Fight Back Against Alcohol
Editor, The Herald:
The cost of alcohol to society is enormous!
More than 100,000 deaths each year are caused either directly or indirectly by alcohol use. Drunk driving, cirrhosis, cancer, stroke, heart attack-all are caused by alcohol. One research study concluded that alcohol kills at least one person in our society every hour of every day.
Nearly 18,000,000 Americans are alcoholics, alcohol abusers, or suffer from alcohol use disorder. At some point in their lives, more than 18 percent of Americans will abuse or become dependent on alcohol. About one in five people will have to deal with alcohol abuse in their lifetime. Nearly half of American families are, in some way, impacted by alcohol abuse.
Every 30 minutes, someone is killed by an alcohol-impaired driver; that is nearly 50 people every day. In 2002, more than 70,000 college students were victims of alcohol-related sexual assault. Alcohol and alcohol-related problems cost America at least $100 million in health care and lost productivity every year. Alcoholism is a factor in 30 percent of all completed suicides.
How can society fight back?
1. Require all alcohol advertisements and alcohol containers to have larger, more prominently displayed, and more clearly labeled health warnings.
2. Require all manufacturers of alcohol to set aside a certain percentage of every sale to go to an education fund which would pay for exposing the health and social dangers of alcohol.
3. Require all levels of government that receive alcohol tax money, to set aside a percentage of its tax income for education of the public.
A massive and sustained education campaign exposing the destructive nature of alcohol, is likely to reduce the health and social dangers associated with this drug.