Archive | 5:57 AM

97 Bottles of Beer on the Wall

19 Dec

It’s a given that college drinking, and the way society tolerates and encourages it is a serious problem.  But is it a serious disease?  Are our university campuses crawling with addicts?  Let’s put this in perspective, shall we?

My dad was is an alcoholic, because you can never really 100% recover and be able to drink moderately like a non-alcoholic. I’m much too lazy to look up scientific studies and statistics, but I’ll bet if you did you would find an alcoholic’s brain chemistry is different. I’d also be willing to bet that an alcoholic metabolizes it in a different way than a person able to self-control their drinking. An alcoholic literally cannot stop themselves from consuming too much. They will always drink too much at a time, too often, and become dependent on alcohol to function. Once an alcoholic stops drinking–they can never have another sip of alcohol–or they are right back in the middle of their addiciton and the destructive behavior that comes with it. My dad has not had a drink in about 30 years. If he had one drink today, he might be right back in the middle of his sloppy behavior.

Also, alcoholism is a more serious, uncontrollable disease, very unlike the (poor) choices made by college drinkers. Alcoholics need medical detox to stop drinking. They can seizure and die if they try to stop drinking without intervention. Most college students simply sober up before finals or other important tests. And when they graduate–their habits clean up. True alcoholics couldn’t do that. Without help–they are still drinking abusively.

Saying all college kids who drink are alcoholics discounts all of the above. Yes, drinking is excessive in college. Yes, youth should be held accountable for their actions. But saying they are failing because they have a disease isn’t quite right. . .