Can Heavy Drinking Turn You Gay?

A lot of people do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do while drunk – and more than a few marriages have ended over the indiscretions of a drunken spouse. There is something magically horrible in alcohol, which makes us feel increased sexual desire, while losing the ordinary good sense to just go home at the end of the night.

But if you’re wondering why alcohol makes you so weak – take some solace from the humble fruit fly – alcohol intoxication can actually turn him gay.

It’s true, researchers have known that acute alcohol intoxication decreases sexual inhibition in fruit flies, but it turns out that when given repeated doses of alcohol, over a matter of days (designed to replicate the experience of alcohol abuse or alcoholism) male fruit flies, who are normally quite macho, will seek out other males for copulation.

The researchers say that fruit flies are a fairly accurate model for the neurobiological effects of alcohol on mammals, like humans, and research using them can help to explain human alcohol affected sexual behavior.

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A lot of people do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do while drunk – and more than a few marriages have ended over the indiscretions of a drunken spouse. There is something magically horrible in alcohol, which makes us feel increased sexual desire, while losing the ordinary good sense to just go home at the end of the night.

But if you’re wondering why alcohol makes you so weak – take some solace from the humble fruit fly – alcohol intoxication can actually turn him gay.

It’s true, researchers have known that acute alcohol intoxication decreases sexual inhibition in fruit flies, but it turns out that when given repeated doses of alcohol, over a matter of days (designed to replicate the experience of alcohol abuse or alcoholism) male fruit flies, who are normally quite macho, will seek out other males for copulation.

The researchers say that fruit flies are a fairly accurate model for the neurobiological effects of alcohol on mammals, like humans, and research using them can help to explain human alcohol affected sexual behavior.

Wet Brain. Why Do We Add Vitamins to Bread, But Not Beer?

Nobody walks away from years of heavy drinking unscathed, it always takes its toll; but for some heavy drinkers, a multi decade party ends in tragedy, with Wernickes-Korsakoffs Syndrome…wet brain.

Wet Brain

Wet brain is a tragic and often fatal syndrome of brain damage caused by years of vitamin B1 deficiency. Most people get all the vitamin B1 they need through a normal diet. Alcoholics, who may eat poorly or have damaged and ill functioning gastro intestinal systems, often do not. And the syndrome is pretty sad, with symptoms of confusion, language deficits, an ill ability to concentrate and social withdrawal just a few of many – and it can and does kill tens of thousands of Americans each year.

A simple vitamin deficiency!

So anyway, I was talking with my mom about wet brain, and she asked me why they didn’t just fortify beer with vitamin B1. And I had no idea. Why didn’t they? There must be some reason though right? It just seems too obvious a solution to such tragedy.

So anyway, a quick peek online confirmed a couple of things. Firstly, that my mom is a pretty smart cookie, and secondly that the AMA has been recommending just such a fortification, and studies have shown that it would work. An Australian study, where researchers actually did fortify beer showed that alcoholics drinking this B1 beer showed cognitive improvements, couldn’t taste the difference, and that the vitamins could be added to beer for about 20 cents per 6000 bottles!

Currently, brewers cannot legally add vitamins to beer, and some have argued that by offering vitamin enriched alcohol, some people might assume that drinking was less dangerous than it is. But hey, legislation is changeable, especially when it makes sense – when it saves lives, and I don’t think adding vitamin fortification to the small print on a case of beer is gonna’ be convincing anyone to drink more than they do now.

But there has got to be something else, right? I mean it can’t be this easy can it…

So for now, if you drink too much, make sure you take a B12 supplement, it could save your life – and maybe one day, one day soon, that just won’t be necessary, and you’ll get all you need in a few "well balanced" beers a day.

Nobody walks away from years of heavy drinking unscathed, it always takes its toll; but for some heavy drinkers, a multi decade party ends in tragedy, with Wernickes-Korsakoffs Syndrome…wet brain.

Wet Brain

Wet brain is a tragic and often fatal syndrome of brain damage caused by years of vitamin B1 deficiency. Most people get all the vitamin B1 they need through a normal diet. Alcoholics, who may eat poorly or have damaged and ill functioning gastro intestinal systems, often do not. And the syndrome is pretty sad, with symptoms of confusion, language deficits, an ill ability to concentrate and social withdrawal just a few of many – and it can and does kill tens of thousands of Americans each year.

A simple vitamin deficiency!

So anyway, I was talking with my mom about wet brain, and she asked me why they didn’t just fortify beer with vitamin B1. And I had no idea. Why didn’t they? There must be some reason though right? It just seems too obvious a solution to such tragedy.

So anyway, a quick peek online confirmed a couple of things. Firstly, that my mom is a pretty smart cookie, and secondly that the AMA has been recommending just such a fortification, and studies have shown that it would work. An Australian study, where researchers actually did fortify beer showed that alcoholics drinking this B1 beer showed cognitive improvements, couldn’t taste the difference, and that the vitamins could be added to beer for about 20 cents per 6000 bottles!

Currently, brewers cannot legally add vitamins to beer, and some have argued that by offering vitamin enriched alcohol, some people might assume that drinking was less dangerous than it is. But hey, legislation is changeable, especially when it makes sense – when it saves lives, and I don’t think adding vitamin fortification to the small print on a case of beer is gonna’ be convincing anyone to drink more than they do now.

But there has got to be something else, right? I mean it can’t be this easy can it…

So for now, if you drink too much, make sure you take a B12 supplement, it could save your life – and maybe one day, one day soon, that just won’t be necessary, and you’ll get all you need in a few "well balanced" beers a day.

Alcoholics; Lets Lock Them Up – Seriously

At the end of the day – whether or not a person wants to drink too much, or use drugs, is pretty much a personal decision – right? It’s their body, it’s their life – it’s their decision.

Maybe – it’s certainly something that a concerned family may hear when attempting to convince an addict to get help. It’s certainly something someone trapped in the self-delusion of the disease might spout – and even believe.

 But is it true?

If you drink alone, hermit like in a remote cabin, never seeing another soul – then OK, it’s your business. You hurt no one but yourself, and it’s no one’s business but yours.

So alcoholic hermits aside…

  • If you drink to a stupor each night in front of your family, in front of your kids – even if you do no immediate wrongs – you model something terrible. Do you have the right? Does it become the family’s business at that point?
  • If your substance use prevents you from getting or keeping a job, from providing for yourself and your family – do those that would subsidize your existence have the right to tell you what you can and cannot put in your body?

We live together, as family, as a community, and our actions and choices affect those around us. Those that drink or drug heavily impact the rest of us, whether painfully in the family, or through social costs in the community. We have the right to demand change – it is our business, it’s everyone’s business.

We don’t have the right to demand impossible change though. Addiction is a disease, entrenched and enduring, and you can’t just will it away. We can demand change in the family, we can demand change in the community, but first, we must provide a means for change.

We, as a society, can say that alcoholic level drinking is unacceptable. It does harm to more than just the individual, and we are not going to stand for it anymore. We can divert some of the ludicrous quantities of money going into our prison system (we now incarcerate 1 in 100) and build 1000 new treatment centers – and we can make people use them. If we can put someone in jail for the possession of a small quantity of crack – why can’t we save through enforced healthcare those that would abuse even legal drugs, such as alcohol?

It would save money in the long run – it would save lives right away. Sure it’s an ethical minefield, and committing people to hospitals does sound a bit scary – a bit too "One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest" for comfort. It wouldn’t be easy. But we could do it and maybe we should.

At the end of the day – whether or not a person wants to drink too much, or use drugs, is pretty much a personal decision – right? It’s their body, it’s their life – it’s their decision.

Maybe – it’s certainly something that a concerned family may hear when attempting to convince an addict to get help. It’s certainly something someone trapped in the self-delusion of the disease might spout – and even believe.

 But is it true?

If you drink alone, hermit like in a remote cabin, never seeing another soul – then OK, it’s your business. You hurt no one but yourself, and it’s no one’s business but yours.

So alcoholic hermits aside…

  • If you drink to a stupor each night in front of your family, in front of your kids – even if you do no immediate wrongs – you model something terrible. Do you have the right? Does it become the family’s business at that point?
  • If your substance use prevents you from getting or keeping a job, from providing for yourself and your family – do those that would subsidize your existence have the right to tell you what you can and cannot put in your body?

We live together, as family, as a community, and our actions and choices affect those around us. Those that drink or drug heavily impact the rest of us, whether painfully in the family, or through social costs in the community. We have the right to demand change – it is our business, it’s everyone’s business.

We don’t have the right to demand impossible change though. Addiction is a disease, entrenched and enduring, and you can’t just will it away. We can demand change in the family, we can demand change in the community, but first, we must provide a means for change.

We, as a society, can say that alcoholic level drinking is unacceptable. It does harm to more than just the individual, and we are not going to stand for it anymore. We can divert some of the ludicrous quantities of money going into our prison system (we now incarcerate 1 in 100) and build 1000 new treatment centers – and we can make people use them. If we can put someone in jail for the possession of a small quantity of crack – why can’t we save through enforced healthcare those that would abuse even legal drugs, such as alcohol?

It would save money in the long run – it would save lives right away. Sure it’s an ethical minefield, and committing people to hospitals does sound a bit scary – a bit too "One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest" for comfort. It wouldn’t be easy. But we could do it and maybe we should.

You’re Not Funnier When You Drink – Trust Me; You’re Not

There’s a small voice nagging inside the heads of most alcoholics, it’s the voice of addiction, and it tells us what we need to hear to keep on pouring in the booze.

  • It tells us (in whatever words we like to hear) that alcohol isn’t the problem, the job-wife-neighbors-whatever are the problem, and that good old alcohol is the only real solution.
  • It tells us that we don’t have a problem we can’t handle, and if we wanted to quit we could, and that maybe we will someday, but not quite yet, anyway.
  • It also reminds us that until we shoot down stiff drink or two, we’re just not that interesting. Alcohol, it tells us, makes us funnier, better looking – just plain-old more fun to be around.

Of course, it doesn’t, none of this is true – but that’s what we believe.

Maybe it did help to some degree once. Maybe a couple of drinks at that party loosened us up enough to relax, to crack a few jokes, to flirt shamelessly – to be the center of attention. Maybe it did, once, have some effects we liked. But we cling to these memories as if they were fact, all the while not noticing that now, we’re not funny…we’re sloppy. Not noticing that now the only people that really enjoy spending time with us when we’re loaded – are just as loaded as we are, and somehow overlooking what alcohol has been doing to our appearance.

I quit drinking, and now, for the most part, I cringe to remember the ass I made of myself, on so so many occasions. I can tell you that a lot of those people observing the spectacle that was me weren’t thinking about how debonair and charming I was! Oddly, it wasn’t till after I quit drinking that I made this realization.

If you’re an alcoholic, you would be funnier, better company, and surely better looking if you stopped.

That voice inside your head – it’s lying.

 

There’s a small voice nagging inside the heads of most alcoholics, it’s the voice of addiction, and it tells us what we need to hear to keep on pouring in the booze.

  • It tells us (in whatever words we like to hear) that alcohol isn’t the problem, the job-wife-neighbors-whatever are the problem, and that good old alcohol is the only real solution.
  • It tells us that we don’t have a problem we can’t handle, and if we wanted to quit we could, and that maybe we will someday, but not quite yet, anyway.
  • It also reminds us that until we shoot down stiff drink or two, we’re just not that interesting. Alcohol, it tells us, makes us funnier, better looking – just plain-old more fun to be around.

Of course, it doesn’t, none of this is true – but that’s what we believe.

Maybe it did help to some degree once. Maybe a couple of drinks at that party loosened us up enough to relax, to crack a few jokes, to flirt shamelessly – to be the center of attention. Maybe it did, once, have some effects we liked. But we cling to these memories as if they were fact, all the while not noticing that now, we’re not funny…we’re sloppy. Not noticing that now the only people that really enjoy spending time with us when we’re loaded – are just as loaded as we are, and somehow overlooking what alcohol has been doing to our appearance.

I quit drinking, and now, for the most part, I cringe to remember the ass I made of myself, on so so many occasions. I can tell you that a lot of those people observing the spectacle that was me weren’t thinking about how debonair and charming I was! Oddly, it wasn’t till after I quit drinking that I made this realization.

If you’re an alcoholic, you would be funnier, better company, and surely better looking if you stopped.

That voice inside your head – it’s lying.

 

Naltrexone proven beneficial for people with a genetic history of alcoholism…for others, not so much

There are four drugs currently FDA approved for the treatment of alcoholism, and of those four, naltrexone and acamprosate are the most commonly prescribed. A recent multi disciplinary study sponsored by the National Institute on Alcoholism and Addiction, The COMBINE study, has shown that naltrexone does influence a small but still significant betterment in relapse rates, but acamprosate was ineffective.

But researchers out of the Yale University School of Medicine say that such a gross understanding of the effectiveness of the drugs is actually misleading, and to truly use these drugs effectively, we need to have a better understanding of how well they work on distinct subgroups of alcoholics.

In controlled laboratory studies, the Yale researchers examined the comparative effectiveness of Naltrexone on two distinct subgroups of alcoholics, those with a family history of the disease, and those without a genetic background of alcoholism. The drinking levels of the two groups were compared on a number of different dosage strength of naltrexone.

It works for some…a disaster for others

The researchers were pleased to see that naltrexone did have significant betterment effect on the hereditary alcoholics, and the higher the dose given, the less these alcoholics drank. Contrarily, the drug did not work for those without a family history of alcoholism, and when given in higher does, these alcoholics even drank more!

The study leaders conclude that naltrexone may have more value than limited success rates calculated from large field trials may indicate, and with a better understanding of the effects of the drug on different sub groups of alcoholics, the drug may be prescribed in a more targeted and more effective manner.

More research is clearly needed

Hopefully, as researchers gain a broader understanding of the different manifestations of subgroups of alcoholic use, treatments in general will evolve to better match the needs of the individual alcoholics. The results of the study indicate a promising role for naltrexone, and it’s obviously very beneficial to know that when prescribed to non hereditary alcoholics, it seems to worsen the problem! The study further indicates how powerfully influential the genetic component to alcoholism is, and although still poorly understood, many of the secrets to effective treatments may well emerge as scientists better understand the genetic predisposition to alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

There are four drugs currently FDA approved for the treatment of alcoholism, and of those four, naltrexone and acamprosate are the most commonly prescribed. A recent multi disciplinary study sponsored by the National Institute on Alcoholism and Addiction, The COMBINE study, has shown that naltrexone does influence a small but still significant betterment in relapse rates, but acamprosate was ineffective.

But researchers out of the Yale University School of Medicine say that such a gross understanding of the effectiveness of the drugs is actually misleading, and to truly use these drugs effectively, we need to have a better understanding of how well they work on distinct subgroups of alcoholics.

In controlled laboratory studies, the Yale researchers examined the comparative effectiveness of Naltrexone on two distinct subgroups of alcoholics, those with a family history of the disease, and those without a genetic background of alcoholism. The drinking levels of the two groups were compared on a number of different dosage strength of naltrexone.

It works for some…a disaster for others

The researchers were pleased to see that naltrexone did have significant betterment effect on the hereditary alcoholics, and the higher the dose given, the less these alcoholics drank. Contrarily, the drug did not work for those without a family history of alcoholism, and when given in higher does, these alcoholics even drank more!

The study leaders conclude that naltrexone may have more value than limited success rates calculated from large field trials may indicate, and with a better understanding of the effects of the drug on different sub groups of alcoholics, the drug may be prescribed in a more targeted and more effective manner.

More research is clearly needed

Hopefully, as researchers gain a broader understanding of the different manifestations of subgroups of alcoholic use, treatments in general will evolve to better match the needs of the individual alcoholics. The results of the study indicate a promising role for naltrexone, and it’s obviously very beneficial to know that when prescribed to non hereditary alcoholics, it seems to worsen the problem! The study further indicates how powerfully influential the genetic component to alcoholism is, and although still poorly understood, many of the secrets to effective treatments may well emerge as scientists better understand the genetic predisposition to alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

Alcoholism Is Causing Brain Damage Earlier Than Ever Before Realized

Long term heavy drinking may be doing even more damage to brain functions than previously realized.

Addictions professionals and medical personnel have long witnessed the cognitive deficits and even premature dementia induced by years of chronic and heavy drinking, and no one disputes the harm that alcohol does to the mind. Magnetic imaging and autopsy testing has also clearly shown evidence of significant cell death, brain shrinkage, and structural damage in the brains of people who had lived with years of heavy abuse; but new research out of Japan indicates that permanent brain damage may be occurring even in those people who have yet to exhibit any signs of diminished cognitive functioning, or show any physcial or structural changes in the brain.

Researchers out of Keio University compared recovering alcoholics showing no signs of cognitive deficits and with no apparent brain damage, and with an average period of abstinence of 40 months; with a population of never alcohol dependent people. Using brain imaging techniques, and observing blood flow during a mental matching task, the researchers found that key areas of the recovering alcoholic’s brains (including the pre frontal cortex) were receiving less blood during the task than in the brains of the "normal" group of study participants.

The concern is that people yet to show any obvious signs of mental decline, nor exhibit any forms of structural damage (and as such unaware of any neural problems) are in fact sustaining damage and a reduction in mental potential. Essentially, damage is occurring, but people drinking have yet to really notice the damage, and standard diagnostic testing will not spot any physical damage. These latent lesions, as the researchers call them are likely the first stage of alcohol induced brain damage, and since alcoholics don’t realize that they are occurring, they don’t induce people to get help for their drinking. These brain deficits cannot induce sobriety (because people are yet to be aware of the problem) and yet they are only getting worse with time and further abuse.

Heavy drinking is causing brain damage earlier than anyone had ever realized. If you’re drinking heavily, you need to consider treatment help to minimize any potential of neural damage and cognitive declines.

Long term heavy drinking may be doing even more damage to brain functions than previously realized.

Addictions professionals and medical personnel have long witnessed the cognitive deficits and even premature dementia induced by years of chronic and heavy drinking, and no one disputes the harm that alcohol does to the mind. Magnetic imaging and autopsy testing has also clearly shown evidence of significant cell death, brain shrinkage, and structural damage in the brains of people who had lived with years of heavy abuse; but new research out of Japan indicates that permanent brain damage may be occurring even in those people who have yet to exhibit any signs of diminished cognitive functioning, or show any physcial or structural changes in the brain.

Researchers out of Keio University compared recovering alcoholics showing no signs of cognitive deficits and with no apparent brain damage, and with an average period of abstinence of 40 months; with a population of never alcohol dependent people. Using brain imaging techniques, and observing blood flow during a mental matching task, the researchers found that key areas of the recovering alcoholic’s brains (including the pre frontal cortex) were receiving less blood during the task than in the brains of the "normal" group of study participants.

The concern is that people yet to show any obvious signs of mental decline, nor exhibit any forms of structural damage (and as such unaware of any neural problems) are in fact sustaining damage and a reduction in mental potential. Essentially, damage is occurring, but people drinking have yet to really notice the damage, and standard diagnostic testing will not spot any physical damage. These latent lesions, as the researchers call them are likely the first stage of alcohol induced brain damage, and since alcoholics don’t realize that they are occurring, they don’t induce people to get help for their drinking. These brain deficits cannot induce sobriety (because people are yet to be aware of the problem) and yet they are only getting worse with time and further abuse.

Heavy drinking is causing brain damage earlier than anyone had ever realized. If you’re drinking heavily, you need to consider treatment help to minimize any potential of neural damage and cognitive declines.

175 000 Americans avoid alcohol treatment each year because of the stigma of recovery

We as a society are really doing a terrible job helping people overcome alcohol abuse or alcoholism.

Recognized as a disease by the AMA, treatment coverage remains severely limited by most insurance providers, and the high costs of treatment deter hundreds of thousands of people a year, wanting treatment, but unable or unwilling to foot the bill. Even more disturbingly, an incredible number of people who recognize the need for treatment, and who are not unwilling to seek out and even pay for treatment, cite the fear of social repercussions and stigma as a major factor deterring them from initiating treatment.

Here is the breakdown

  • 18.6 million Americans have an alcohol abuse problem or dependency
  • A mere 8% of these people gets treatment each year
  • 4.5% of these people recognize a need for treatment, but for a number of reasons don’t get it…and of these 4.5% (which works out to well over 700 000 people)

24% say a major reason why they don’t get treatment is the fear of social stigma.

So about 175 000 Americans, who recognize that they have a problem and want help don’t get it out of a fear of social or professional repercussions. They would rather continue to be alcoholics, than get better and become labeled as recovering alcoholics…which is a dismal appraisal by hundreds of thousands on the true mood of tolerance within our country. No one would ever avoid chemotherapy for fear of being labeled a cancer survivor!!!

Although alcoholism is recognized as a disease, we continue to treat people afflicted with the condition as social pariahs, who could choose not to drink, but through a lack of willpower, loose morals or sheer self indulgence, just won’t stop drinking. That anyone would choose the heartbreak, ravaged health, and family pain of alcoholism belies belief, but through extension of popular logic, alcoholics must therefore choose these accompanying destructions.

And I wish I could say that those alcoholics that make the decision to avoid treatment out of fear of social repercussions are crazy or paranoid…but I don’t believe that, and although I don’t believe that any price is worthy of the continuing destruction of active alcoholism, there most undoubtedly is a stigma attached to alcohol recovery, and people will pay a social cost for getting treatment.

Never overt, the subtle repercussions’ endure for years after successful abstinence. Whether it’s being continually passed over for deserved promotion, never being invited to coach little league or enduring the chilly civility of neighbors, the costs are not imagined. As a recovering alcoholic, and someone who has participated in treatment and has always been open about my disease; I have felt the discrimination of the ignorant and the uninformed. I never regret having sought treatment, but neither am I naïve any longer about the true attitudes of too many in our country.

Alcoholism is a disease!!!

We need people to understand this, and understand that by continuing this subtle discrimination of recovering alcoholics they propagate the condition. Alcoholism inflicts a heavy price on society and all of us are affected, and by perpetuating myths and stereotypes we all make the problem worse. We contribute to more DUIs, more family abuse and more early deaths. Any time anyone discriminates against or belittles a recovering alcoholic or the disease in general, there may be a still drinking alcoholic within earshot, realizing the price they’ll pay for conceding to treatment. Out of compassion, and out of self interest, all in this country should make it clear through our actions and our words, that we do accept alcoholism as a disease, and that we respect those that can beat it.

We as a society are really doing a terrible job helping people overcome alcohol abuse or alcoholism.

Recognized as a disease by the AMA, treatment coverage remains severely limited by most insurance providers, and the high costs of treatment deter hundreds of thousands of people a year, wanting treatment, but unable or unwilling to foot the bill. Even more disturbingly, an incredible number of people who recognize the need for treatment, and who are not unwilling to seek out and even pay for treatment, cite the fear of social repercussions and stigma as a major factor deterring them from initiating treatment.

Here is the breakdown

  • 18.6 million Americans have an alcohol abuse problem or dependency
  • A mere 8% of these people gets treatment each year
  • 4.5% of these people recognize a need for treatment, but for a number of reasons don’t get it…and of these 4.5% (which works out to well over 700 000 people)

24% say a major reason why they don’t get treatment is the fear of social stigma.

So about 175 000 Americans, who recognize that they have a problem and want help don’t get it out of a fear of social or professional repercussions. They would rather continue to be alcoholics, than get better and become labeled as recovering alcoholics…which is a dismal appraisal by hundreds of thousands on the true mood of tolerance within our country. No one would ever avoid chemotherapy for fear of being labeled a cancer survivor!!!

Although alcoholism is recognized as a disease, we continue to treat people afflicted with the condition as social pariahs, who could choose not to drink, but through a lack of willpower, loose morals or sheer self indulgence, just won’t stop drinking. That anyone would choose the heartbreak, ravaged health, and family pain of alcoholism belies belief, but through extension of popular logic, alcoholics must therefore choose these accompanying destructions.

And I wish I could say that those alcoholics that make the decision to avoid treatment out of fear of social repercussions are crazy or paranoid…but I don’t believe that, and although I don’t believe that any price is worthy of the continuing destruction of active alcoholism, there most undoubtedly is a stigma attached to alcohol recovery, and people will pay a social cost for getting treatment.

Never overt, the subtle repercussions’ endure for years after successful abstinence. Whether it’s being continually passed over for deserved promotion, never being invited to coach little league or enduring the chilly civility of neighbors, the costs are not imagined. As a recovering alcoholic, and someone who has participated in treatment and has always been open about my disease; I have felt the discrimination of the ignorant and the uninformed. I never regret having sought treatment, but neither am I naïve any longer about the true attitudes of too many in our country.

Alcoholism is a disease!!!

We need people to understand this, and understand that by continuing this subtle discrimination of recovering alcoholics they propagate the condition. Alcoholism inflicts a heavy price on society and all of us are affected, and by perpetuating myths and stereotypes we all make the problem worse. We contribute to more DUIs, more family abuse and more early deaths. Any time anyone discriminates against or belittles a recovering alcoholic or the disease in general, there may be a still drinking alcoholic within earshot, realizing the price they’ll pay for conceding to treatment. Out of compassion, and out of self interest, all in this country should make it clear through our actions and our words, that we do accept alcoholism as a disease, and that we respect those that can beat it.