Part One: alcohol, drug abuse growing issue
How many more tragedies need to occur? Each of us somehow or in some way has been adversely affected by the sobering consequences of alcohol-related concerns.
The facts and statistics speak for themselves. One in every three suicide involves alcohol. Seventy-five percent of men and 50 percent of women involved in sexual assaults had been drinking prior to the assault. In the United States, 70 people are killed daily in drunk driving accidents; that is, roughly one person killed every 22 minutes. Drinking and driving is the number one cause of death in Americans between the age of 17 and 24.
So why is alcohol the number one drug of choice for teenagers and adults? Because alcohol sales are big business. Television ads tell us that beer is part of sports. Mountain streams are the backdrop for “refreshing” beer commercials. Wine is the key to sophisticated entertaining. The most powerful medium in the world brings wine and beer into our living room and makes us comfortable with them.
Along the way, society got the impression that beer is just a “thirst quencher” and wine is “light” and we forget about the alcohol. All too often, people forget the true nature of what they’re drinking. They get behind the wheel of a car thinking they’ve only had a “couple of beers” or “just a little wine”. What most people don’t know is that a typical 12 ounce can of beer is just as strong as a five-ounce glass of wine or cocktail with 1.5 ounces of 80 proof distilled spirits.
Parents – when you see these myths of advertising, take the opportunity to teach your children the true facts.
- The models on the beer commercials are always young, thin and beautiful. But alcohol has plenty of calories and little nutritional value. Drinking it will not make you look any better.
- Advertisements feature celebrities and sports figures. But drinking will not make you famous or athletic.
- Alcohol advertisers are not trying to be more responsible by telling you not to drink and drive. But drunk driving is not the only way alcohol can affect your life.
- Advertisers hope you won’t stop and think when you see their ads. Don’t be conned. Learn the facts and teach them to your children and students.