The most widely used and the oldest
drug in the world is alcohol. It has killed more people, wrecked more lives,
broken up more families and wasted more money than any other drug. It is not the
taste of alcohol that makes it popular, as by any account, the flavour of
alcoholic beverages is unpleasant. But liquor is popular as it affects the
user's mood. Under the influence of alcohol, the intellectual functions of the
brain are suppressed which removes the natural inhibitions and enables a person
to say and do things that he or she would refrain from when sober.
Public speakers may at times have
recourse to a drink to overcome stage fright. Their fears may be removed but
their intellectual functions are so depressed by it that what they say may not
be as sensible as it would have been had they been in full control of their
There are also people who resort to
liquor to stifle their conscience. A timid, insecure person who has experienced
the psychological effects of alcohol, finds it easy to have regular recourse to
it. It makes him feel bold and confident. But once the effect of liquor wears
off, he again feels timid and insecure, perhaps even more so on account of the
foolish things he may have done in his state of intoxication. Thus, though the
alcoholic starts drinking to get rid of his problems, he is in the process
becoming the greatest problem.
The harmful effects of alcohol are as
It impairs the nervous system and causes slow reactions, poor vision, blurred
speech and loss of judgment.
It causes abnormal behaviour such as giggling, crying, aggression and rowdyism.
It results in lack of muscle co-ordination so that the person stumbles, falls,
or drives vehicles carelessly.
Alcoholism can develop into delirium tremens, due to damage of the brain cells,
and the victim may suffer from frightful hallucinations.
Drinking intoxicating drinks is not
wrong in itself. But when one begins to drink, he often loses his control over
its use and soon becomes physically dependent on alcohol. Moreover, once drunk
he is unable to use his reason for quite sometime. Drunkenness also leads to
fights and indecent behaviour. Alcoholism disrupts not only the life of the
alcoholic but also the lives of his family members and has grave social
You may hear people argue in favour of
alcohol on the ground that it is easier to make friends if you offer somebody a
drink and this is a social device for removing inhibitions and making people
more at ease. There is some truth in all this, so a good motto might be "All
things in moderation." But then, would you like leprosy or lung cancer in
Any habit can be broken if the required
determination is present. Every alcoholic can thus stop drinking if he really
desires to. However a weakness of purpose is typical of the attitude of the
alcoholic and so in spite of the many good intentions, he gives in easily to the
temptation to take another drink whenever the going gets tough. Besides these
factors, sound psychological and religious principles will help one emerge
triumphant in one's struggle against alcohol.