Poll: Alcoholics?

Which are you?

  • Left Wing.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Right Wing.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Neither/ don't know etc.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0
DrunkCajun said:
*sigh*

Drinking doesn't make you an alcoholic, contrary to what some people will likely march in here and say.

*awaits lecture from the self-righteous about how drinking is going to destroy my life despite the fact that I rarely drink*
I'm a drunkard. I don't go to meetings.

Big difference.
 

Garbad_the_Weak

Diabloii.Net Member
First, HERE is a quiz to see if you are an alcoholic. I know it has been posted before, but it is kind of interesting.

Now, on to my rage…..

Alcohol causes/aggravates a host of societal problems including rape and sexual assault; drunken driving deaths; child abuse and neglect; divorce; anxiety and other psychological disorders; cirrhosis of the liver and other health problems; enslavement through addiction and dependence; bad decisions; destroyed property; depression; damaged property of innocent business owners; rowdy and obnoxious behavior; avoiding dealing with problems; sour moods; and declined productivity in labor, to name a few.

Alcohol causes more than 20,000 DUI deaths a year, most of which are innocent victims. Alcohol is a factor in 40% of all crimes, 60% of all violent crimes, and 41% of all traffic fatalities. Furthermore, alcohol is involved in the majority of nonviolent, noncriminal, accidental deaths. A study found that 54 to 64 percent of injury deaths occur in current drinkers. Alcohol is more associated with violent crime than guns, incidentally. In short, alcohol use is heavily linked to violence and death, both of the drinker and of innocent victims.

Alcohol also costs society an estimated 350 billion dollars a year in direct costs, the equivalent of 3% of the GDP! Another 1% goes into treating alcohol abuse. This does not count the costs of buying the alcohol, property damage, law enforcement, or personal noneconomic costs.

Alcohol affects everyone – not just the drinker. If the cost of alcohol was to the drunk alone, I wouldn’t care. However, we all bear the cost of the abusers problem in crime, DUIs, insurance and health care costs, and untold human misery. Most victims of DUI are not drinkers. Most victims of crime are not drinking. Most children abused are not drinking. Most of the damage incurred to property and employers is borne by taxpayers and consumers – usually because the drunk has spent all of his money on booze.

Society does not pass the costs of drinking on to drinkers. I think we should. If this means a massive tax on liquor to cover the costs of insurance, law enforcement, and so on, SO BE IT. If this means banning alcohol to prevent the violence, death, and abuse caused largely by the abuse of a few, SO BE IT. I for one am willing to change my habits for so much benefit.

Some people have justly pointed out alcohol abuse causes these problems, not alcohol use. There is some merit to this and I personally would have no problems with alcohol use if it did not affect the rights of others – most notably through crime, DUIs, and family strife.

Unfortunately, it does. We know a certain percentage of the population cannot handle alcohol. This group of abusers cannot be identified until after the fact usually. If we could screen out only those people who could not control their alcohol abuse and we passed the general harm of alcohol use to drinkers, I would be content with that. However, we have no way to prevent only the abusers from abusing alcohol. If you have an idea, post it. If not, I am willing to toss the whole to prevent the abuse of the few. The benefit of alcohol is minor, the costs extreme. It is not protected by the constitution (gun ownership), it is not a moral issue (to most), it is simply a matter of hurting society more than it helps.

Also, most people drink more than they think and underestimate the effect drinking has on their life. For example, THIS study found most college students were unable to judge how much they were drinking or how drunk they were. Another study showed less than 20% of alcoholics (as defined by the AA) consider themselves to be alcoholics. Second, even moderate drinking hurts both the drinker and the innocent. Click HERE for how moderate drinking can affect your health, work, and family life.

Some people argue if we ban alcohol use people will simply do it illegally, bootleg and whatnot. However, statistics from the Prohibition and current research show banning alcohol use DOES reduce consumption. For example, a Harvard Study surveying the effect of a campus ban on alcohol showed 21% fewer students were alcoholics and almost twice as many students totally abstained. As a second example, before the Prohibition alcohol use was estimated at 2.6 gallons per year. In 1934, when accurate statistics were again available, the figure was less than a gallon, and even as late as 1945, it was only 2 gallons. Not until 1975 did per capita consumption rise again to what it had been before Prohibition. Thus, banning alcohol use can and does reduce the overall use of alcohol and therefore the societal ills. Even if a current ban was as “ineffective†as prohibition, we would expect more than $250 billion in saved personal and societal costs, a 30% reduction in the violent crime rate, an average increased life expectancy of more than 2 years per person, and most importantly, more than 10,000 innocent DUI victims per year would be avoided.

Some people also argue if we ban alcohol, we allow powerful gangs to take over the industry, just as in the prohibition. This might also have some truth to it, but look at how effective the government has been on the war on drugs. Not only has drug use as a whole declined, but drug related violence, particularly gang violence, is down dramatically since the President declared “war.†And again, no one is under the illusion the system will be flawless, but if the system can prevent even a fraction of the $250 billion, 60% of violent crime, and 20,000 deaths per year, it would be worth it.

What great good does alcohol do that justifies its use despite all this horrific harm?

The only things I can think of are: 1) it helps ugly people get laid, 2) it is entrenched in society. Is ugly sex and common habit worth 250 billion dollars, 60% more violent crime, 20,000 innocent deaths, and untold personal misery? And have no fear, ugly people will get creative and find ways to get sex (read: internet pron).

So let me ask again, is a common social habit sufficient to justify increased crime, death, economic waste, and the total destruction of the lives of so many abusers and more importantly innocents?

Garbad
 
Garbad, last I checked this wasn't a thread on whether or not to declare war on alcohol, it was a thread about being an alcoholic or not.

Good try though. :thumbsup:
 

Moosashi

Diabloii.Net Member
Benjamin Franklin said:
- Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
- Drink does not drown Care, but waters it, and makes it grow faster.
But also:

- He that drinks fast, pays slow.
- He that drinks his cyder alone, let him catch his horse alone.
And finally, for Garbad:

- They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
This quote can be interpreted in many ways, but I believe Franklin means that what is essential is liberty itself.
 
It's Clin-Ton's fault!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111one!11unoi111eine111un111!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:lol:

Sorry, couldn't help it. I wanted to make mac proud.
 

Suicidal Zebra

Diabloii.Net Member
Sorry Moosashi and DC, but not everyone thinks that the Founding Fathers were founts of wisdom and divine truth. You may as well be quoting a modern day celebrity and it would have exactly the same amount of legitimacy in the eyes of some.
 

Garbad_the_Weak

Diabloii.Net Member
BTW, on Ben’s little “quoteâ€

In volume VII of the Collected Works of Franklin edited by Jared Sparks, published in 1840, there is a letter that Franklin wrote to his friend David Hume 27 September, 1760, in which he says, in response to Hume's praise of the
, that it was "not written by me, nor any part of it."
http://www.futureofthebook.com/stories/storyReader$605

But the quote is a good one, loved by anti homeland security activists (including me). If you give up an essential liberty, you have actually given up liberty and if it is for only temporary security, it is stupidity. You can give up essential liberty for permanent security. You can give up NON-essential liberty for temporary security. However, if you give up essential liberty for temporary security, you transform a democracy into a police state. In such a case, you really *do* deserve neither liberty nor security.

And who the hell knows what an "essential" liberty is, but I suspect the right to get drunk is not one of them. I also doubt the right to harm others by your lesiure is on that list either. And I doubt we have the context to conclude what Ben meant, if he actually said that.

Garbad
 
Suicidal Zebra said:
Sorry Moosashi and DC, but not everyone thinks that the Founding Fathers were founts of wisdom and divine truth. You may as well be quoting a modern day celebrity and it would have exactly the same amount of legitimacy in the eyes of some.
When talking about policies for the United States of America, the founding fathers are actually a pretty good source of wisdom since it was they who originally founded our nation, helped to write its constitution, and put together the government we now know and live under. So when someone brings up an idea for a policy, I tend to find Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson to be more relevant than Brittany Spears. You may find differently in Europe, however, I don't know.
 

Suicidal Zebra

Diabloii.Net Member
DrunkCajun said:
When talking about policies for the United States of America, the founding fathers are actually a pretty good source of wisdom since it was they who originally founded our nation, helped to write its constitution, and put together the government we now know and live under. So when someone brings up an idea for a policy, I tend to find Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson to be more relevant than Brittany Spears. You may find differently in Europe, however, I don't know.
Yeah, but in the case of Franklin "Beers is great". Come on :D

As for more general statements about governing and policy... well that is a whole 'nother thread. All i'll say is what may have been self-evident to them is not self-evident to many of us, and just like I wouldn't take Churchill's words as sacrosanct I wouldn't take a Founding Father's as without error either.
 
Suicidal Zebra said:
Yeah, but in the case of Franklin "Beers is great". Come on :D

As for more general statements about governing and policy... well that is a whole 'nother thread. All i'll say is what may have been self-evident to them is not self-evident to many of us, and just like I wouldn't take Churchill's words as sacrosanct I wouldn't take a Founding Father's as without error either.
Considering the only one I posted, I didn't think my defense was out of line.
 

Amra

Diabloii.Net Member
cotton said:
I've always thought that overall behavioural changes were much more important than ammount consumed in determining whether you have a problem. I know a lot of people that get ripped on occasion (me included) that I do not believe are alcoholics.

Now, if you start missing work and family obligations to drink, if your life begins to revolve around the cocktail hour, if you find you must have a drink in order to sleep/get up/relax/live, then the situation becomes different. The fact that I like partying like a rock star til 3am and drinking while I'm doing it doesn't doesn't make me an alcy, so long as the alcohol doesn't control my life.

Repeated (again). This was pretty much along the lines of what I was going to say.
 

Moosashi

Diabloii.Net Member
I did not intend for those Franklin quotes to be taken as Gospel, and I don't think Franklin did either. Clearly the man had a sense of humor. I just wanted to offer a different perspective from an "enlightened" source. BTW, the Founding Fathers generally had a lot of brilliant things to say about a lot of issues. I think anyone would have a tough time justifying a complete dismissal of their wisdom.

Garbad, interesting info. about the source of that quote. I wonder who really did say it, I wouldn't put it past Thomas Jefferson though.

If our rationale for allowing liberties is a quantitative cost/benefit analysis, then we should be restricting a lot more than our right to consume alcohol. I've never been a fan of the "greatest good" ethical scheme.
 

Garbad_the_Weak

Diabloii.Net Member
Moosashi said:
If our rationale for allowing liberties is a quantitative cost/benefit analysis, then we should be restricting a lot more than our right to consume alcohol.
True, which is why I am not proposing a quantitative cost/benefit test an absolute criterion.

However, when the costs are large and apparent, the benefits are small and capable of substitution, and when the action is not protected by the Bill of Rights or any of the expansions deemed necessary by the courts/legislatures, I think there is a good case for banning it.

Garbad
 

AeroJonesy

Diabloii.Net Member
Garbad, if we're taxing alcohol, and thus all alcohol consumers because there are some who abuse alcohol, should we do the same for food? Almost all of us eat fatty food at some time or another, and it ocntributes to obesity, diabetes, and other medical conditions that suck up taxpayer money. Should all consumers of bad food foot the bill?

What about cars? Most of us drive, and driving accidents put people in the hospital, and kill people, and destroy property. Should all car owners be paying even more taxes to cover this?

edit: And what would one of my posts be without some sort of relevant link from cnn.com?

Study: Kudzu helps curb binge drinking
 

Garbad_the_Weak

Diabloii.Net Member
AeroJonesy said:
Should all consumers of bad food foot the bill?
Yeah, as I said in the other thread I am willing to consider a "fat tax."

What about cars? Most of us drive, and driving accidents put people in the hospital, and kill people, and destroy property. Should all car owners be paying even more taxes to cover this?
Cars benefit society in a tangible and important way. And we already require insurance to cover (most) of the damage they can do to innocents.

Garbad
 
Garbad_the_Weak said:
However, when the costs are large and apparent, the benefits are small and capable of substitution, and when the action is not protected by the Bill of Rights or any of the expansions deemed necessary by the courts/legislatures, I think there is a good case for banning it.

Garbad
Sounds like fast food to me.

Down with McDonalds!
 

AeroJonesy

Diabloii.Net Member
Garbad_the_Weak said:
Yeah, as I said in the other thread I am willing to consider a "fat tax."
Cool. It wouldn't make sense otherwise. :)

Although, didn't we try banning alcohol once? I think another prohibition would be unfair to Hollywood as no one would go watch gangster flicks anymore, they could just look out their window.

That kudzu article seemed pretty cool, get just as drunk with half the alcohol. I like how they comment it will help problem drinkers, but we all know, it's gonna be used to get the masses drunk faster and with less booze.

What if it were possible to narrow down which alcohol was taxed? Surely drunk drivers and alcohol abusers aren't getting loaded on Dom Perignon or 25 year single malt Scotch every night.
 
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