– Mohammed Atherulla Shariff
Where there is a will there is a way is an often-observed phenomenon, but to build the will people need realization and spiritual reinforcement. When it comes to alcohol, the mother of all evils, it needs a strong will power to quit. If a chronic alcoholic comes halfway by realizing ‘enough is enough’, a peer group, Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) comes forward to help to cover rest of the distance. But the bigger issue ‘how much is too much’ is to be resolved by the persons concerned.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of people who come together to solve their drinking problem. Its primary purpose is to help alcoholics achieve sobriety. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about their drinking problem. The idea floated by Bill W and Bob Smith of US in 1935 has influenced lakhs of persons across the world.
To quit is quite curious
Stories narrated by former alcoholics in the 59th anniversary of A.A. held in Carmel Convent, Bangalore recently are full of gratitude and sobriety.
A 30-year-old recovering alcoholic said, ‘Having had enough I decided to commit suicide and went to a railway station. While waiting for the train and drinking one last time before the impending death, I got to know about A.A, which helped me live on.’
An ex-IAF serviceman and many others including women had their heart touching stories to recount.
A consultant psychiatrist at Victoria Hospital Dr. Manasa S, and former director of Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation Arun Chakravarthy IPS briefed the audience about the effectiveness of A.A.’s approach. It has a Twelve Steps set of spiritual principles and Twelve Traditions as a whole.
Heart breaking facts
As per the National Crime Records Bureau, alcohol consumes one person’s life every 15 minutes in the country. Sufferings of the family members of the deceased are more worrisome.
The World Health Organisation has horrifying disclosures about the manifold harms of alcohol consumption: The harmful use of alcohol is a causal factor in more than 200 disease and injury conditions. Worldwide, 3 million deaths every year result from harmful use of alcohol. This represents 5.3% of all deaths. Overall, 5.1% of the global burden of disease and injury is attributable to alcohol, as measured in disability-adjusted life years (DALYs).
Beyond health consequences, the harmful use of alcohol brings significant social and economic losses to individuals and society at large. Alcohol consumption causes death and disability relatively early in life. In people aged 20–39 years, approximately 13.5% of total deaths are attributable to alcohol. There is a causal relationship between harmful use of alcohol and a range of mental and behavioural disorders, other non-communicable conditions and injuries, according to WHO.
Half-hearted measures no remedy
However admirable the remedial measures adopted by civil society groups may be these are interim in nature. What is required is sincere and strong will power in people at the helm of affairs. Educating people, blocking the means and drying the source in a gradual and time bound manner are indispensable.