Is alcohol harmless?
Alcohol is legal. People who drink wine, beer, or hard liquor can have those drinks in public. They can talk about their choices of alcohol and laugh about having too much occasionally. Even if you drink more than you want to, you don’t have to think of yourself as an alcoholic or consider your dependence on alcohol.
But alcohol is not harmless. Let’s look at some of the harm alcohol can do.
How much do you spend on alcohol? The average American spend over $500 a year on alcohol. If you drink more than average, you may be spending as much as $20.00 a day on beer, wine, or liquor. Think of the things you could do if you had that money back in your pocket!
There’s more. Have you ever missed a day of work because of drinking? Have you lost a job? Have you spoiled a relationship, lost a friend, or perhaps even lost touch with a romantic partner or family member?
When you think about it, you may recognize many more costs.
Drinking has health consequences. Here is an incomplete list of the health conditions for which alcohol increases your risk:
- liver disease
- brain damage
- heart disease
- breast, mouth, throat, esophageal, liver, and colon cancers
- learning and memory problems
- birth defects (if consumed during pregnancy)
Alcohol use can also increase the likelihood of accidents, risky behaviors, and even violence. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says that there are about 88,000 deaths from alcohol-related causes each year in the United States.
When I was dependent on alcohol, I woke up every morning with a sense of dread. I wasn’t sure what I had done the day before. I couldn’t remember the good times…and I was afraid to think about the bad times. I felt that I had to hide my true self, and I lost touch with the person I wanted to know as my true self.
Now that I am alcohol free, I have regained my life and my happiness.
Integrity and honesty feel deep and genuine instead a part of the mask that I put on each day. Possibilities of adventure and exploration have come back into my life. Contentment and gratitude are becoming more and more available to me. My life is my own again and I am learning that I am enough.