When it was
discovered that Thalidomide caused birth defects, it was almost
immediately withdrawn and banned from North American markets. The
drug companies continued to sell it in Third World countries. Alcohol
causes far more birth defects than Thalidomide ever did and is still
a legal drug, available everywhere.
Canada it was illegal to sell alcohol to First Nations people. That
policy was deemed by the courts to be discriminatory. Since then
they have been decimated by alcohol more than any other culture
in Canada. It is suicide (or genocide) on the installment plan.
Prohibition did work far better than the situation today. Yes, people
could still get booze, but it was harder to find, socially frowned
upon and certainly not available in corner convenience stores. There
were alcoholics back then, but certainly not the percentage we have
Alcohol destroys more families, businesses, and individuals than
any other cause. For centuries in some areas, alcoholic beverages
were safer than drinking water (nothing lives in alcohol). But alcohol
was generally consumed in moderation with meals in European culture.
The objective was not to get blasted.
medicine were ignorant of the real effects of prenatal alcohol exposure.
But times have changed. We know tobacco is not a medicinal herb.
It is a collection of hundreds of dangerous toxins. We know the
damage alcohol does on a cellular level and most of those on FASlink
know what it is like to live with the results.
a product that acts on the brain to cause severe addiction in roughly
10% of those who try it - much higher in some cultures. It was not
the political system that caused the collapse of the USSR.
we know about alcohol today, it is appalling that we permit its
continued promotion as being as safe as milk or orange juice. It
is appalling that although it is known to be toxic, appropriate
warning labels are not even printed on booze bottles in Canada,
unless they are being exported to the U.S.A.
It is appalling
that so many people continue to make, market and serve a product
that is involved in more than half the fatal accidents in North
America and destroys so many lives. Massive Denial is rampant.
I used to manage
the computer systems for a Police Service. More than 80% of Occurrences
requiring police attendance involved alcohol.
More than half
Canada's federal prisoners (more than 2-year sentence) are diagnosed
or undiagnosed FAS/E. More than half were under the influence of
alcohol at the time they committed the offence for which they were
It costs $120,000
per year to house a young offender and $85,000 per year to house
an adult offender. What a waste of lives and money.
governments are severely addicted to the tax revenue. In Canada,
beverage alcohol tax revenues total $3.2 billion. However, if only
half the $10 billion Canadian taxpayers spend on the justice system
is attributable to booze, then the net loss is $1.8 billion annually.
It is appalling that so little money is spent on addiction research,
treatment centres and supporting victims of alcohol.
I don't have
the answers to the alcohol crisis we are facing, but we can't shrug
it off and hope it will go away by itself.
I think a key
answer will come when we discover the exact mechanism of addiction
and develop a reliable method to treat it. That will take much more
medical research, but it will eventually happen.
There are many people, myself included, who can enjoy a glass of
wine with dinner without becoming addicted or overdoing it. There
are many who eliminate alcohol and other drugs when they get pregnant
and are very conscious of their health.
We need solutions
for those who are outside those groups. We also need to stop promoting
the consumption of booze, particularly to young people. Booze is
not cool. It does kill brain cells. It is not a problem
if you think you have more brain cells than you need. But I need
every single brain cell I have and I will hold on to them as long
as I can.
2448 Hamilton Road
Bright's Grove, Ontario N0N 1C0
Phone & Fax: (519) 869-8026
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