First things first, some of you know I don’t drink. At all. Ever. I won’t; I refuse.
I’m not completely against drinking. If you and I are out for dinner and you enjoy a beer or glass of wine, that’s fine. I have issues with the notion of drinking to get drunk. I might sound a bit prude in this post, but it is definitely something I feel strongly about.
I don’t have issues going to bars or whatever. But I do think it’s incredibly juvenile and immature when I have had to help drunk friends get home safely or prevent them from walking onto oncoming traffic in NYC etc.
I think it’s just a bad and unhealthy way of dealing with stress... or celebrating a special event/achievement. If you need alcohol to have fun/fit in/make friends/feel better about yourself, that seems very shallow.
I’ve lost a couple of classmates and friends due to drunk driving accidents (one was in middle school, she was a great student and well-liked by many. She was also a good athlete and a very nice, humble person. A drunk driver hit the vehicle she was in, passenger side. The other was a close friend of my sister’s who was killed in a similar scenario).
My Dad’s a doctor and he tells me the saddest things (other than ill children) he witnesses at his hospital are the patients who suffer from alcohol-related diseases and problems. He says “I have seen far too many lives, and not just at work, ruined due to excessive alcohol.”
There have been many instances during undergrad and grad where I would be at social events with professors, classmates... and the only thing they cared about was wine and drinking. Another frustrating thing is that I can’t tell you how many times people have cancelled on me for plans cause they said they were too hungover.
In my experiences, no one has ever pressured me to drink and people accept my decision not to drink alcohol. Part of that I think is also cause I don’t usually hang out frequently with people my own age (mid-20s) who drink excessively. It’s incredibly boring to watch drunk people act the way they do. One of my closest childhood friends (who also doesn’t drink) went to a different undergrad than I did (but one of our high school friends went with him to the same university). He told me that our mutual friend would invite him to crazy parties and he eventually stopped going not just cause he was disgusted seeing young adults act that way but also seeing someone he grew up with act like that. He ended up cutting off with that person. But he told me the final straw really was when he went to a bathroom and he saw a passed out girl in there. He woke her up and took her back to her place to ensure no one would take advantage of her. I’ve never heard of him being so disgusted ever before.
It’s also strange how we have “NO UNDERAGE DRINKING” laws and warning labels, but when you watch TV, surf the internet, watch sports, etc. There are alcohol ads EVERYWHERE. It’s so ingrained into our society (and not just American, excessive drinking is a problem in MANY foreign countries and even Middle Eastern ones. There are plenty of parents I know who I think are completely hypocritical cause they are teaching their kids about the dangers of drinking but on weekends the parents go partying with their friends). Kids see alcohol everywhere, unfortunately. And college culture embraces drinking heavily and such.
So, I was wondering what Oppo thinks about this... what have your experiences been like involving alcohol and how has it affected you, your loved ones, and your family?
PS - If Benjamin Rolland could chime in about his experiences both before and after he quit drinking, that would be wonderful!
Stay safe everyone!