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Alcoholism Issues

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The following represents various issues, problems, and short stories about people who have faced drinking problems.

Peer Pressure to Drink can Affect Seniors Too

Kirk and Michelle were retired. They had been married for forty-five years and in their retirement decided to travel around the country to visit relatives and see some of the national sites.

Kirk was used to working his entire adult life and was having a difficult time with excess time on his hands.

One day Michelle suggested for him to go to the local VFW hall and made some new friends.

Kirk immediately found a small group of guys he liked and they seemed to establish a relatively fast friendship.

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Kirk wasn't much of a drinker but noticed that his new group of friends drank quite a bit.

Not wanting to be considered an outsider, Kirk started to drink every time he went to the VFW to see his new friends. Within a few months, Kirk started drinking quite heavily every day.

It didn't take long for Kirk to learn first-hand about the negative effects of alcohol.

He had a strong personality and just didn't "feel right" while drinking. As he told his wife, he didn't feel in control of himself after drinking three or four shots.

His wife quickly sized up the situation and asked Kirk not to drink anymore at the VFW.

She told him that it was perfectly fine for him to associate with his friends but that he didn't have to do anything he was uncomfortable doing.

Kirk thought his wife's suggestion made a lot of sense and he continued associating with his new friends but without engaging in the drinking.

Even though Kirk is a senior citizen, he now understands first-hand the meaning of senior peer pressure.

Drinking Problems and Alcohol Availability

I sometimes wonder why alcohol is so accepted and accessible in our society when I reflect on the terrible effects of alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

While I don't think that prohibition is the answer, significantly reducing the accessibility and availability of alcohol would certainly cut down on the number of situations that foster excessive drinking.

For instance, wouldn't it be possible to significantly reduce the number of bars and taverns that are allowed in each city?

Given the violent nature of American football, hockey, and at times, basketball, why are alcoholic beverages sold at these sporting events?

Is it really necessary for grocery stores to sell beer and wine?

No matter how alcohol consumption is viewed, something needs to be done to cut into the ease at which alcohol is being sold in our country.

Two Friends Discuss Drinking Alcohol

Justin and Bruce worked together and were good drinking buddies.

They made a habit of going to happy hour after work almost every day and then went out together to drink on the weekends.

To say that drinking was important in their lives was an understatement.

One evening while at happy hour Bruce turned to Justin and asked the following question, "Justin, what is it about alcohol that draws us into drinking almost everyday?

If we keep up our present rate of drinking, where do you think we will be in five or ten years?"

Justin simply told Bruce that they drank so much because it was fun and that because they were so young, they didn't have to spend a lot of time worrying about things that could happen five or ten years down-the-road.

Bruce didn't want to get into a heated debate with Justin, so he didn't add much to what Justin had said.

At the same time, Bruce knew that he and Justin were drinking too much and that at some point in time, they would be forced to address their drinking behavior.

Alcohol Abuse and Nagging Problems

The mother of five children had heard about a very helpful and supportive therapist at the local alcohol abuse center.

She had been feeling quite stressed out lately and started to medicate herself by having a few glasses of wine each evening after her children had gone to bed.

After about five months of this, and after talking to the therapist at the local alcohol abuse center, she finally realized that instead of helping her relax and deal with her issues, drinking made her feel less restful when she awakened and more tense at night before going to bed.

With the help of her therapist, she was able to see that the real root of her stress was that she had not resolved her bitter feelings she had for her ex-husband when he divorced her two years ago.

With these insights and with the medications her therapist prescribed, she eventually quit drinking and started making time for more social events with her friends.

A few months later, she even started dating once again.

Diminishing Returns and Alcohol Consumption

Let us face the facts: people drink because it makes them feel good. The problem, however, is that the law of diminishing returns eventually takes over.

What this means is that up to a certain point, more alcohol equates with increased good feelings.

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But once that point is reached, increased alcohol consumption starts to lead to negative feeling, sickness, and ill health.

When this point is reached, abuse and alcohol is the result. It sounds so easy but we have to learn how to get the positive effects from alcohol without drinking to an excess.

Since this is typically not easy to do, perhaps the best way to accomplish this is to limit one's drinking to two or three drinks once or twice per week.

Granted, every person is different, but this "plan" should probably be fairly effective for most people.

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