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Alcoholism Issues and Short Stories

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The following represents various issues, problems, and short stories about people who have faced drinking problems.

A College Class Thinks About Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse

Mr. Petry was the health instructor at a small community college in one of the smaller cities in the state.

One morning the first thing he said to his students was the following: "what is more important, the short term or the long term effects of alcohol abuse?"

Some of the students said that since the problems of alcohol abuse get worse over time, it was clear that the long term effects of alcohol abuse were more significant.

Other students, however, thought with more of a preventative mentality and said that the short term alcohol effects were more important because if these are addressed, then the problem will cease to exist down-the-road.

Mr. Petry told the class that he really didn't have a definitive answer to his question and that based on the discussion, it was clear that they gave the topic the attention it deserves.

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He stated that the more people start reflecting on their drinking behavior and addressing any alcohol-related issues, the fewer short and long term problems they would encounter.

Alcohol Poisoning Symptoms are Critical

Why are the symptoms of alcohol poisoning so critical? Haven't most people vomited from too much drinking?

Haven't millions of drinkers felt like falling asleep while drinking at a bar? Don't most people slur their speech when they have three or four drinks?

In short, what's the big deal about alcohol poisoning? Why can't I simply take some Alka Selser, "tough it out," and go home and go to bed?

When a person is experiencing alcohol poisoning, this means that he or she has had substantially more alcohol than his or her body can process.

Depending on the amount of alcohol that has been consumed and on the ability of the person's liver to metabolize the alcohol, the person's body may start to shut down.

When alcohol poisoning gets to this level, the person can die if he or she doesn't get immediate medical care. In sum, the symptoms of alcohol poisoning are critical because they are indications of a potentially fatal medical condition.

Alcohol Abuse is Ruining a Person's Life

I know a young man in his mid thirties who cannot make it to work on a regular basis because of his excessive drinking.

I have seen first-hand how his abusive drinking has produced negative alcohol abuse effects in his life and in the lives of these who care about him. I have talked to this young man's friends who have told me that this young man drinks numerous drinks before he leaves for work.

I have seen this young man spend his entire paycheck on a Friday and a Saturday night. So when the workweek approaches, he has to borrow money from his father or from friends for lunch or for his cigarettes.

Why can't this young man see how his drinking is ruining his life? Why can't this young man get the professional treatment or counseling he needs?

The Need to Learn About Alcohol for Students

Jerry was in the tenth grade at a small suburban Catholic high school. One morning the health teacher, Mr. Angelo, decided to discuss the many health, relationship, employment, financial, and legal problems that are associated with excessive and hazardous drinking.

Jerry listened closely for a while, but then got extremely irritated. Finally, he raised his hand and asked the following question. "Mr. Angelo, why do we need to learn so much negative information about alcohol? Everybody in this class is going to drink so why bother telling us all of these negative things?"

Mr. Angelo told Jerry that because most of the students in his class will drink, they ought to know up front the about dangers and the hazards of their actions.

Alcohol Information, Alcoholics, and Denial

Do alcoholics and chronic alcohol abusers need to learn more about alcohol information to address their drinking behavior?

At first, the most logical answer appears to be in the affirmative. After all, knowledge is supposed to be power and problem drinkers armed with this information would seem to be more able to stop their abusive and excessive drinking.

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At a deeper level of analysis, however, it is logical to say that most people who are chronic alcohol abusers or alcoholics would not be receptive to this information simply because they are in denial about their drinking problem. In short, why would someone listen to this information if they don't have a problem?

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