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Romancing the Parasite – Alcohol Kills
Alcohol-related deaths have doubled in the past 20 years. That statistic should be shocking to people. Why has alcohol become such a deadly force in the 21st century? Alcohol Use Disorder kills 1 out of every 10 adults age 20 to 64, making alcoholism more deadly than automobile crashes, opioid abuse, and gun violence combined. Yet we promote drinking as a basically harmless activity. We still blame the drinker for becoming addicted not the drink for being addictive. Can you imagine doing the same with nicotine or heroin?
Our popular media makes drinking look cosmopolitan, sexy, friendly, and fun.
We ignore these warnings. It’s all in good fun. It’s normal, natural, and necessary. We are taught that it’s not the alcohol that’s the problem or the culture that sells it. We are taught that the problem with alcohol is the people who drink it. The problem is Alcoholics. The problem is Addicts.
The alcohol industry spends billions to make drinking look like a harmless and essential part of everyday life. Our culture sees popular brands as so wholesome, natural, comfortable, and heartwarming that the millions spent on Super Bowl Sunday advertising to sell beer don’t even have to include the product. Puppies and horses and love and patriotism sell the brand automatically.
Yet alcohol-related deaths are up 100% in twenty years
If alcohol killed quickly, we’d all see it for what it was and not gloss over the dangers of daily drinking
Drinking is seemingly endorsed by the most fundamental feel-good media as an all-day, everyday, normal activity.
Alcohol is killing more people, and younger. The biggest increases are among women : USA Today Nov 19, 2018
I think that our relationship with alcohol, our relationship with alcohol as a culture, and my relationship with alcohol as an individual – is parasitic – or to put it more romantically because we do romanticize alcohol – alcohol is vampirick.
As a child I was fascinated with vampires –Fascinated and Horrified – I loved to watch vampire movies but at night I slept with my sheets securely tucked up around my neck, nervously protecting my flesh from any possibility of a sharp, painful bite.
Vampires are usually stunningly romantic figures in movies. Sometimes the victims of the hypnotic monster are taken quickly and thrown aside like a limp rag, and sometimes their victims are lovingly groomed to become great passionate conquests. The mate of the demon. Together they enter an eternal life of passion that isn’t life at all but a living death. To never see the sun again, to never taste or truly feel, to simply hunger for the blood of the living.
As an adult my vampire found me. At first he was a seductive, sophisticated, exciting and intimate companion. He chose me for his mate and we were beautiful together. But slowly as he fed me the venom that would bind us forever the allure began to fade. He became my nightmare rather than my dream.
Luckily I was able to step back and fight before he succeeded in feeding me death for life. My vampire was alcohol and he is the parasite that is feeding on many of my generation.
Maybe you’re chuckling now?
Maybe you think that analogy goes too far?
As a biology major in college, the concept of parasite and host was a vital part of my course material. The best parasites were the ones that allow the host to live, only slowly replicating and draining the host―a little bit at a time. Anything that kills the host quickly is a poor parasite indeed.
“Often, the new host has no resistance… It is frequently not in the parasite’s best interest to kill the host quickly.”― Richard Preston
In our culture, alcohol has become parasitic. If alcohol killed quickly, we’d all see it for what it was and not gloss over the dangers of daily drinking.
“But if they’re so successful, why haven’t parasites taken over the world? The answer is simple: they have. We just haven’t noticed. That’s because successful parasites don’t kill us; they become part of us, making us perform all the work to keep them alive and help them reproduce.” ― Daniel Suarez, Daemon
Drinkers encourage others to drink. Alcohol companies benefit from spending millions of dollars marketing alcohol. Addiction takes hold; perhaps not in all of us―but in enough of us to count. The vicious cycle repeats itself in us. The parasitic culture digs in its claws and then spreads to others.
Yet Alcohol Use Disorder kills 1 out of every 10 adults age 20 to 64, making alcoholism more deadly than automobile crashes, opioid abuse and gun violence combined
Making alcoholism more deadly than automobile crashes, opioid abuse and gun violence combined…..
If alcohol killed quickly, we’d all see it for what it was and not gloss over the dangers of daily drinking.
We’d ignore the dire warnings of:
Binge drinking leads to episodes like this:
But, while we are drinking, we ignore these warnings.
It’s all in good fun. It’s normal, natural and necessary. We are taught that it’s not the alcohol that’s the problem or the culture that sells it. We are taught that the problem with alcohol is the people who drink it. The problem is Alcoholics. The problem is Addicts.
We try to rationalize, minimize, moderate and generally prolong alcohol’s successful and very parasitic hold on our lives. All the while, it slowly takes our mind, our money, our time, our memory, our health, our relationships and our self-integrity. The key is–just like a good parasite–you probably don’t notice the little bit of harm done with every drink, perpetuating its existence.
What do you think? Has alcohol harmed you? Is it time to swat that parasite? Is it time to break the spell? Rethink the Drink!
Alcohol is the only drug that people question you for NOT using but you don’t HAVE to drink. Don’t stay trapped because the stigma of not drinking seems worse than the cost of drinking to much.
If you’re “sober curious” … If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break…or if you have stopped drinking and are trying to stick to sober! Talk to Us. Start with 30 days. Try a Dry July, Sober October, or New Year’s Dry January Challenge.
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Don’t let the shame of the stigma keep you from saying
“I think I have a problem with drinking”
How do you go Sober?
B Be accountable Talk to Us We Understand
A Avoid alcohol like the plague Ideas Here
L Let yourself enjoy regular sober treats Ideas Here
A Allow yourself to cry when needed Ideas Here
N Nourish your body with good food Ideas Here
C Create happy & fun memories Ideas Here
E Enjoy the precious moments in your day Ideas Here
W Work hard to get what you want Ideas Here
O Organise things for less stress Ideas Here
R Realise you can’t control it all Ideas Here
K Keep going & prepare for success Ideas Here
S Sleep enough for body & mind rest Sleep Solutions
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