Several news organizations have invited comments on issues deemed important for consideration in choosing among candidates for public offices in this election year. I, personally, am very concerned about the growing abuse of alcohol as a drug and the seeming encouragement of such through our state laws and city ordinances. I am especially concerned about the safety and well being of the wonderful young people pursuing an education on our campuses.
Having served on the Mississippi State University faculty for 40 years, I have always been dismayed over young lives ruined through alcohol abuse. I am not advocating a return to prohibition (we, through history, have learned our lessons about such), but I do believe our leaders could do much to educate the young about the facts regarding alcohol dangers, and to curb exploitation of the young by profiteers through glamorization of alcohol use.
Alcohol is a dangerous drug, and according to my understanding, alcohol, alone, has no nutritive value. Nutritional benefits often attributed to alcoholic beverages comes from the fruit, grains, or other plant components used in production, not the alcohol. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of publicity touting alcoholic beverages for nutritive value, and suggesting health benefits associated. Many in the medical profession will even recommend red wine, or sometimes an alcoholic toddy before bed, particularly for the elderly.
Excessive use of alcohol may become a crutch for those that have trouble living with the stresses of normal life. People use alcohol, like other altering drugs, to escape from life’s normal responsibilities. It is a way to hide from the normal functions of society. Unfortunately, regular use of alcohol can become addictive, destroying health, family relationships, and normal mental functions.
Clinton H. Graves