Saturday, January 06, 2007

Don't say cheers


-By Swetha Amit
Alcohol, a simple yet a dangerous word. What starts of as a coax for a small sip or a peg as a social obligation ends up as a regular and addictive group activity at parties and get-togethers.The current economic incentives has made these hard drinks more affordable. The gradual change from the traditional to a more cosmopolitan culture across several metros and small towns has made social drinking the “in thing”. This intoxicating drink has gained its popularity over giggly wild teenagers and has retained its brand equity among the adult segment as well.


It is a shocking plight to see the ill effects of the so called liberalization among the school and college crowd that attracts these youngsters to alcohol like bees swarming towards honey. Seeing their parents and other elders consuming beer or wine socially, precipitates these young minds to see such drinks as a harmless substance. Yet they are curious to find out the reason for banning of their consuming such beverages by parents without being given a rational explanation. These curiosity levels which grow within them as they hit their teens push them towards this habit. The trend of pubs, night clubs and discos with bartenders has spread across this generation like wildfire and has enamored the youth to find solace and false highs by this act. Oblivious to the hazardous consequences of excessive cosumption, multiple drinks on the rocks indeed turns into a rocky counter for these victims of peer pressure and "social acceptance."


Adults who are seen partying till wee hours, after the tension filled corporate life, also find hard drinks as a soothing balm to their ever increasing stress levels. It’s also perceived as temporary getaway from the woes of life. Whether it is breakup with a loved one, tiffs with a boss, firing from a job, tequila shots indeed help such frustrated souls to call the shots for a short span, escaping into a “flight from reality” mode. Sadly, this supposedly responsible citizen clan let themselves fall prey as remote controls to the electrified mind which is whisked away by the numerous bottles of whiskey. What starts of as a few moments of pleasure, ends up in an alarming dependence of the humans to this devastating stimulant, thereby resulting in destruction to one self and society.


Several studies have found alcohol as a depressant slowing down the activity of the central nervous system. It actually blocks some messages trying to enter the human brain which alters the persons' vision, sense hearing and perception. Large amounts of alcohol consumption can result in alcohol poisoning resulting in breathing difficulties, unconsciousness and can prove to be fatal.


Over the recent times, news channels have flashed headlines of several drunken driving cases which have cost the lives of many innocent and not so innocent victims. Drinking and driving which were rendered as two separate words in the dictionary are continuously brought together by individuals, thereby creating a negative revolution. Spoilt rich kids after numerous pegs, driving their fathers’ hard earned luxurious vehicles, have reduced the status of the slum dwellers to being homeless overnight.Filmstars and celebrities who render a certain social responsibility to their audiences ironically end up reducing their fan number by indulging in rash and speedy motor accidents. Such mishaps cause scars both physically and psychologically to the affected ones and their families.


In spite of the vast improvisation in the educational system, it’s disgusting to see the upper class segment indulge in such low class selfish acts. Is it fair to let someone suffer the consequences of their irresponsible actions? Is it fair to cause damage to other cautious drivers on the road due to the inability to control ones alcoholic mind? Is it that difficult to let their inner voices in their minds assert themselves to prevent them from indulging in more than one glass of beer?


We all know that it is not sensible to mix drinking and driving. Yet our swaying minds allow us to do so. Why is it hard to apply the principle of” prevention is better than cure?” Should one do irrational things to learn its ill effects the hard way? Is it not our duty as responsible mature citizens to ensure safety and security to our environment? Can we not think of the long term consequences before treating ourselves to a few moments of pleasure? Its pure irony that few seconds which seem as a very short time period seems never-ending when we realize the negligence of our intoxicated act.


Let us therefore spread this message and bring about a realization that anything which is consumed within a certain limit is fine. The minute anything goes beyond the realm of reason is dangerous. Rehabilitation of substance abuse is something one should not have to go through if they steer their self controlling minds in an assertive manner. Next time one wants to indulge in excessive drinking and then drive, remember the chance of costing somebody a scar for their life. And someday you could be one of the traumatized victims as the saying goes” NOBODY IS INVINCIBLE”.


Written for www.msn.co.in
Appeared as Editors choice

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