Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate July 2001

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No Laughing Matter Alcoholism kills"¦. "First the person takes the drink, then the drink takes the person."� Alcoholism is one of the most serious epidemics sweeping the United States today and affects over 20 million people throughout our country. Often one problem drinker will affect six other people, usually friends, family, lovers, and co-workers. This represents over 120 million people of all ages, races, creeds, and classes. There is no absolute cause to developing alcoholism, but genetics, pain, depression and abuse are four of the most severe and common causes of alcoholism today.

In the movie, "No Laughing Matter,"� a young widow confronts her chronic drinking pattern while trying to raise a teenage son at the same time. The director, Michael Elias, uses the reoccurring theme of alcohol to portray a message to America that alcohol can kill not only a human being, but it can kill friendships, family bonds, self-image, and most importantly, life.

Suzanne Somers plays the part of Emma, a young, attractive widow who chooses alcohol as her escape to rid the hardship of getting over her husband's death and dealing with life as a single mother in the 90's. Although the movie takes place ten years after her husband was killed, she is still extremely depressed and tries to numb her pain with alcohol. Emma's blonde long hair, beautiful smile, and genuine personality would most likely mask her addiction to alcohol. Who would ever think that this sweet-hearted woman would go home every day after work and gulp down a few bottles of vodka? Woken from her drunken sleep at 8:00 every morning, Emma's 17 year old son, Charlie, would stand by her bed waiting for her to take the Jolt cola can from his hand and sip the highly caffeinated beverage to give her the...