Dying or (worse yet), killing someone else due to driving “under the influence” is the worst possible result of alcohol addiction.
Unfortunately, the heartbreak of alcoholism has devastating consequences that extend to every part of the addict’s life and those who love him/her.
Besides the liver disease, high blood pressure, and greatly increased risk of cancer and heart disease, ALCOHOLISM means:
* Lost jobs
* Troubled finances
* Failed relationships
* Missed opportunities
* Broken commitments
* Ruined reputations
Maybe worst of all – The lies and broken promises: “I promise I will stop drinking.” “I haven’t had a drink today.” “I can handle this. It won’t happen again.”
The results are lonely, wounded hearts, shattered families, and broken lives.
They don’t mention these sad, ugly consequences in the beer commercials. They just show 30 seconds of beautiful women on the beach and at fun parties with hot guys.
Oh, yeah. THAT’s what it’s all about. Drunk is beautiful. There is nothing more attractive than a guy with slurred speech, who can’t walk a straight line. And nothing sexier than a young woman with her face in her food, who can’t remember who she came with, but is able to use every vulgar word she has ever heard just to describe someone’s shoes.
Yes, indeed, alcohol seems to elevate the level of intellectual stimulation and conversation. It is all beautiful and fun.
It must be. That is the implied promise of the beer commercials.
Add to the beer commercials the movies like “Hangover” and “Beerfest” promising that only fun and good times can come from over-indulging.
The more realistic movies addressing alcoholism and truly illustrating its power to destroy not only the alcoholic, but his/her family and loves ones, would include
- The Days of Wine and Roses
- The Lost Weekend
- Leaving Las Vegas
- When a Man Loves a Woman
- Come Fill the Cup
- Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?
- The Joker is Wild
Then, there are the songs (especially country songs) that seem to give hope, that tell the listener, “You are not alone.” The chorus of Kenny Chesney’s song “That’s Why I’m Here,” about going to an A.A. meeting:
It’s the simple things in life
Like the kids at home and a lovin’ wife
That you miss the most, when you lose control
And everything you love starts to disappear
The devil takes your hand and says no fear
Have another shot, just one more beer
Yeah I’ve been there
That’s why I’m here…
Or the poignant lyrics of the late Keith Whitley’s “I’m No Stranger to the Rain:”
But when I get that foggy feeling,
When I’m feeling down.
If I don’t keep my head up, I may drown.
But it’s hard to keep believing,
I’ll even come out even,
While the rain beats your hope in the ground.
And tonight it’s really coming down.
I’m no stranger to the rain.
But there’ll always be tomorrow,
And I’ll beg, steal, or borrow a little sunshine.
And I’ll put this cloud behind me,
That’s how the Man designed me:
To ride the wind and dance in a hurricane.
I’m no stranger to the rain.
Overall, there are probably as many hopeful, encouraging media messages about alcoholism as there are deceptive fantasies. Unfortunately, the deceptive “If it feels good, do it” messages seem to get more air time, because old movies and country songs don’t typically pay to sponsor sporting events.