***Don't Drink (if you can) or Drink Less***
Imagine if alcohol did not exist in our society today. Further imagine if someone came along and tried to introduce it and get it approved into the 'system'. Do you think doctors would approve? Governing bodies? Would we, as a society, say: "This is great, we must have some". I am a betting man and I would say we would NOT.
Having said that, even the remotest civilisations have invariably found a way to produce alcohol, long before the influence (excuse the pun) of any external society. The Chinese and Egyptians were making the stuff as far back as 5000BC. The Americans also tried prohibition and that failed dismally. So, our wonderfully imagined alcohol free world is really just a pipe dream. It seems us humans and alcohol are forever entwined. Certainly in non muslim countries. It's a big problem really. Take the UK and this one chilling statistic:
Hospital admissions linked to alcohol use have more than doubled in England since 1995, an NHS report shows. Alcohol was the main or secondary cause of 207,800 NHS admissions in 2006/7, compared to 93,500 in 1995/96. It's an amazing indication of the dramatic impact of cheaper and more affordable alcohol, along with extended pub opening hours and a number of other factors all combining to create this horrifying number.
(In the years since that snippet the trend has continued).
What the statistics don't show are the 207,000 stories behind every one of those admissions, which include at best, a ruined night out, right through to domestic and street violence, drunk drivers and all the other sorry tales of woe you see in casualty after around 11pm on most nights (certainly in the UK and the hospital I had cause to visit, sober, at that time). In my book, the nurses and doctors are the real heroes in all of this mayhem.
By the way, it might be time for another confession. I drink. Not all the time though. I usually only drink on 3 or 4 days of the week and I usually don't drink for months at a time when I'm in training. But yes, confession time, I drink. Wine is my preferred tipple. Please send me some. I enjoy it. At times, I love it. I have tried life with it and life without it and I prefer life with it. Yes, I admit, I like alcohol. BUT....everything in moderation, and that's why I have developed this stop/start regime as I know three things for certain:
1.Alcohol is a robber of ambition (this series would not get written if I drank every day).
2.Alcohol is addictive (the more you drink, the more you will want)
3.Alcohol damages your health, including the all important liver.
What is not so widely known is that it also causes baldness and cancer, especially cancer of the mouth.
By the way, I think I will finish on this one sobering thought: If you drink EVERY day, you are by dictionary definition, an alcoholic. However, I much prefer this definition:
"Alcoholism is a primary illness or disorder characterised by some loss of control over drinking, with habituation or addiction to the drug alcohol, causing interference in any major life function, e.g. health, family, job, spiritual, friends,legal."
In truth, if either definition rings any bells, then it might be time to 'rethink that drink'. I did.