The Underestimated Drug

Essay by Bartonj June 2005

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The Underestimated Drug

The destructive effects of alcohol continue to pierce the very core of modern society. Central to its seductive properties is the pernicious perception, among modern youth, that the ingestion of such large quantities of the drug, in some elusive way, enhances their image and standing among fellow peers. Such is the scale of the problem that I have felt moved to offer this analysis of the subject, in the hope that it might, in some small way, induce others to challenge the false and debauching grip alcohol now has on society's future. The grip is tightening, the drug enslaving. Too many are enticed by its deceptive lure. While I am not so naïve as to think this paper will instigate widespread change, I fervently hope that it will speak, if quietly, to some of its readers. In so doing, I am mindful of a powerful adage: reformation of world starts with reformation of self.

As has already been indicated, the scourge of alcoholism is corrosively sweeping our nation. The drain on the human and monetary resources of the world being caused by this dilemma is inestimable, and threatens the very foundations of freedom. Many have watched as families dissolved, morals collapsed, and lives were lost, both directly and indirectly due to the effects of alcohol.

Personal experience has enabled me to discern some kind of hazy pattern reflecting the complex relationship between persons and alcohol. Simplistically, it can be broken down into 4 stages:

1) Youths often begin with some individual desire to refrain from excessive alcohol consumption.

2) Their will is bombarded by waves of peer and other social pressures. A great many collapse under the strain. They first become "light drinkers", tentatively acting only when pressurised (whether directly or indirectly) to do so.