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The Government's Poor Portrayal Of Alcohol

2060 words - 8 pages

The Government's Poor Portrayal of Alcohol

About a week ago, I was passively watching television until a governmentally-funded advertisement caught my eye. In this commercial, a young child goes to the family refrigerator and gets his father a bottle of beer. Then a stereotypical narrator says, “When some parents crave their favorite drug, they’ll even use their own kids to get it. Alcohol is the number one drug problem in this country. Not marijuana. Not cocaine. Don’t be fooled. Alcohol is a drug.” This commercial alarmed me because the majority of people I know consume alcohol. I decided to investigate alcohol and see how bad this all-dangerous “drug” really was. My findings were very shocking, and they led me to question a central federal policy. Should the federal government’s abstinence ideology concerning alcohol be reconsidered?
Contrary to what the federal government would have people believe, moderate consumption of alcohol is very healthy for the human body!
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism [NIAA] would have people believe that alcohol is currently the worst drug in the United States. This institution along with Center for Substance Abuse Prevention [CSAP] periodically releases conclusions concerning alcohol to the public that are both misleading and fraudulent. These comments are not based on scientific evidence but instead seem to reflect a neo-prohibitionist effort to stigmatize alcohol. Here are some of the examples of statements made by officials representing governmental agencies in the last five years that are neither based on conclusive, scientific evidence nor even remotely reported from a disinterested, neutral position: Alcohol is the dirtiest drug we have; It permeates and damages all tissue; No other drug can cause the same degree of harm that it does. Alcohol is harmful to the body; Alcohol is a poison, and drinking it might lead to death; Alcohol is toxic (no level of consumption indicated); The effects of alcohol on men (no level of consumption indicated) are that hormone levels change, causing lower sex drive and enlarged breasts; Alcohol is a gateway drug leading people into illicit drug use; Alcohol (no level of consumption indicated) can cause deterioration of the heart muscle.
The same federally funded institutions that release misleading statements to the public, also project their belief that there is no difference between moderate drinking and alcohol abuse--the two are portrayed as one and the same. After some of the statements made by the officials cited in the previous paragraph you might of noticed the notation (no level of consumption indicated). These notations illustrate how the federally-funded agencies fail to differentiate between moderate consumption of alcohol and abusive consumption of alcohol. The difference between moderate consumption and abusive consumption is the single-most important aspect of alcohol’s effects on health. First let me define both...

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