Ok, I know I’m HORRIBLE at writing blog posts in a timely fashion. Horrible might actually be an understatement. Anyway, today’s post is covering alcohol. Controversial topic eh? American society tends to accept alcohol as a “drug,” right next to caffeine. It’s acceptable to drink heavily in social settings at a young age, even underage, and throughout adulthood. COLLEGE, right? Even to be a weekend warrior seems okay. It’s just the weekends. No harm, no foul. Well, not exactly.
Of course, I’m not saying we should go back to the Prohibition. That was just chaos and ridiculous. A glass of wine here or there is good. And every young person needs to experience a hangover. But America has taken over consuming alcohol to a level of acceptance. Drinking games, beer bongs, beer pong, flippy cup, circle of death, and keg stands are the staples of college awesomeness, right? Ok, they can be really fun (on rare occasions), but the point is that at an early age alcohol is glorified and acceptable. Showing up to class completely hungover or even drunk is acceptable to many. Is that drunkard in class a functioning person at that time? Heck no. That student is only wishing for Ibuprofen, electrolytes, and a nap; he is NOT paying attention to the lecture on the Kreb’s cycle. He is non-functional. I’m not saying college, celebrations, or quality time with good buddies should be dry. I am saying is that we should not be as acceptable of people that are repeat offenders of drinking too much. Too many times have I seen people ruin their families, relationships, jobs, and self worth from drinking too much. Not to mention, their hearts, livers, kidneys, and brains.
I know alcoholism is a disease and an addiction. But, rather than push the issue under a rug, I wish people would realize the negative effects of drinking way too much. We all know smoking is bad and causes cancer, and people try to quit all the time. I feel the case is different with alcohol. Alcohol falls into a gray area. It can be good, in moderation, but it can also be awful in excess. Excess drinking can cause a whole bunch of bad stuff.
-Enlarged heart which leads to: inability to pump blood aka heart failure, atrial fibrillation, heart arrhythmias *which can be LETHAL
-Bad liver which leads to: jaundice, inability to blood clot, confusion aka mushy brain (imagine not knowing your birthday, your wife, your child)
-Kidney failure which leads to dialysis
-Delirium tremors aka acute confusion, sweating, anxiousness, irritability, hallucinations, combativeness. DT’s can cause cardiac arrest.
Sometimes I wonder if more people saw what end stage alcoholics look like, would they be somewhat deterred from overconsuming frequently? Imagine a 40 year-old person hooked up to a ventilator with continuous dialysis going. Oh, and don’t forget about the blood products (red blood cells, platelets, and plasma) being dumped in to keep up with all the bleeding everywhere (nose, lungs, eyes, esophagus, etc).
This post has no intention of telling people to stop drinking completely and alcohol is the devil. Maybe I’m just frustrated about seeing people deteriorate from drinking. Maybe I just can’t wrap my head around a serious addiction like alcoholism since I’ve never been there. However, I do know it just breaks my heart to see people struggle with alcoholism. It is a disease. It is an addiction. It is real. It is deadly.