality of work.
Alcoholic beverages defined as “spirits” are so dangerous that they can cause liver cancer (cirrhosis).
Despite the cost of living, most people have resorted to alcohol and drugs, arguing that they are therapeutic. Most governments have struggled with their citizens when pubs were spaces put under lockdown during this Covid-19 pandemic.
Alcoholics Anonymous Zimbabwe is one of the registered organisations that offer counselling and other services to alcohol addicts and their families.
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