Hello everybody i’m going to tell you a story. A couple days ago I was in my history class, and naturally we were watching an episode of The Simpsons. During the episode Homer one of his most famous lines “To alcohol! The cause of… and solution to… all of life’s problems” and I thought to myself what is alcohol the solution to? For instance on September 25th 2015 a man named Marco Muzzo made a bad choice and decided to drive drunk. After speeding away from the airport he crashed into a car killing 3 children and their grandfather.
Currently Marco is “tortured by the grief and pain” knowing 4 people are dead 3 of hich are children have been killed because of his reckless actions. Now I ask you all what was solved because of alcohol? Alcohol can be found everywhere and can be used for many different things from disinfecting wounds to having a good time with your friends. But the current way we treat alcohol makes it far more dangerous than marijuana. First of all alcohol is very easy to obtain im sure some of you could go out and get some alcohol before the end of my speech.
Secondly, alcohol abuse the cause of far too many deaths in our society no matter what way you look at it alcohol related accidents has caused holes in ur society we cannot fill. Third alcohol makes people do unhealthy things to themselves and others whether it be drunk texts, buying weird things off amazon, getting a $1000 bar tab, property damage to violence. Finally the way alcohol use is paraded in our society. People that are addicted may never know that they are addicted and may never get help.
Many of you are probably thinking ” well alcohol abuse isn’t an issue for me l’m still in highschool and I’m only a party drinker”, well I am here to tell you that you are wrong. How easy is alcohol to obtain? Well most teens obtain alcohol rom their parents or some friends parents. A 2005 American Health Association survey of teens ages 13 to 18 found out that one out of four teens say they have been given alcohol by their own parents and this number has increased since. But that’s just kids right? How easy is it for adults to get Alcohol?
Well alcohol can be bought in most supermarkets in Ontario and the province is making attempts to make alcohol accessible in even more stores. In comparison the current canadian law prohibits the distribution and possession of marijuana. Although there are marijuana dispensaries which are stores that provide people ith marijuana they are illegal and not regulated.
With the only requirement being a drivers licence or a passport and the increasing ways to obtain alcohol it the accessibility to alcohol increases its dangers to you, your friends and your loved ones. 3% of grade 12 students in Ontario admit to consuming alcohol while 49% of students admit to binge drinking which is consuming large quantities of alcohol in a short time Binge drinking causes many short term problems some of which are fatal. When you binge drink it starts as a small problem that grows exponentially if you reach a BAC or blood alcohol content evel of 0. 37, 0. 39% you have a chance of going into a coma or even dying with increased risk the higher your BAC gets.
Additionally MADD says “TEEN ALCOHOL USE KILLS 4,700 PEOPLE EACH YEAR – THAT’S MORE THAN ALL ILLEGAL DRUGS COMBINED. ” And still 2000 people die a year from alcohol related liver disease and that doesn’t even scratch the surface compared to alcohol impaired driving casualties. In 2015 10,265 people had died due to drunk driving so even if you don’t drink you should still be concerned about our current situation regarding alcohol. Most people have or have been told stories about experiences ith people under the influence of alcohol and i’m willing to bet they were not that positive.
While it’s always entertaining to see the video of the drunk guy telling the time to his clock people have gotten into a lot of trouble and caused a lot of damage to people and things while drunk. For example in a publication by Antonia Abbey an associate professor in the department of community medicine at Wayne state University in Detroit Michigan said “Conservative estimates of sexual assault prevalence suggest that 25 percent of American women have experienced sexual assault, including rape. Approximately one-half of those cases involve alcohol consumption by the perpetrator, victim, or both.
Additionally a study looking at the correlation between pre assault substance use and the post assault results have shown that victim injury was more likely when the offender consumed substances. There is definitely a relation between alcohol consumption and people doing irrational or crazy things so why are we trying to act like the only danger when drinking is driving? So now we come to the biggest problem in my opinion, the way our society treats alcohol. Im sure you have seen lots of drunk driving psa talking about how drinking under the influence is 100% illegal and how you get in a lot of trouble for doing so.
But are attitude towards alcohol is hypocritical because we still see videos and pictures of celebrities getting drunk or a large group of people drinking at a party. This is hypocritical because while you could watch an advertisement of teens talking about alcohol laws the next commercial could be for some smirnoff ice showing a bunch of people partying. Additionally it’s not even commercials for alcohol beverages that how this kind of lifestyle, for example virgin mobile has a bunch of commercials representing those iconic radical royal red cups.
It is not just advertisements alcoholism is so systematic in our society that people brag about the events and parties they have attended and get praise for it. In comparison how does society treat people who were addicted to drugs? As social outcasts they are thrown into rehab by their families to let them get help while the people that threw them in are drinking 3 glasses of wine with dinner. Our society is in a denial about alcoholism and we cannot keep trying hide it or cover it up.
I think I can now fairly say that alcohol is much worse than marijuana with the accessibility, death count, impacts of alcohol on your body and our society’s view on alcoholism. Now whether you are a underage partier or a “straight edge” kind of person doesn’t touch alcohol or drugs you have a duty. You have a duty to try and remove this mask that our society has that alcoholism is accepted amongst people but any kind of drug addiction is shunned away and treated as second class citizens. You have a duty to stand up to this view on society and how it’s impacting people around you.
You have a duty to not offer people help for their problems not just send them away so they are out of sight and mind. Now I am not expecting there to be a mass prohibition of alcohol and everyone parading with free marijuana, that was not the point of this speech. The point of this speech was to help show everyone that alcohol is addicting and that there are far more problems than what the general public is shown. If you were to take anything away from my speech let it be that you shouldn’t believe everything you are told and to do some research when things do not seem right. Thank you.