Apparently, an unwritten law has emerged amongst the western cultures of our world that dictates the journey towards becoming a man has to include drinking alcohol and getting intoxicated. Drinking beer is considered the manly thing to do. Many men in our Australian society are expected to drink. So much so, that a young man who lost both his brothers due to alcohol addiction stated, “Australia is an alcoholic.”
In history and in today’s society “real men” apparently drink beer. This is a stereotypical statement said by many people. The alluring effects of drinking alcohol can be inviting to many. All the cares and worries in your world change from a murky black to a symphony of colour as the calming and relaxing effects invade your body and mind. The quiet, reserved, timid guy becomes the life of the party. The problem is, this only lasts for a short while. Besides the crippling effects of a hangover, the long term effects of sustained drinking can be devastating.
Drinking large amounts of beer or any other alcoholic substance has effects on the brain, liver and heart, can affect blood sugar levels and mental health. Alcohol can raise blood pressure and weight, increasing the risk of a heart attack, stroke and type 2 diabetes. A recent new study published 28 August, 2018 by ‘GBD 2016 Alcohol Collaborators’ concludes that there is no amount of alcohol consumption that is safe for overall health. This finding surprised many regular drinkers but has left some experts unconvinced. The study found that alcohol was the seventh leading risk factor for premature death in 2016. This contributed to 2.8 million deaths worldwide. Every year, over 85,000 Americans lose their lives because of alcoholism. This costed the US Government an astounding $220 billion U.S. dollars in 2006 on medical costs and taxpayer dollars to combat and deal with alcoholism. The devastating mental effects of alcoholism can also clearly be seen in a recent psychological autopsy study were it was reported that 68% of males and 29% of females who committed suicide met the criteria for alcohol abuse. These death tolls do not stop here. In the US alone someone is killed every 51 minutes by a crash involving a driver under the influence of alcohol. In this instance drinking makes you more of a murderer than a man.
Vin Baker was selected to play for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Seattle SuperSonics before alcoholism eventually destroyed his career. After the 1998-1999 NBA competition, Vin Baker became addicted to alcohol. After only a couple of months Vin Baker became overweight admitted to his alcohol addiction during his time with the Boston Celtics. He was never able to recover from his alcohol issue. Baker bounced around the basketball league before playing his final game in 2006. Many people stated that “Vin Baker was not even half the man he used to be.” This interesting but sad story confirms that drinking can only turn out to be a disaster. Vin Baker and many other athletes can testify that alcohol addiction destroys your life and career.
Vin Baker playing for the Celtics before alcohol took over his career.
What makes a man a man? When God created man the idea was for man to rule creation with respect, integrity and honor. A man should value and strive for these qualities. His strength should not only be evident physically but also mentally, being able to lead with a clear, sound mind. Alcohol dependance does not facilitate this. Drinking does not make you a man.
Chris Davenport. 2018. Ventura Recovery Center. [ONLINE] Available at: https://venturarecoverycenter.com/10-facts-about-alcoholism/. [Accessed 6 November 2018].
JAMIE DUCHARME. 2018. A New Study Says Any Amount of Drinking Is Bad for You. Here’s What Experts Say. [ONLINE] Available at:http://time.com/5376552/how-much-alcohol-to-drink-study/. [Accessed 1 November 2018].
British Heart Foundation. 2018. Effects of alcohol on your heart. [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/medical/effects-of-alcohol-on-your-heart. [Accessed 5 November 2018].