I have been surprised of late, by news of a couple of extended family members who needed liver transplants. Both are baby boomers, one has died.
I remember overhearing in the gym locker room, an older man describing his shock when his wife was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver, the prognosis fatal. “She would only have one drink every evening.”
Lately, we continue to hear of young adults who “binge drink” and bear the immediate consequences of alcohol intoxication – death, or causing harm to others. In March, I was disappointed to see the media reporting on “Green Beer Day” daily leading up to St. Patrick’s Day.
In all cases, it is likely that none were “alcoholics”. But all were examples of over consumption. Our society fails to recognize the fact that alcohol is a toxin. It doesn’t matter what type of alcohol one consumes. What matters is exposure to the toxin.
During Alcohol Awareness month, let us all take a step back and remember the short term and long term consequences that come from the misuse of alcohol products. Make an effort this month to assess your own level of use, talk with your kids about the harms of underage alcohol use, and understand why we have the age-limit laws we do and the low risking drinking guidelines designed to keep us more safe & more healthy.
Mary F. Haag