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Alcoholism (ăl′kə-hô-lĭz′əm, -hŏ-)n. A disorder characterized by a persistent pattern of alcohol use that causes harm or distress. It typically involves cravings for alcohol, inability to control the amount consumed, withdrawal symptoms in its absence, and the need to consume greater quantities in order to feel the same effects, and often results in impaired social functioning and significant damage to physical health.
This post applies to the whole world because there is one major problem in our world and certainly here where I currently reside on, the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, A “U.S. territory, where in the USA, alcohol is king. That problem is alcoholism, whereas I feel that alcoholism is a major issue because all I see is people drinking alcohol, be it while driving around the island or at the beach or river.
Alcohol use and misuse account for 3.3 million deaths every year, or 6 percent of all deaths worldwide. The harmful effects of alcohol misuse are far reaching and range from individual health risks, morbidity, and mortality to consequences for family, friends, and the larger society.
Alcoholism seems to be a taboo to talk about. It has become one of society’s conformity’s. Another one of our cultural attitudes as it now seems to be part of the culture for many around the world. I feel that alcoholism has become a hindrance to progressing “society” Or “civilization” along further. It just makes us irresponsible and numb.
Alcohol dependence implies that we can not function without our first beer. The consumption of alcohol becomes a priority as it is here and everywhere else. It has become just like that cup of coffee that we must all have when we wake up in the morning.
What is alcohol abuse?
Let’s start by defining what alcohol abuse is. A drink is defined as a 12-ounce bottle of beer (5% alcohol by volume, ABV), a 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of a shot of liquor (rum, vodka, or whiskey, for example). Now with the addition of craft beers that contain more alcohol by volume, taking a
If we are preparing our own drinks, as we do when we go to the beach or wherever we may be, for most of us we like our drinks strong. we are taking the equivalent of two, or more drinks.
Abusing alcohol means that we drink more than we need to. This amount varies between men and women since we metabolize alcohol in slightly different ways, in addition to differences in physical constitution. For a man, more than 2 drinks on average per day (14 per week) or taking the equivalent of more than 4 drinks on one occasion constitutes alcohol abuse. For a
Alcohol and the mind
Our minds have the power for so much more than numbing it down with alcohol. When we harness the power of the mind, we harness the power of so much more. We should be the ones in control of our minds and with alcohol, I feel that we lose control.
If you’re regularly getting stuck in your head or in a repetitive loop of negative self-talk, or if you constantly find yourself at the beck and call of strong impulses to drink, take heart: this distorted thinking is not a product of you; these thought distortions are actually your brain under the long-term influence of alcohol.
Recent findings from addiction science now evidence this claim. Researchers from Harvard Medical School used high-resolution structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to explore what, if any, differences distinguished alcoholics’ brains from non-alcoholics’ brains. What they found (published in full in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research) was stunning: the brains of alcoholics showed significantly reduced white brain matter, particularly in the frontal lobes, those parts of the brain most critical to impulse control and learning new behaviors. And, the greater the alcohol consumed, the greater the damage.
Cultural and behavioral influences.
I have lived most of my life with alcoholism. I would drink alcohol like water. Five years ago I made a decision to stop drinking. Read why I think it was the best decision in my life by clicking here. For myself , every weekend was drink, drink, drink, we rinse, wash and repeat. Going through this never-ending cycle, never going anywhere.
We drink to party, we drink to cope. We go on drinking alcohol to relieve the pressure’s of society, but we ultimately end up numbing ourselves and hence, our world. Most people drink to alleviate their mental problems, such as anxiety or depression. But we are just masking our problems day in and day out, therefore ignoring the root of our problems. We just go on exacerbating there problems further, hence, the continual binge drinking. Most of us drink, to get our of our comfort zone. We become nothing but a product of alcohol.
It has become something passed on to generation after generation as we have accepted it to be part of our culture.
Alcoholism in Puerto Rico and the littering problem
Here in Puerto Rico, I have been on a mission to raise awareness to all the trash that is found all over this beautiful island as I decided to be the guardian of the beaches and rivers. You could read more about that by clicking here.
I think alcoholism is what is contributing to all the littering as alcohol has numbed the people down where they are just not aware of the destruction they causing to this beautiful paradise, nor to themselves. Bad habits has become part of “culture” . But who cares, let’s just party and drink and have a good ol’ time and screw the world and screw our minds.. Has become our mentality.
Most of the garbage that you would find at the beaches are alcoholic beverages. Beer cans, bottles, these
Let’s Toss our beer cans and bottles out on paradise
Furthermore, when you drive down the beautiful roads of Puerto Rico, you would find that same majority of alcoholic beverages. Yesterday as I was driving I pulled over to the side to catch the sunset on an open field. On the other lane going the other way another car pulls over to their side. The car was a good distance away from me.
I look back and see a woman exit the vehicle and walks to the back of her car. She throws a beer can down on the side of the road and opens her trunk to retrieve another can from her cooler. The passenger also comes out and walks to the back of the vehicle and also throws his can to the ground as well and proceeds to get another beer can from the cooler.
They got back in the car and they kept driving towards the beach. That has become their habit, their routine. This is their mentality. They would go on doing this wherever they drive and thus why this island has so much garbage all over the roads, the beaches and rivers
Let’s drink and drive
Most of the people here drink alcohol while driving. They just take their beers and chug it along as they drive. It is normal as the people using their turn signals, or rather lack thereof. They even have this thing called chinchorreo, which is driving around bar hopping from bar to bar. I am sure they go on tossing their drinks out of their car before reaching the next bar, instead of waiting to get to their destination to throw it out appropriately and responsibly.
If there was a national statue in PR and again, anywhere in this world, it would be like the statue of liberty, but instead of holding a torch up, it would be holding a beer can as that is what I see mostly everywhere I go. Therefore I believe they put a priority on their drinking habit, then on doing things to change things.
It is all about drinking and partying. The people are quick to get together to drink and party, but they could never get together to change the way things are. Family gatherings is all about getting drunk together as I see it in the beach all the time. Just like the family I recorded leaving their trash for which I got shot at, whom were all drunk.
Children begin at an early age
The children are exposed from an early age to the smell of alcohol as I see the family members hold the kids up with beer in their hands. Not just the parents but every other relative. Ever since quitting drinking alcohol, I find the smell to be repulsive. To the child, they would grow up with that smell and sadly, it would become as normal as the air they breathe. Most children here start drinking at the age of 11 and 12. That is their inheritance so that one day they too can pass on this same way of being.
Moreover, alcohol tends to make more violent like the man who shot at my face for recording that family. Which could be read about here. Because alcohol use is legal and pervasive, it plays a particularly strong role in the relationship to crime and other social problems. Alcohol is a factor in 40% of all violent crimes today, and according to the Department of Justice, 37% of almost 2 million convicted offenders currently in jail, report that they were drinking at the time of their arrest.
Alcohol, more than any illegal drug, was found to be closely associated with violent crimes, including murder, rape, assault, child and spousal abuse. About 3 million violent crimes occur each year in which victims perceive the offender to have been drinking and statistics related to alcohol use by violent offenders generally show that about half of all homicides and assaults are committed when the offender, victim, or both have been drinking. Among violent crimes, with the exception of robberies, the offender is far more likely to have been drinking than under the influence of other drugs.
Alcohol is often a factor in violence where the attacker and the victim know each other. Two-thirds of victims who were attacked by an intimate (including a current or former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend) reported that alcohol had been involved, and only 31% of victimizations by strangers are alcohol-related. Nearly 500,000 incidents between intimates involve offenders who have been drinking; in addition, 118,000 incidents of family violence (excluding spouses) involve alcohol, as do 744,000 incidents among acquaintances.
With all that said
In closing, the goal of this article is to raise awareness to alcoholism. In hope that it could inspire others to live a more healthy conscious life. Moreover, I think we must take action to change our behaviors and outlooks. I work everyday to remove every negative thing in my life. We should strive to change who we are and what we become. Strive to become a better version of ourselves instead of settling for what we allowed ourselves to become. If you must drink, then I think it should be done moderately. Like in Italy, as they enjoy a wine with their meals. Not like in Puerto Rico and the USA, where hey we got a day off from work, or hey we going to the beach, let’s get drunk.
We must take control of our minds and find better ways to cope and my suggestion is to go to all the beautiful places in nature, especially here in Puerto Rico. Just go and be without alcohol or music. Reclaim your mind in the serenity of nature. Become more mindful of your surroundings. Get drunk off the beauty of life. We only have this one sole life. Stop giving it to alcohol. Because to change this world we need to start changing ourselves. If I could stop drinking overnight, I believe we can all choose to do so as well.
Links below to more information on alcohol and the risk.
What do you think about alcoholism? Do you think it is ok to numb ourselves with alcohol? Do you think we should do something about alcoholism? Please leave comments down below. Would love to hear from you.
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This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)