A Carrie Nation, I am not.
So, a recent PBS NewsHour segment on Alcohol Related Deaths peaked my curiosity.
In Colorado, alcohol related deaths topped opioid deaths.
This was on the same day I read in Dallas Morning News:
Former Highland Park Presbyterian Church senior pastor Bryan Dunagan died after ingesting alcohol and “two commonly prescribed medicines, in their regular therapeutic amounts,” according to an anesthesiologist who is an elder at the church.
Whoa . . .
I am glad for reporting that lights up dark corners we may find ourselves — or we fear our loved ones are choosing to camp.
Specifically, overuse, perhaps abuse, is in the church.
Alcohol consumption is an issue of Christian liberty. One believer’s conscious allows him or her to drink while another’s does not. We choose not to quarrel, or treat one another with contempt, or judge one another over this disputable matter (Rom. 14:1–4). The question for those of us whose conscious allows us to drink is this: considering the sharp rise in alcohol use around the country, are we willing to pause and take an honest look at ourselves, our friends, and our faith families? ( How the Church Should Respond to America’s Alcohol Crisis )
Most people are social drinkers, and do not have trouble putting the glass down.
My drinking was never social —it was always tied to using alcohol to become a person I liked better than myself.
I did not know — or fully appreciate — the trouble I was getting myself into. Nor did I understand the folks in my family whose drinking created “problems” were ill— I was told they just didn’t have will power.
If you are struggling because of your own, or a loved one’s drinking, this article may be useful: Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder.
In the past year, have you:
- Had times when you ended up drinking more, or longer, than you intended?
- More than once wanted to cut down or stop drinking, or tried to, but couldn’t?
- Spent a lot of time drinking, being sick from drinking, or getting over other aftereffects?
- Wanted a drink so badly you couldn’t think of anything else?
- Found that drinking—or being sick from drinking—often interfered with taking care of your home or family? Or caused job troubles? Or school problems?
- Continued to drink even though it was causing trouble with your family or friends?
- Given up or cut back on activities you found important, interesting, or pleasurable so you could drink?
- More than once gotten into situations while or after drinking that increased your chances of getting hurt (such as driving, swimming, using machinery, walking in a dangerous area, or unsafe sexual behavior)?
- Continued to drink even though it was making you feel depressed or anxious or adding to another health problem? Or after having had an alcohol-related memory blackout?
- Had to drink much more than you once did to get the effect you want? Or found that your usual number of drinks had much less effect than before?
- Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, you had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, restlessness, nausea, sweating, a racing heart, dysphoria (feeling uneasy or unhappy), malaise (general sense of being unwell), feeling low, or a seizure? Or sensed things that were not there?
Any of these symptoms may be cause for concern. The more symptoms, the more urgent the need for change.
Thanks for stopping by —please keep coming back.
Love in Christ,
Sober and Grateful
PS: You might like A Pastor Prays for Addicts.