By Aditya Persaud, Member of the IAC
Alcoholic beverages have been used in human societies since the beginning of recorded history. The patterns of alcohol intake around the world are constantly evolving, and alcohol is ubiquitous today. Research has contributed substantially to our understanding of the relation of drinking to specific disorders, and has shown that the relation between alcohol consumption and health outcomes is complex and multidimensional. Cultural differences apparently influence the pattern of alcohol consumption.
In Guyana and the rest of the world where people of Indian descent reside, it is no doubt that the effects of alcohol abuse are being felt. It should also be known that alcohol does not have a specific racial orientation that it chooses to affect; however, it crosses the racial barriers and has similar deleterious effects on a wide cross section of people.
There are a number of social and relationship problems due to alcohol abuse. The effects of alcohol on families, especially Indian families, cannot be hidden under the carpets in this wireless age when information moves as fast as lightening via social media and hand held mobile devices.
Hence, the world is aware most of the time when persons who are abusers of alcohol are involved in a “showdown” in their communities, villages or towns. This does come back to haunt them days after the fiasco. They eventually are ashamed of their behavior and can take drastic measures to overcome that shame. The final choice in some instances being suicide – who do we blame?
Is it like the song says “blame it on the alcohol” or blame it on those that have posted it on social media? Or blame it on yourself as the consumer of excessive amounts of alcohol wherein you would have lost your conscious and sub-conscious states of mind?
There are a few other outcomes of abuse of alcohol such as violence towards family members, especially towards an intimate partner/spouse, separations and divorces, emotional hardship to the family and substantial mental health problems for other family members, such as anxiety, depression.
I would like to take this opportunity and urge persons of all ethnic descent, not just from Indo-Guyanese families to sit and re-think your position on alcohol. It starts with the individual being mindful and educated about the things around him.
Think hard about the future of your family, the future of the unborn generations and the close relationship you share with friends before your grab that glass. Will it be just one “shot” or will you have to take “one more for the road” because your friends/peers insist? That choice is yours, however, anything we seek to do in life we are told to be professionals, then if you act in this manner, you can set your limits if you are a consumer of alcohol, if not, just say it as it is, I would prefer to pass on this one and it’s certain that if your friends are “real” they will respect your take on the matter and in the long term, the respect you.