I originally wrote this as a response to an article published by Eric Ayles about 33 million persons affected by alcohol. 33 Million!! I wrote a lengthy response, and now I'm posting it as my own article. What do you think? Should we seek Government, Media, Scientific and Medical Evidence to create a social revolution to get help for the 33 Million people addicted to alcohol and other addictions?
Here's a link to the Time Magazine article: http://time.com/3907691/alcohol-problems-study/
Here was my response to Eric:
In some ways I think American governmental policy undermines the health and welfare of citizens. I'm wondering what in the world people were thinking by legalizing addictive substances!? (Alcohol, nicotine and now marijuana)
In the 1990s we had a social revolution that utilized scientific and medical evidence, social media, television and social pressure to greatly reduce the number of smokers we had. That occurred because of evidence of second hand smoke and the damage it does to others.
I am wondering why something like that isn't happening with alcohol. How many of us are not affected by alcoholism, if not in ourselves, or our immediate families then by higher insurance rates, risk to ourselves every time we get in an automobile and are on the same roads as impaired persons, by medical costs that are affected by these addictive diseases. I know of many people who have daily pain caused by car accidents long ago--there are many in that situation because of drunk or impaired driving. I was recently reading an article about the kid who killed 4 people and injured others because of his polysubstance use. The courts did not give the driver, Ethan Couch, jail time but instead time in a treatment facility. Everyday people are harmed by addictive diseases and our culture just "lives with it." rather than mounting up a social revolution to address this.
Where is the CDC on all of this??
So now, in Colorado, we have legalization of marijuana. What happened to the second-hand smoke revolution? There are now bars there where beer is infused with marijuana smoke. The law states that you can only smoke marijuana at home, and apparently in designated places. Are you serious? How many marijuana smokers are going to point-by-point follow these rules? and how do they get to the marijuana bars? By driving of course. I wouldn't want to drive in Colorado on weekend evenings.
So, that's my thoughts on it, I know they are strong, and I know we have tried prohibition in the past to reduce alcohol use. That was by using authoritarian means. The anti-cigarette revolution didn't happen by authoritative means but by social revolution. Isn't it time once again to address addictions?
Side note: One teen has Traumatic Brain Injury from the accident caused by Ethan Couch in the "affluenza" case.
Here is a link to the article on her legal settlement: