Recovery For Life

How to live a healthier life one day at a time.

Get it Straight!

Sobriety Is A Quality of Life Issue

Whoever told you alcohol is evil lied! Actually having a glass of wine or an alcoholic beverage can be quite enjoyable, but do not shut your eyes to the fact that it does affect the way one feels and acts. Alcohol is a disinhibitor - more specifically, it is a central nervous system depressant that tends to disinhibit one's actions. This can lead to big trouble around the holidays. Perhaps two cocktails and you finally tell Aunt Bertha just how overweight she is! Or maybe you will tell Uncle Larry that he simply cannot be an expert on everything and isn't it about time he shut his...

In any case, we tend to confuse alcohol as being evil with the devastating illness of alcoholism. Alcoholism is not evil either - it is just a disease that can lead to death, jail or eventually (if one is willing to go for treatment) sobriety. Sobriety requires that one who is alcoholic does not drink. It is really quite elementary - if one is sick they need treatment for that illness.

Oh one last thing - police do not care if you have alcoholism or simply are someone who had too much to drink - so do not drink and drive. I know you have heard that one before but it is still going on and resulting in so many innocent people dying. So let's review real quickly: alcohol is not evil; alcoholism is not evil but a disease that requires treatment; and regardless, nobody should drink and drive - there you have it! Now memorize that and we will all be better for it!

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Harris Stratyner, Ph.D., CASAC, is a Clinical Associate Professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine; he is also with Caron Treatment Centers.

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