Alcoholism - ALCOHOLISM What You Need to Know How to Help...

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Reprinted from United News, www.ucg.org © 2003-2004 ALCOHOLISM What You Need to Know • How to Help Why is there a need for alcoholism information in the Church? by Larry J. Walker Alcohol contributes to 100,000 deaths annually, making it the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States. One half of all traffic fatalities and one third of all traffic injuries are related to the abuse of alcohol. The National Academy of Sciences estimates that alcoholism and alcohol abuse in the United States cost society from $40 to $60 billion annually. Currently, nearly 14 million Americans— 1 in every 13 adults—abuse alcohol or are alcoholic. About 43 percent of U.S. adults—76 million people—have been exposed to alcoholism in the family. It is estimated that over 3 million teens between the ages of 14 and 17 in the United States today are problem drinkers. More than 60 percent of high school seniors report that they have been drunk; 31 percent say they have had five or more drinks in a row during the last two weeks (source: www.alcoholaddiction.info/alcoholism- statistics.htm). Despite these shocking statistics, alcohol consumption has increased nearly 50 percent over the past generation. Each of the millions of alcoholics negatively affects an average of four to seven other people. There is no way to put a dollar figure on the emotional agony suffered by alcoholics, their families and coworkers. Although these figures are for the United States, alcoholism is a prevalent problem in other nations as well. Is alcoholism a problem in the United Church of God? A survey conducted some 20 years ago in our previous affiliation indicated that alcoholism afflicted the membership of the Church in similar proportions to the society in which they lived. We bring our problems into the Church, and society has far greater effect on us than many of us would like to admit. The fundamental reason has already been stated—we have our roots in this present system and are not immune to the effects of this growing problem. Many of you reading this article are impacted by alcoholism. Others know of friends, family members or other brethren who have problems when drinking. And this is only the tip of the iceberg, because denial is one of the primary symptoms of the affliction. In addition, by semi- controlled drinking, many alcoholics evade detection for a long time. The problem of alcoholism thrives in an atmosphere where knowledge and awareness are lacking. Many misconceptions, misunderstandings and prejudices about alcohol and alcoholism and how to deal with it perpetuate the problem and prolong the suffering of all concerned. An enlightened membership can be a strong bulwark against the painful experiences of alcoholism. Here are some specific areas of need.
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Alcoholism - ALCOHOLISM What You Need to Know How to Help...

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