ALCOHOLISM AND ITS CURE
By John E. Russell
Alcohol-related accidents alone cost the United States at least 115.5 billion dollars per year in deaths, medical expenses, property damage, lost work, welfare services, etc. [Miller, et al, as quoted in 1996 SUMMARY OF STATISTICS: THE IMPAIRED DRIVING PROBLEM (Irving, TX: MOTHERS AGAINST DRUNK DRIVING, 1996)].
It is possible to die of an overdose of alcohol. Sandy, the son of Roy and Dale Rogers, died of an overdose of alcohol. Some Army buddies talked him into drinking. [Dale Evans Rogers, SALUTE TO SANDY (Westwood, NJ: Fleming H. Revel Co., 1967)].
The cost of human suffering cannot be measured in dollars, but must be included. An alcohol-related traffic death occurs every 20 minutes. Alcohol causes about 100,000 deaths per year. About 40 percent of Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash during their lives. [NHTSA, 1996, as quoted in 1996 SUMMARY OF STATISTICS: THE IMPAIRED DRIVING PROBLEM (Irving, TX: MOTHERS AGAINST DRUNK DRIVING, 1996)]. About 90 percent of unwanted pregnancies result from alcohol-lowered inhibitions. About 36 percent of suicide victims have a history of alcohol abuse or were drinking shortly before taking their own lives. [Ben Mitchell, "The Works of the Flesh" (Galatians 5:19)--Church bulletin insert published by the Christian Life Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, 901 Commerce, #550, Nashville, TN 37203-3696].
In addition, one must add the spiritual--how does one calculate the value of a lost soul?
An estimated 70 percent of all male adults drink, and about 58 percent of all women drink. [Jerry G. Dunn, GOD IS FOR THE ALCOHOLIC (Chicago: Moody Press, 1965), p. 48]. By the time students reach their senior year in school, 90 percent have tried alcohol. Alcohol is the leading drug abuse problem of our youth. [WHAT WORKS: SCHOOLS WITHOUT DRUGS (Washington, DC: US Department of Education, 1992), p. 8]. Polls show that 4 percent of high school seniors drink alcohol every day. [GROWING UP DRUG FREE: A PARENT'S GUIDE TO PREVENTION (Washington, DC: US Department of Education, [1990?]), p. 3].
Alcohol-involved accidents are the number one killer of our youth, ages 15-24 years of age. (Ibid). Alcohol is involved in 50 percent of youth killed by drowning, fire, suicide, and murder. (Ibid).
Teen Challenge is probably the most effective drug treatment program today, with an 86 percent cure rate. Teen Challenge was started by David Wilkerson in New York City, February 1958. The beginnings of this movement is chronicled in Wilkerson's THE CROSS AND THE SWITCHBLADE, which became a 20 million best seller and a movie. (David Manuel, "Teen Challenge: Conquering Drugs," THE SATURDAY EVENING POST, December 1987). I was privileged to serve as Chairman of the David Wilkerson Crusade on Tarleton State University campus in Stephenville, Texas, October 1973.
Alcoholics Anonymous is an effective alcohol abuse program with a 75 percent cure rate. I became personally acquainted with AA while serving as an Army Chaplain. The military social life promotes moderate drinking, which frequently leads to abuse of this legal drug.
Rapha is another effective alcohol abuse program in a hospital setting.
Alcoholism personally affected my life. My father died indirectly from drug abuse. Two uncles and an aunt were alcoholics.
But for the providence of God, I could have become an alcoholic. I accepted Christ as my Savior at seven years of age, at Victory Missionary Baptist Church, Gulfport, MS. Having succumbed to peer pressure, I began to drift from God. Then, while stationed near Memphis while in the Navy, I began to drink. However, before I became an alcoholic, two Navy buddies, Jack Winebrenner and Charlie Sansome, invited me to a revival at Hollywood Assembly of God in Memphis. There, about 1955, I was saved from alcoholism.
Let us now move to the nature and cure of alcoholism.
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Copyright © 1995-1997 by John E. Russell, Revised 1997
Internet Version Copyright © 1998 by John E. Russell