WHO and More

WHO and More
This week I am not going to write about any particular topic but an article review. I also have a few small things running though my head and I figured I would take a week and just get it all over with!

Let me begin, though, with the rather serious subject of alcoholism. A couple of weeks ago there was an article on msnbc.com entitled, “Alcohol kills more than AIDS, TB, or violence”, (Reuters, written by Stephanie Nebehay, 2/11/2011). I had printed it out and also received it from a 12 Step Recovery friend so I knew it was something that might be good to address.

The article is based on a report from WHO (World Health Organization although I always see WHO as willingness, honesty, and openness) about the fact that “approximately 2.5 million people die each year from alcohol related causes.” It is a rather interesting article because it encompasses information and statistics from around the world. “Alcohol is the world’s leading risk factor for death among males 15-59.” That is a pretty big age span and “men outnumber women by four to one.” If you are a woman of any age and you are not sure if you would be comfortable in a meeting, trust me. There is usually a rather healthy number of women in 12 Step Recovery meetings and specifically women’s meetings if that is what you would prefer.

In general “alcohol is a causal factor in 60 types of diseases and injuries. It has been linked to cirrhosis of the liver, epilepsy, poisonings, road traffic accidents, violence, and several types of cancer, including cancers of the colorectum, breast, larynx and liver.” As recovering alcoholics, we also know that it causes a great deal of emotional pain and suffering not only to us but to our loved ones as well. It seems that even the lowest of developed countries is having a problem with alcohol consumption but as countries do develop, rise in incomes have triggered more drinking.

The real question is what to do? The article suggests that “One of the most effective ways to curb drinking, especially among young people, is to raise taxes, setting age limits for buying and consuming alcohol, and regulating alcohol levels in drivers.” On the other hand, “brewer SABMiller has warned that policy measures like minimum pricing and high excise taxes could cause more public health harm than good by leading more people to drink homemade or illegally produced alcohol.”

Without sounding pessimistic, I think all of the above has been tried and I am not sure there have been any significant results for the better. What underage person cannot get a fake ID? How many parents don’t have the talk with their kids about alcohol because they are too worried about drugs? Drugs are easier to get than alcohol. Yet, at some point in time, alcohol almost always ends up playing a part in the life of a drug addict.

I don’t have any of the answers. Alcoholism is a tough nut to crack. Most of us have a genetic predisposition and many who have had practicing alcoholics in their family and swore they never would drink, have relented to the power of alcohol. We can, when possible, go outside of our anonymity and fight for legislation that would help in some way. But I think for most of us, the best we can ever do is to sincerely pray for anyone out there who suffers from this disease that they may find the solution as we have and to always be of service in any way possible. It is our duty and responsibility to give to others what we were so freely given.

Now for my other stuff! I have had emails thanking me for my “blog”. I hate to sound like a snob but my articles are not a blog. A blog is a journal giving others the opportunity to share their views. When I took on the task of writing for this site, I was told that I was not permitted to make my site a blog. And so, although I thank friends for emailing, please don’t thank me for my blog!

Next on the list is that I want to wish my friend, Tom, a belated Happy Birthday. Tom has been sober since March 1, 1970. Tom is dual addicted: alcohol and gambling. I have invited him to write an article as my guest about gambling so be looking for it soon.

Lastly, my very good friends who publish one of my articles every month or so, have now added shirts and hats to their retail online store. Robert and Michelle are the owners of Bills Friends (www.billsfriends.com). They have beautiful recovery jewelry and other recovery items that have been designed by Michelle. They now have shirts and hats. I am a huge fan of the The Promises and they have a great shirt with The Promises and cool logos on them. You have to check them out!

Another article done and all I can say is: “Namaste’. May you walk your journey in peace and harmony.

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