Saturday, January 30

If we could drink Asbestos


In running SoberWorld.org one of the topics i read about almost daily is Alcohol and Laws. I see so many struggles. I see people looking for ways to have  laws help reduce harm. I also see people looking at ways around the laws to sell more alcohol and do more harm.

Alcohol (C2H6O) occurs naturally in rotting fruit and other organic matter. About 10,000 years ago, someone figured out how to replicate this, and we were off. It has become part of culture, folk society, and one of the first miracles in the Bible was Jesus making wine for a party. It HAS to be good... so lets drink more!

Zoom forward 9,900 or so years (about a century ago), and we in the USA tried making it illegal since excess in alcohol was hurting so many people in so many ways. Besides thousands dying, direct health issues, alcohol also impairs judgement both physically and mentally (why they give you free booze at casinos). With so many bad attributes, you would assume society would want to make this toxin illegal to produce and distribute. It kills so many people, destroys lives, it only makes sense to prohibit it. Right?

However, we forgot about one of the most important characteristics of alcohol. It is physically and psychologically and socially addictive. We crave it.

So let's zoom to today. 
Since prohibition, alcohol is legal to make, distribute, sell, tax, and consume with modest restraints of age only (to protect the children - the adults don't need protection apparently).

We now know
Alcohol attacks almost every organ immediately, it is a level one carcinogen, it causes cancer in multiple organs including the colon and breast tissue. It causes permanent brain damage in people under the age of 25 who drink to excess, making them more vulnerable to addiction. It is a leading side factor in heart failure. In its purest form, it is highly lethal to the human body. Very little will shut down your whole body permanently. But boy, we love it!

The growth of Alcohol sales has been exponential, and so have the problems.

Declines in spirituality, long-term marriages, morals. We have seen increases in incarcerations, toxic deaths, competition over tax revenue, types of alcohol, distribution points, hours of sale, licenses allowed, retail point-of-sale locations and more.

And it's all legal - because WE want it, LOTS OF IT!
In short, alcohol is everywhere, in every event, available 7 days a week for sale, most places over 10 hours a day. Businesses and our state governments rake in money, lots of it, and yet somehow they are legally disconnected from the death and destruction.

If we could drink Asbestos catch a buzz... would we be suing them?
How can they make toxic products that kill tens of thousands and destroy so much of our society, and not be held accountable?  How? Because we let them. Because we want it, because we are addicted.

Our Laws related to Alcohol control only money and societal direct harm. There are some advertising rules to protect children that are ineffective at best.

Laws will not enforce you to make common sense decisions about your health. Laws will not enforce a spiritual existence is a mentally peaceful. Laws will not enforce saving money by not drinking. Laws will not enforce you to have more intelligent conversations and more meaningful relations in a more sober existence.

Laws will not make your life better, only you can.

Don't look to the Laws to help us out of addiction and excessive alcohol. We all need to have a better understanding, and like cigarettes, provide more education. We need to enable people to be more informed, we need to help addicts and people trying to stop self-medicating. We need to understand the WHY question of the reason people are drinking so much.

Similar to cigarettes, when we the people decide to drink less through education, not through laws and enforcement, then we will have a more Sober World.

Saturday, January 2

Sober World for 2016


Jan 2016 marks the start of the fourth calendar year of complete chemical sobriety for me. In running Sober World I have opened over 3,000 Gmail search bots containing over 10,000 articles on various aspects of alcohol around the globe. I have written commented and shared many thousands on SoberWorldOrg and have a fun small following that I am growing slowly as I become more confident in what I am doing.

And really -  being sober for me has very little to do with alcohol. Intoxicated or Drunk? yes... but Sobriety is a state of mind to me.

Alcohol and Addiction as I understand it

Alcohol has been a part of our lives for thousands of years. Part of culture, trade. Wine was cultivated and traded as a commodity a very long time ago. The first miracle in the Bible performed by Jesus was essentially a 'Packy Run' to get booze for a wedding (Water into Wine). It is a part of every culture - good or bad is not for me to judge.

So what's different now?

In a word, Corporations. In the US, in the past 100 years since prohibition, the ability to manufacture, warehouse, truck, distribute, sell, retail and market alcohol has grown exponentially. We now have global brands nurturing 'mature drinking markets like Ireland and Scotland, advising them on how to drink sustainably. At the same time they search now markets like Africa and Asia. China is going to quickly become a hot bed for alcoholism with all the money and 'westernizing' they are experiencing.

Corporations push growth in sales constantly, marketing to different people, creating different styles of alcohol to entice different people. Classy wine for working Moms, Beers for Sports guys, sophisticated Scotches and Gins for the image minded, fruity drinks for vacationers and the young, seasonal drinks, occasion drinks (like Champagne) and more. More, more more...

The States in the US were strapped with a problem post prohibition. Dealing with the alcohol aftermath costs money. Unpaid medical, fire, police, counselors for addiction and other social services, houses for addiction, legal fees, incarcerations. So they taxed Alcohol to pay for the damage alcohol caused.

State Sales Competition - Adding Fuel to the Fire

The States in the US have also engaged in border wars for revenue. Each state has it's own alcohol laws - so in my home state - competing with others, they have increased available hours of sale in the last half a century by well over 250%, now selling alcohol 7 days a week, over 110 hours. Many states now allow sales in grocery stores, gas stations, warehouse stores and more for 'convenience'.

All of this pressure to add hours, add places to sell is driven by one thing, money. Corporations making the alcohol want growth and market share. States taxing all of it want more tax revenue,so they open the spigot, allow more places to sell, more hours. More, more more...

Reality Check - Would they even allow it?

Alcohol itself has no health value and if introduced today would most likely not be sold at all. Alcohol the drug is a level one carcinogen, causes cancer in many organs and tissues from the liver, to colon and even breast cancer. It causes permanent brain damage to people under 25 that drink it regularly. It is an addictive mood altering depressant that is linked to 75% of rapes and one in five suicides. It is the cause of death for one in ten working age adults in the Unites States. It costs a quarter of a trillion dollars in lost productivity every year in the US. Globally alcohol is one of the leading causes of death, one person every ten seconds dies from it on average. Over 3 Million people a year die from it. In the US - we experience a 9/11 like death toll, every 3 weeks from alcohol.

See what others choose not to see

Any business starting today making a toxic products that killed many millions of people would be sued and shut down. Do you hear anyone taking responsibility for all this death and damage? Alcohol lobbyists are powerful and influential. Legislators pushing more sales in the states would be shunned. But we allow it. Completely wrong - yet completely legal because we the people allow it.

So - How do we change all this?  We need to need less alcohol.

Laws have limits. We the people need to change - Social Change. We already are. Slowly we are understanding th Cancer links to Alcohol. Slowly you are seeing "Smoking and Alcohol" more and more as cancer risk twins. Slowly we are understanding addiction, and that alcohol is a drug, a medication to mask anxieties, stress, tensions, fears for a short while, but is solves nothing and often makes them worse. Slowly - sites like www.SoberWorld.org are being read more seriously. Slowly we are embracing addicts to drugs and alcohol as people with emotional and psychological imbalances and needs.

There are tens of million in the US alone in recovery from addiction. The more sales of addictive products - the more addicts you will make -  a percentage of them will live - and like any uprising - as the masses of recovery people grow - see their voice grow.  A great example is Many Faces 1 Voice. Mass uprisings are already taking place - there is a war going on. You WILL see more, I can guarantee that from the thousands of passionate people I have met.

The common Spiritual healing thread.

We as beings all aspire towards something greater. A higher presence, God, Jesus, Allah, Buddha - whatever the religion, or faith - they all point at spirituality. Consistently, the more you have an inner peace, and inner spirituality and walk that life, the less you self medicate with alcohol.

So for 2016, if you are willing to change a bit, search deeper for that inner peace, that serenity that allows you to pass by drama, not engage in useless arguments, that encourages helping others by doing service work. Doing for others will pay you back exponentially, I see that every day with the people I know.

I have a personal mission over the next decade to support the World Health Organization in what little way I can in their 2025 initiative to reduce Non Communicable Diseases. I want to re-define "Sober" to show that alcohol is a symptom. Like you take aspirin for physical pain, you take alcohol for emotional tensions, good and bad.

Alcohol, like cigarettes or other drugs is best not taken at all. If you feel you need it, that's fine for most people, but keep it to small suggested doses please. If it gets out of hand - you have tens of millions of friends struggling -  don't be shy to ask for help!

 Have a safe and Happy New Year.
If you can, make yours a more Sober World!

pf