Pulse magazine (August 16, 1985) reported that, worldwide, alcohol abuse cost $100 billion per year, about 1/10 the cost of the arms race! In America 10,000,000 problem drinkers cost the economy $19 billion in lost production plus $14 billion in other costs.
problem drinkers and alcoholics worldwide.
nothing for friends
to boast of their drunken exploits. (Hodge 2004)
PROBLEMS OF EXCESS
Kessel and Walton (1965) cited a study comparing families with alcoholic fathers with non-alcoholic families. Divorce or separation was 28% vs 4%. Children who teachers considered "problem children" were 48% vs 10%.
Also, in 44% of fatal road accidents during Britain's 1964 Christmas period at least one person concerned had consumed alcohol. (pp 66-67) The suicide rate for male alcoholics admitted to a London psychiatric hospital was 86 times as high as the rate in the general London population. (p. 164)
In 1974 Time magazine cited studies showing that:
Pengelley (2007) reported: "231,705 children, aged 12 or less (13.2 per cent), live with an adult binge drinker. 40,272 (2.3 per cent) live with a daily cannabis user."
The Advertiser reported: "…breast cancer is about 50 p.c. more likely to develop in women consuming three to nine alcoholic drinks a week than in those who drink little or none." (November 10, 1987, p.33)
for consumption such as eau de colognes and antiseptics" caused 43% of
male deaths in the 25-54 age-range. (The Weekend Australian June 16-17,
2007, p. 16)
The Bible does not directly discuss other drugs, but the same principles would apply. If it damages relationships, ruins health or promotes crime then its use should be stopped.
Kelton (1998) reported: "Of a sample group of drug users surveyed for the study, half admitted committing a crime within the past four weeks."
Tobacco has over 4,000 chemicals, many dangerous. Smokers age faster and have higher rates of cancer, heart disease and stroke.
Brown (1994) reported: "Tobacco kills one smoker in two."
50 Australians die from smoking-related illnesses." (November 19, 2005,
of Alcohol said in a 1974 radio interview:
This landmark study started in 1940 and followed the lives of 200 Harvard graduates and 400 working class men. By observing the stages by which 26 graduates and 110 blue-collar workers became alcoholics the study investigated how this happened.
Vaillant concluded, "There is a genetic contribution, the rest of it is due to maladaptive life-style…"
Therefore, going down that path and becoming an alcoholic is a succession of decisions.
However, recovery is possible:
CRIME AND ACCIDENTS
In Western legal systems criminals intoxicated while committing crimes often got lighter sentences or even no sentence.
For example, a drunk driver of an unregistered car hit a cyclist, and kept driving with the victim wedged under the car. The killer's defence was that he was too drunk to remember. The manslaughter charge was downgraded in a plea bargain to causing death by dangerous driving.
It's common knowledge that alcohol promotes poor judgment, weakens inhibitions and slows reflexes. Therefore the decision to enter such a state is the drunk's responsibility and should not be an excuse for crime. Permitting intoxication as an excuse "justifies" the drunk, is inconsistent with equality before the law, and increases the number of victims.
The Bible teaches:
WINE AND HEALTH
Many things bad for health in quantity are good in moderation:
By the 1970s
wine (particularly red) kills many harmful bacteria and some viruses.
Good Samaritan of Jesus' parable therefore took the medically correct
toward a man who was mugged and "half dead". He: "bound up his wounds,
pouring on oil and wine…" (Luke 10:34)
Johnson (1991) writes:
MacMillan (1979) reported:
Watts (1999) says: "After decades of controversy, it looks as if a little booze really is good for us."
Although drunkenness weakens male sexual performance, regular moderate drinking "cut the risk of impotence…erectile dysfunction, by a statistically significant 15 per cent." (The Weekend Australian, July 7-8, 2007, p. 3)
Recent research concludes that two standard drinks of alcohol (15-29g) per day is associated with lower risk of heart attack than heavy drinking or no drinking. (Archives of Internal Medicine 2006, 166:2145-2150)
However, if drinking wine is for any reason a bad example – e.g. if a reformed alcoholic is present – then that is again reason to abstain:
In 1784 American physician Benjamin Rush warned that drinking liquor risked one's physical and moral health. C.W. Hufeland in Berlin and T. Trotter in Britain made similar claims.
As a result American Presbyterians passed resolutions against "intemperance" in 1811-1812. In 1836 the American Temperance Society endorsed complete abstinence from non-medicinal alcohol and convinced legislators in some states to ban liquor.
became a social
movement in Britain about 1850-1900. It moved from advocating
to prohibition and was backed by Christian denominations that oppose
consumption of alcohol.
enforced Prohibition in the 1920s.
failed because it transferred production and distribution of alcohol to
The cultural promotion of heavy drinking as "macho" contradicted science which revealed heavy drinking as dangerous.
Legislators who assumed drunkenness is genetic and passed laws that exonerated people who committed crime under intoxication, acted contrary to science and were "an abomination to the LORD".
Temperance organizations that opposed all alcoholic drinks were against the Bible too, because in moderation "Wine gladdens life."
as in The
correct all along.
Bagnall, D. The Bulletin, September 9, 2003, pp 20-26.
Behr, E. 1997 Prohibition, BBC.
Berridge, V. 2004 History Today, Volume 54 (5) May, pp 18-20.
Borsay, P. BBC History, July 2005, pp 44-48.
Brown, P. 1994 New Scientist, October 15, p. 4.
Cresswell, A. The Weekend Australian, January 27-28, 2007, p.10.
Gorman, C. 2006 Time, June 5, 2006, p. 63.
Haran, P. 2002 Sunday Mail, January 6, p. 2.
Heinz, A. Scientific American Mind, April/May, 2006, pp 56-61.
Hicks, R. The Weekend Australian, May 26-27, 1979, p. 13.
Hodge, A. The Australian, December 9, 2004, p. 14.
Johnson, H. 1991 The Story of Wine, Mandarin.
Kessel, N. and Walton, H. 1965 Alcoholism, Penguin.
Luks, A. and Barbato, J 1989 You Are What You Drink, Random House
Macmillan, S. Sunday Mail, September 2, 1979.
Maury, E. A. 1977 Wine Is The Best Medicine, Sheed, Andrews & McMeel.
O'Rielly, J. Time, April 25, 1983, pp 48-49.
Pengelley, J. The Advertiser, May 21, 2007, p. 9.
Robinson, C. H. & Lawler, M. R. 1977 Normal and Therapeutic Nutrition, 15th edition, Macmillan, p. 520.
Watts, G. New
27, 1999, pp 84-88.
My article about "The Bible On Alcohol" included a quote that said: "Hard drinking was endemic in eighteenth-century society… Manliness required you to be a three-bottle a day man. Drink was built into the fabric of social life…"
Supporting this is the following quote from a book about the life of William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army:
Booth saw alcoholism for the sickness that it was. From these pubs he
began to recruit his first shock-troops – men who had known the craving
for liquor from infancy.
(Collier, R. 1968 The General Next to God, Fontana, p. 44)