Thinking About Drinking: Is There Any Guidance? (part two)

Previously we noted that adult beverages are unnecessary and potentially dangerous. We observed that early signs of intoxication might easily be missed leading to drunkenness. It is also beyond dispute that alcohol, even at lower levels, blunts judgment while giving the drinker a sense of wellbeing. This feeling that all is well may mask attitudes, behavior, and conduct that are harmful and sinful. Now, we examine more reasons why alcoholic beverages should be avoided.

Alcohol is Dangerous

Alcohol does more than blunt judgment. It blunts reaction times and slows our ability to respond to physical dangers. Drunk driving is probably the best known physical danger associated with alcohol. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 12, 514 Americans were killed in crashes where a driver had some level of alcohol in their body at testing (2016 data). That is 33% of all deaths. In 28% of the deaths, at least one driver was legally under the influence (31% and 27% in Alabama). In 2004, The U.S. Department of Justice data showed that 36.8% of state prison inmates reported being under the influence of alcohol at the time of their crime. That’s over 200,000 inmates in which their crime was committed while drinking.

All of this because of an unnecessary drink.

Alcohol is Destructive

Beyond physical dangers, alcohol destroys integrity, productivity, and trust. The latest figures are from 2006, but the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism show a cost to society of $223.5 billion dollars. Most of that is from lost productivity. Consider the damage done to the family. In a report published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs shows that about half of all people with serious alcohol abuse problems divorce. This compares to about 30% who divorce absent an alcohol issue.

As before, we observe that these damaged relationships suffer, at least in part, from an unnecessary product.

Alcohol is Sneaky

Those who make up the statistics never thought they would be involved in crime, divorce, and fatalities. Beverages companies, like the tobacco companies, never reveal the true cost of their product. Adult beverages slowly entrap the unwise and bring them down to despair.

Not all who drink become alcoholics. Not all who drink become a statistic in some depressing report. But some do, but no one can foresee who those people will be. Could it be you? I cannot say, but neither can you. Therein lies the problem. Alcohol use is insidious. By the time the drinker accepts that he has a problem, great damage is already done. All because of an unnecessary, unneeded product.

If these secular facts were not enough for you, God has spoken about alcohol use. Next, we delve into the Scriptures for a look at the divine wisdom of abstinence.


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