Recently I attended The Annual Women’s Health update forum held in Melbourne, March 2013, for doctors, nurses and allied health practitioners. Professor Ian Olver, CEO of Cancer Council Australia, shared his latest findings on alcohol and cancer. He presented evidence that alcohol consumption is a known cause of cancer and that:
- the sites for these cancers are the mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver, female breast and colorectum,
- cancer is increased because of the ethanol, regardless of the type of alcohol consumed, and
- smoking and alcohol together are risk factors for 75% of head and neck cancers.
In summary, he stated there are no safe levels for alcohol consumption.
GROWING UP WITH ALCOHOL: A NORMAL PART OF LIFE
This has definitely been my personal experience of those around me as I grew up, and in later life. I grew up with alcohol in an Italian household. My father’s wine was always placed on the dinner table as part of the meal for both lunch and dinner.
Family gatherings at relatives’ homes for special occasions swam in alcohol as it was handed out before the main meal, with different types for tasting with each dish, and then of course after the meal. By the time I was a young teenager of 12 or 13 my parents would dismiss me as being stupid and silly because I would refuse to drink the wine. My mother would say “Have a sip of wine, it will make you strong and build your blood”.
At high school alcohol was seen as something you could drink legally once you reached 18 and was seen as a coming of age ritual. Everywhere I went alcohol was seen as a normal part of life – at parties, social or work functions and at restaurants; it was advertised on the TV, in movies, commercials, cooking shows and on public noticeboards on the roadside or at railway stations. Doctors recommended a glass of wine with meals as good for you!
At 19 I started nursing and at that time it was obligatory that all 1st year nurses live in the nurse’s home. (Yippee! It meant leaving home.) But even there, alcohol was present in abundance. I found that amongst nurses and doctors, alcohol was drunk to relieve stress, celebrate the end of exams, or ‘just for fun’. Peer pressure kicked in and very occasionally I would take a sip of something alcoholic when out with friends so that I fitted in and was able to talk and appear to have more confidence. At the same time I knew that I just didn’t feel right when I did – I felt like I had left my body and was looking on from a great distance. In the end it just wasn’t worth it and I chose to not drink.
HOW COULD ALCOHOL BE GOOD FOR YOU?
I started to question “How could alcohol be good for you?”. It certainly wasn’t good for me and I had lived with what it did within my own family, turning my father’s behaviour into someone I didn’t know any more.
As an adult, within my personal life I have experienced my sister-in-law – who was considered an alcoholic, smoked heavily, gambled, and worked full-time in a high pressure job – had breast cancer, later developed liver cirrhosis and finally committed suicide, leaving two young teenage children anguished and bewildered. My father, who I can see now was also an alcoholic, developed liver cancer secondary to bowel cancer, and recently died.
Both of these events left me further questioning just how vast the effects of alcohol are on people around us.
A few years ago I attended a workshop held by Universal Medicine, and Serge Benhayon was the speaker; he explained that alcohol, once drunk, affects you not only on a physical and emotional level, but also on an energetic level. You are clearly not yourself when you drink alcohol. This verified my instincts as a child that alcohol was a ‘poison’ to the body.
NO SAFE LEVELS FOR ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION
Today the death toll on the roads, increases in sexual abuse, marital violence, divorce and youth violence are all linked with alcohol consumption. And, if there are no safe levels for alcohol consumption, and there is a medically proven connection between alcohol and cancer, and alcohol and damaging behaviours – is it not time for us all to take responsibility for the choice to consume alcohol; to be honest and feel what is really going on when that choice to drink is made?
by Loretta, Nurse, Melbourne, Australia
267 thoughts on “Alcohol: Cancer, ‘Safe’ Consumption and Choice”
So then we stand out. I used to drink alcohol but as the years passed, my body took longer to recover and in the end I had to give it up and face the reality of life.
Now I am labelled as not being fun because I don’t drink alcohol or coffee. It can bring so much in people when you say no to these things. The rest is up to them as to what they do with this reflection.
Shushila I have also found that I’m not fun because I do not drink alcohol as you say it can bring up a lot in people when they can see you having so much fun and not having to resort to alcohol to induce the fun or worse pretend you’re having fun. There is no fun in drinking alcohol as the next day you wake up feeling ghastly because of what you drank the night before, it just wasn’t worth it for me.
Loretta this is a sad state of affairs around the world. There are more side effects from many things we consume, but also what we watch, whether social media or TV, which are just as addictive. People rave about this show or that show and are lost in the drama of these things. Yet life passes us by and we can’t cope with the every day events that occur in our lives. So it’s a no wonder people turn to things to help them cope. It is one big vicious cycle.
When we hear from people like Serge Benhayon and the depth stimulants can affect us, we see another side to life, that we have been ill prepared for. We then bring understanding to what is playing out.
I love living my life from this awareness than pretending everything is okay. Then we observe life from a different perspective.
I too have in my past felt like I needed to fit in socially and so I have accepted a bottle of beer only to duck out to the bathrooms to pour it down the sink and fill it up with tap water. I never liked beer but it was simpler to just accept the bottle and then just swap it for tap water without anyone knowing, rather than try to explain, argue or justify that I did not like drinking alcohol. By holding a beer bottle in my hand I was left alone and not pestered to be drinking. What a strange world we live in where we are not permitted to make supportive choices without someone trying to convince us otherwise.
We are all expected to confirm to the ‘normal’ even though we know it is not normal. There is nothing normal about the life we are living it is totally abnormal, but currently there are not enough people in the world who are waking up to say this life is not it, there has to be something more to life than this drudgery. But the tide is turning.
I have worked shifts at a local hospital and the dreaded nights was always the Friday night and Saturday night shifts – we knew it would be extra busy because of the consumption of alcohol and the resulting increase in accidents and incidents and domestic violence. How is it that so many of us still accept this as ‘normal’ or write it off with a blase comment about it just being silly behaviour….
“A few years ago I attended a workshop held by Universal Medicine, and Serge Benhayon was the speaker; he explained that alcohol, once drunk, affects you not only on a physical and emotional level, but also on an energetic level. You are clearly not yourself when you drink alcohol.” – I too have been witness to those very close to me turn into someone not at all like themselves, and this is a very disconcerting thing to feel, especially when you are young, but also just as disturbing when you are older.
We all know that alcohol is not something that we should be drinking, so what do we get out of drinking it? From all the discussions I have had with people over the years that drank alcohol including myself, it is that it offers a respite from life, a way of checking out. What we don’t seem to consider, is what is checking in as we check out? We have all heard the stories of people who have done something silly or harming say when they are sober again that wasn’t me, I didn’t know I was doing that. Is it time to stop and consider why we want to check out on life by taking any substance that the body doesn’t need. Perhaps if we changed the way we lived we wouldn’t need to check out because checking into ourselves gave us everything we could ever want. Is it possible we have this round the wrong way?
I welcome the day that health warnings do appear on alcohol, it is a poison, and should be labeled as such.
Fitting in with any substance so we feel needed, as is the glaring way that we pursue alcohol that abuses our bodies. It is difficult to find anyone who can say they absolutely fell in love with alcohol as I can remember everyone saying it was an acquired taste, when in truth our bodies were sharing it is a poison but I want to part of this group so I will do anything to-fit-in.
We need to start calling poison a poison. Why do we want to stay playing with something that we know is potentially very harming to the extent it can be a question of life or death?
We do, alcohol is a poison, ‘This verified my instincts as a child that alcohol was a ‘poison’ to the body.’
Thanks Loretta, there is a tremendous pressure on people to drink, it’s quite a coercive posture people hold if you don’t drink. Nothing is making sense because we don’t like the taste when we first try alcohol, we persist to fit in and because we may want to experience what being tipsy or drunk is like, yet it truly makes us feel terrible (especially the next day), and is linked to 7 cancers as well as other health conditions and societal problems like violence…. yet so many are endorsing it! And, we actually pay money for it!
I remember the pressure by friends trying to get me to drink alcohol when I was in my teens. I hated the taste of it, but for some strange reason they wanted to get me to drink the stuff, and they felt better when I drank the ‘poison’. Makes you wonder what is really going on in that they have to get you to drink this poison.
I agree, without intending to be critical of any one person, peer pressure to drink alcohol exposes that the relationship is anything but caring or loving of another. And, if a person’s decision to drink was true for them they wouldn’t need others to join them.
This is a very powerful blog with a very clear message for us all ; there are no safe levels for alcohol consumption.
I used to drink alcohol, but if I was really honest I actually hated the taste of it and the hangovers were particularly bad for me, it was obvious this was ‘poison’ to my body because of how my body reacted to it. I look back now at how I abused my body when it was clearly telling me otherwise, I overrode what my body was communicating to me and eventually paid the price. Why do we accept it as normal to abuse and trash our bodies with known poisons? I know I did many years ago, so conversations like these are important to bring awareness and support to others who are ready to hear the truth.
It is only when I learnt about the energetic effects that alcohol has on the body that I truly understood and decided not to drink alcohol. We do know that alcohol is a poison to our body but it is just a part of the picture as there is much more going on and knowing the whole truth helps to truly let go of things.
Well said Lieke – there is so much more happening than what we let ourselves realise, but when we are willing to feel and see then much is revealed in this exploration.
Alcohol has us escape from the tension and pressure we feel in life. But what we need to understand is that it is only an escape, so in other words we are vacating the situation and let things to fester, which simply means, us withdrawing not only not changes the situation we are escaping from but has it worsen as nothing is done where our input is needed. Meanwhile we are weakened by the intake of alcohol and then when coming back to the situation at hand we are even less capable of dealing with it.
Alcohol is harming us immensely and denies us any true connection and evolvement.
The famous French expression ‘savoir vivre’ points to a series of things that apparently have a more than positive impact on our quality of life, except that in truth they bring something n the short term in exchange for the harm they cause in the long run to us. How can we use an expression that supports what in the name of living well is killing us?
Great point and great words Eduardo – How can we champion something that is to our detriment and to our demise? Something must be very wrong when we cannot see further than a short distance ahead and we choose to be blind to consequences that are unavoidable.
I think part of the problem is that we only see the small term harm – so having a hang over or even being physically sick but then seemingly the recovery is relatively quick, but we do not consider the long term effects of what that much poison just did to our organs – or as you so rightly say – what energetically we just did to ourselves.
“In summary, he stated there are no safe levels for alcohol consumption.” I wonder what the world would do if every major newspaper published this on the front page – would people actually care that they are harming themselves? Or do perhaps people already know that is the case but continue to do it anyway?
Some older people I talk to have the attitude that they want to enjoy their life, and have their treats, showing a complete lack of responsibility for their health and well-being.
The proof that alcohol is a menace to our society is incontrovertible, and yet it continues to be used in enormous amounts. A point of pause for us all… are we not willing to reduce road deaths, or domestic violence simply by changing what we ingest?
Alcohol is a very harmful substance in society that has been normalised but being seen as normal does not make it actually normal…it is a poison that is a dysfunctional aspect of society be it on a social level or health wise it offers nothing to enhance who we are.
There are only a few people willing to stand out to say that there are no safe levels of alcohol consumption. Which means that no matter the amount consumed, it is dangerous to our health and increases our risks of developing particular diseases. Many have vested interests, even if it is to protect our own behaviours that we justify. “it helps me relieve stress” “I only have 1 or 2 glasses with dinner”. We can only fool ourselves for so long.
I think it’s really valuable to reflect on if there are things we consume or partake in that we have actually felt are harmful to us but override that feeling because we’re told it’s normal to partake in it or that it’s good for us (when in reality it’s not). It’s like disregarding what we know from our body to fit in with what others say instead…
We let ourselves be worn down by the standards we have made normal in our society. Alcohol is not at all good for our bodies nor for our state of being, that is a fact and no arguing of a little bit is ok or some might be even good for us changes this fact. It just shows how very much we are fooling ourselves. We need to start to open our eyes and allow ourselves to see and stop playing the game we are playing. We are so off track to what is truly normal to ourselves that we have a long way to go to come back to the normal that is natural to us.
When you see what alcohol does in the body it is bizarre that we have ever championed it. Yet whenever I have a conversation with friends about why we drink alcohol they always share how it has a use, it lifts up, it numbs, it ‘takes the edge off’, if ‘keeps me awake’, ‘it helps me ignore all of the things I don’t want to deal with’. So we know deep down it harms us but it seems we are not addressing the root causes but just accepting the consequences to the coping mechanisms we are using to get through life.
I attended a meeting recently where someone was giving a presentation on millennial children that are now going into the workforce and how to nurture them. My main take away from the presentation is it seems they are sensitive and many do not drink alcohol and if this is the case then maybe at last there is a sea change happening?
Brilliant blog Loretta. I have seen right before my eyes how people are no longer themselves when they start drinking alcohol. I chose from very early on in my life that I didn’t want to drink alcohol because of how it made me feel. What I saw was a distinct change in people’s behaviour and the way they look. Often by the end of the night I was feeling very much a lone even though my friends were all around because they were no longer themselves. What I noticed was when I went out with my friends they were themselves but when we went home together it felt like they were strangers.
We don’t put alcohol in a baby’s bottle and why is this so? It is a reason we all know, and this is because we all are aware that it is a poison, otherwise we would not question offering to a baby. So, at what point did we deem it OK for the same being to drink a poison and champion the amount we can handle? ‘Handle’ being the operative word and if it was something that enhanced and inspired our living way it would not need to be ‘handled’ and in all honesty who wakes up after drinking alcohol feeling renewed, refreshed and vital?
What opened my eyes and totally confirmed alcohol was poisoning my body was knowing what alcohol did to me energetically. I did not want to be energetically poisoned, have my life force drained and give my life over to whoever who was around me.
As a community we need to become very real and honest about the true harm of alcohol and how it is contributing to domestic violence, psychological and emotional issues, more accidents and affecting the health and well being of families and individuals on many levels.
I agree Anne, we can clearly see how harmful alcohol is but society still very much accepts consuming alcohol as being normal. The damage alcohol does to our body, our families and our community world wide is astonishing. What drives us to drink alcohol which is clearly poison and very harmful? Because we are very intelligent beings but there is something about this that does not add up. Are we prepared to expose what is really going on? This blog certainly is and in a very inspiring and honest way.
It’s incredible some doctors still stand by the research paper that claims moderate alcohol consumption is actually good for some heart diseases and would not advise patients to give up alcohol as long as it is not excessive. If a substance is found to be harmful to a human body in any way, never mind what the diagnosis might be, that sure is enough to tell people to stay away from it.
We seem to accept that illicit drugs alter our state of being and can affect our behaviours and cause much destruction in our relationships and society at large, but It is interesting how accepted alcohol is when collectively it would be affecting us all on a much grander scale that illicit drugs do.
I recall questioning that also many years ago too Suse. However I was in reaction at the time to what I was seeing and developed behaviours in opposition to this, to spite what I was seeing. This is not helpful either and really only encourages all of these behaviours. We do need to sit and really look at the effect that alcohol is having and a good starting point is the effect that is has now our bodies. As Loretta says here if you combine smoking and alcohol there is a 75% change of developing a head and neck cancer, which I see a lot of in my work and yet this is not something that is discussed very much and is really a huge opportunity to to stop and simply be honest. We will get this, but unfortunately we will see a lot of unnecessary deaths because of this combination.
We fool ourselves if we think there is a safe level of alcohol consumption and we can all feel and see the effects alcohol has on our bodies and behaviour and they are not good ones.
I agree Esther – our eyes are closed deliberately so, as if we were to be honest with the destructive effects of alcohol of ourselves and each other, we would then have to admit that we are not OK, so much so that we are opting to poison ourselves to avoid and escape feeling the lovelessness and abuse that we are choosing to exist with and allow in our lives.
Yes, simple steps of honesty will bring us far because it allows us to see more clearly.
We certainly do Esther and this deception deeply hurts us all. The effects of alcohol is deeply harmful but until we as a society recognise this, alcohol will continue to be sold as being a good for us.
“I chose to not drink” When we choose not to drink alcohol with the awareness of the harm it can cause to our body we offer the reflection to others who may be feeling the pressure to ‘fit in’ to also feel empowered to make this choice.
This is a powerful blog and truly supportive for anyone wanting to give up alcohol because giving up alcohol is life changing and thus it is wise to seek all the support out that is available.
I wonder why I even started?! I mean it is not as if it is a core survival need by the body so to consider the need to give it up suggests that I am denying myself something. Having not drunk now for years – I have lost count to be honest, it doesn’t even form part of a consideration for me, so what changed in the way I am dealing with life now and how I was dealing with life then?
It is very telling of how we are living when we allow any form of abuse and poison in our body and around us and do nothing about it. Why wasn’t alcohol distinguished the first time someone consumed it and acted out in a way that was completely foreign to them and those watching on? When there is an emptiness to fill there will always be options out there to numb and distract us from feeling what is there.
Great call Loretta, how come we ignore all the evidence that is presented to us where alcohol is concerned? If this were any other drug being introduced now we would probably be talking about banning it or at least severely restricting it’s use. Alcohol is seen as the lubricant of our social functions in society but it masks so much, there’s the horrific consequences you note here, but there’s also the fact that we’re spending time with others not being ourselves. And when you consider that it seems odd, why would we not just be ourselves with others and how did we get to be living in a way where we needed a crutch to be with people? It suggests there’s something here for all of us to look at in how we live and how we are first with ourselves and then with all others? The starting point is honesty, to admit we need alcohol, as a reward, because we’re exhausted, because we feel awkward and let’s have some real conversations in this way and see where it goes? Aren’t we all worth that?
It is interesting to read about the ingrained family customs that many of us can relate to, and how these customs essentially indoctrinate the next generation to keep the same behaviors as the previous generation. What does this say about humanity when we look outside our own walls to see others doing the very same thing. To see and feel the absolute damage of such behaviors, yet in many cases continue to champion our own whilst criticizing another’s. This exposes the very real harm behind them, not only do they harm our bodies, they also affect how we think and ultimately provide the very horrible foundation of living in separation to others. From here wars are begun.
We are thinking we are intelligent species yet we choose to drink a substance that is poisonous to our body and also alters our state of being so we are able to abuse our children, partners or family, are aggressive and destructive to the environment we are in. But is this truly intelligent? And is there any safe level of alcohol to drink if we know this all is caused by drinking alcohol?
It is incredible that doctors advise patients to drink alcohol, a glass of red wine is good for the heart they say, so my mother regularly enjoyed a glass most days, since then she has become more aware of her body and how drinking alcohol isn’t actually supporting it at all, it may appear a more relaxed state but in truth it does the opposite making you feel more anxious than before and then you create a cycle of wanting another drink.
The reports on the effects of alcohol are showing society that it is poisonous to our bodies in many ways, but still so many simply put their head in the sand and refuse to listen, probably as they don’t want to give up one of their ‘pleasures’ in life.. We are being presented with the medical facts that there is no safe limit but still the counter reports persist in presenting that a little bit in moderation is good for you. It doesn’t make sense to me that a little bit of poison can be good for you – I am sure that if we asked our body it would agree.
I will never drink alcohol again thanks to Universal Medicine and understanding how it effects you energetically by deconfiguring your makeup to have no control over your choices.
With levels of illness and disease at such incredibly high levels is it not time for everyone to look at what they might be doing that may be contributing to these escalating rates? To be responsible for how they live, and what they ingest, and surely this would mean avoiding known poisons like alcohol and sugar?
Sadly it is only when people become ill or sick, that they then take off the dark glasses and look at how they are living – mind you many do not when they become ill and choose to stay in ignorance and resistance, but life is such that it will keep presenting you with whatever you need to waken you out of this slumber and ignorance.
Alcohol is clearly a poison and very destructive for our body, most of us know this by now, with some still choosing to bury their heads in the sand thinking it won’t affect them.
Smoking and alcohol consumption are risk factors for so many other illnesses. I have just finished an online course about dementia and these two were high on the list.
More and more medical professionals are now stating that there are no safe levels of alcohol consumption. With its strong links to cancer, I’m surprised more healthcare workers are not shouting about this from the rooftops.
The information that you quote at the beginning ought to be enough to deter anyone from drinking but it doesn’t seem to as it has become such an embedded normal in society. But how on earth can a substance that is a proven poison be normal to drink? We wouldn’t knowingly drink arsenic, would we? What is it within us that we can ignore such compelling evidence so we can keep on drinking? I can’t remember having access to information like this as a teenager and if I had I do wonder if I would have ignored it and had another drink?
As a society we need to stop and truly consider the ill effects of alcohol and be truthful of the repercussions of how we relate to it with regards to special occasions and celebrations in life, this needs to be talked about openly as it sets the imprint on young people to fall for the illusion “to celebrate” when in fact they are poisoning their bodies the quality of their lives in general.
I used to drink for many reasons and I abused myself and others as a result. I stopped many years ago after feeling my dependence on alcohol and not wanting to follow some of my close family members any further along the road of alcoholism. It took a little while to be able to feel who I was without it but I did, and then came across Universal Medicine where my understanding deepened and my health and well being rocketed. With alcohol my life was a mess, without it it is beyond better. That’s good enough for me.
wow, you go Loretta! I love how you call it as it is! It is illogical but we have built a way of living that is so far from stillness, love, harmony and playfulness that we need a coping mechanism to deal with the tension. Alcohol is that coping mechanism and I can see that unless we support ourselves and each other to rebalance the way we choose to live life and the areas we choose to place our focus, then we will continue to need those coping mechanisms to deal with the tension.
There may be a debate on whether there are safe consumption levels for alcohol, but when it comes down to it, there can be no debate. The facts are simple about the harm that alcohol does both to the body, and to society.
Well said Loretta. The truth about alcohol and its impact upon our body, let alone our lives, our relationships, its undeniable connection to domestic and other violence, cannot be denied. And we all do know its altering effects upon our state of being – again, undeniable.
And so, we must ask, why the societal preference for such harm, destabilisation and destruction? What is going on, that we have so normalised this harm and in so many cases, made it an intrinsic part of our culture and way of life? There has to be a far greater denial of ourselves and discontent for things to be as they are, does there not?
The mind baffles to understand how we have made a known poison so ‘normal’ and accepted in everyday life, and if you choose not to drink alcohol many look upon you as weird and anti-social – how far have we strayed from what we know is true.
I lived much of my life with alcohol playing a big part of it. I always felt uncomfortable and “on tenter hooks” but to ignore this feeling I too drank to cover up this uncomfortable feeling. That was until I could no longer continue to ignore that why I felt this way was because people changed when they drank. Then I realised that I was doing this too and stopping was the only way I could be true to myself. This was not easy, people tried to make me drink again and said some pretty horrible things to me, but knowing the true pain it caused, no pressure could make me again choose such a behaviour that harmed me and disregarded and disrespected everyone I was with.
This is beautiful Leigh, even though there was some attack coming at you for making a loving decision to stop drinking alcohol, you stayed steady so not to harm or affect yourself or the very people who were in reaction. I know with an absoluteness that I will never again drink alcohol… there of course are always other ways I still poison my body with food, emotions and thoughts but letting go of substances that alter how I am supports me to see and feel these more clearly.
Alcohol is not normal, as such, but why we choose it and many other harming activities is what truly has been normalized. As the need to dull and escape the reality of our lives is what we have made normal. Instead of stopping and changing our lives if we cannot stand to stay with ourselves in the life we have.
Working in palliative care I can confirm that most head and neck cancers have strong link to alcohol and tobacco use. A lot of these cancers can be difficult to treat with very challenging side effects. Once upon a time I would have said that this would have happened to those that drank and smoked a lot. In other words it was related to the amount taken. But that is not true, because we see people who have only had moderate to small amounts too. The costs of using alcohol to people and community is huge and I suspect that what we make in taxes is only a small sniff of what is required to pay for our use of this drug.
The effects of alcohol are so obvious – the fact that after only a glass of wine or one beer there are noticeable changes to a person is a dead give away that something more is at play, energetically speaking. The real question we need to be asking is, why are we so unhappy with ourselves that we need to drink a considered poison to relieve ourselves? What is missing from life? Probable answer, our true and ever loving selves.
It is odd – and actually quite crazy – that alcohol has become so socially acceptable, even though we know we don’t feel good after drinking it, and the wider damage that it causes to society as a whole.
We have to come to terms that people use alcohol to make sure that they are not themselves because they do not like to be in their bodies. It is like saying, I will withdraw to a place I know, a place I consider safe, a friendly place. The first question is how do these feelings talk to everything that happens when people get drunk? The second question is do we really know what happens to us when we withdraw through alcohol?
One of the attraction of alcohol for me was that it changed me and I was no longer my usual self – even though there often would be consequences that I would be totally mortified with. How sad a life I must have been having that I could not bear being my ‘usual’ self to that extent, and of course it begs a question of what I used to define ‘being myself’ to be.
The acceptance of alcohol as being ok, as a drink a day is good for you.. Is the lie that needs to be exposed, over and over again, in articles like this one written by Loretta. The more this is exposed, the harder it will be to ignore.
It is fascinating and yet deeply concerning that a substance that can cause so much harm physically to the body, let alone to society through accidents and violence is so widely accepted. The statistics are shocking and yet in spite of them there is a reality that people appear to be unwilling to face… it seems as if things will only change when people become more personally aware of the harm and then choose responsibility from a place of lived understanding and self care.
As long as there is honesty we can then look at the reason why we need to drink something that is damaging to our body in order to alter our state of being, what areas of our lives are we living less than who we are? what are the pictures that we are holding which create the stress and the anxiousness that later give us the need to drink to feel better? It is only until we take responsibility that once again we can connect to our essence and truly commit to treat our bodies with the love and care they deserve.
It is fascinating to see how this sort of research is ignored, despite being peer reviewed, double blind placebo’d and published in reputable journals. These are the criteria the health professionals and powers-to-be insist are present before new research is considered credible. Why is it then that it does not make front headline news every day for a month once it is published? The reason as I see it, is it is asking us to change our lifestyles radically, bringing into question the extent to which we have embraced something so detrimental to us and more to the point why. Questions we, as individuals and as a society, would rather not delve into. Easier to read the words, give it a cursory acknowledgment and continue on with our lives. Fortunately the body knows the truth and our increasing statistics on disease and illness will eventually force a much needed level of honesty and from there, change.
We need to seriously ask questions as to why such significantly important findings such as “there are no safe levels for alcohol consumption” as stated by Professor Ian Olver, CEO of Cancer Council of Australia, are not making world headlines.
Alcohol is so ingrained in society’s fabric that all such warnings seem to fall on deaf ears.
A great article Loretta.
Alcohol has a lot to answer to. But more so do we as human beings, as alcohol would not be consumed to the degree it is in society today if we valued ourselves. If we but stopped and considered that living who we are is the greatest gift we can give to another, and that alcohol literally rapes us of our beingness. Is the real question to be asked, why do we not want to live in the fullness of who we are?
The alcohol fuelled rage and violence is certainly known by many, yet we continue to glorify that having a drink is a good a social thing to do. Then there are those who don’t touch alcohol because of this aggression and decide to contend with pot or other drugs because it ‘chills you out’ and wouldn’t fuel such anger. But the question really is, why do we need anything at all to alter our state of awareness and sense of who we are in the first place? Why are we escaping who we are and finding relief in substance abuse of any kind?
This is exposing greatly that there are even positive effects of alcohol, actually only the relief it gives makes it a widely supported substance. But this can’t hold up when we all choose to truly listen and claim back the responsibility for our health.
It is quite astonishing how blind we pretend we are when it comes to alcohol consumption. We try so hard to make out like it is not a problem in our society or is bad for our health. Anyone who speaks up against it – be prepared to get shot down. And if you quietly choose to not drink , well that can be a very loud statement that ruffles a lot of feathers.
When you sum up all these effects of alcohol that are negative on our bodies, relationship and society as a whole as a result it actually does not make sense we consume it so much.
From this perspective yes Lieke I totally agree, but if we delve a little deeper to question why we would continue to consume something that is so clearly detrimental to us, solving nothing of worth by it’s consumption, the answers make a little more sense. At a very fundamental level most could not deny that alcohol is consumed to ‘take the edge off’ life in some way. Being just the way we are… whether that is stressed, uptight, lacking in confidence, wanting some ‘dutch courage’, needing to ‘fit in’ with others etc, is a tension most find unbearable. That alone explains a great deal of alcohol consumption, and in those moments of tension, one’s health is furthest from one’s thoughts.
Exactly Jenny. It is the same overeating or eating things we know we should not eat, we all know the effects of alcohol, smoking and certain foods on our bodies but there is this tension inside us that justifies any consumption of these foods and drinks because it makes us, for a bit, not feel the tension.
You wrote this article three years ago, yet only now is the media occasionally publishing the truth about alcohol and how it is linked to some cancers. The tragedies – through domestic abuse and even still with road traffic accidents – could be reduced. Yet drinking alcohol is still considered ‘normal’ in society today. To refuse alcohol at a celebration is tantamount to a rejection of the whole proceedings!
The normality of alcohol everywhere you go is frightening. I recently made a request at work to go to a restaurant of my choice for my farewell dinner. The response from my boss was how much trouble she got in last time they went to said restaurant due to the bill being so exorbitant from the excessive alcohol consumption. My immediate reaction was to suggest we don’t drink. It’s amazing how the very thought of not consuming alcohol in a social setting actually stresses people out and creates anxiety. We are so conditioned to protect ourselves from being vulnerable with others. It’s extremely sad!
Awesome Loretta. This is an article worth publishing in the paper, medical journals, and particularly all the magazines about so called ‘health and wellbeing’. It feels so obvious it’s crazy how much we ignore all of this evidence.
It really is wonderful to read how a well respected academic writes ‘there are no safe levels for alcohol consumption’. But how long will statements like this simply be ignored by public media, when it should be headlines blazoned across our pages… alcohol is NOT safe.
Thank you Loretta for sharing so clearly your experience with alcohol. It’s quite surprising how adults used to encourage children to drink alcohol to get stronger. There is the belief that it is not so bad, even many doctors support that it is healthy in reduced quantities when it is a known cause of different types of cancer. There is a strong unknown about what alcohol really is and its negative impact in the health and wellbeing of people. But many people choose to live under this unknown to “have fun” and to “live the life” when in true they are choosing a kind of slow suicide in every glass of wine or cocktail.
Alcohol is one of the biggest socially accepted addictions but also the use of videogames, videos on Internet about violence, porn, music and videoclips with sexual content which at the same time are promoting the alcohol consumption and drugs…All of this is affecting our society considerably in a negative way as most of this content is supporting an unnatural way of living that does not respect the human body in any way. As a result, we are already living the consequences of that in the many cases of illness and disease but also in the cases of depression, anxiety, suicides, murders…and so on. How much ill does society need to be to realize that socially accepted addictions are not so right?
How long will it be before as a society we start to listen to the medical community who are clearly telling us alcohol is detrimental to our health.
Loretta this continues to be a huge point of debate – alcohol – why we drink it, what it does to us. I was very much caught up in the glamour of alcohol – sold to me as something that would relax me, a privilege, a compliment to food, an indulgence, something to appreciate. I was caught in it all and used alcohol to numb me, I used it to look sophisticated, I used it to relax. But in all this time never did I want to see that Alcohol is ethanol, it kills people, breaks relationships and is completely addictive. I never wanted to see what it does to the liver and the body. But Universal Medicine asked me to be absolutely honest with every single choice and to see them in full – so I did start to see what alcohol does on an addictive and harmful level, and from this point I was able to make the choice based on how it felt in my body. This opportunity should be given to everyone. The problem with marketing is we tell people what we want them to hear. But is it about us as a society not wanting to be responsible and seeing the whole picture first?
So many of us use the excuse that we started drinking alcohol to ‘fit in’ with those around us even though we did not like the taste or the effect on our body and the same with smoking cigarettes. In the UK the law now prevents smoking cigarettes in any public building as well as in your own car if there are children present and as a result cigarette smoking has reduced rapidly and it is now considered ‘normal’ not to smoke. As more and more people take responsibility for their own health and choose not to drink it will, gradually, become ‘normal’ not to drink alcohol. Drink and Drive legislation should be made zero alcohol levels the same as for airline pilots; we are all responsible for our fellow travelers.
Alcohol is without a doubt a poison, making it socially acceptable makes is no less a poison. Ignoring the significant impacts to society also makes it no less an issue.
Loretta I agree with everything you share here. After witnessing what I did as a child and the effects of alcohol on the adults around me, it was clear to me it is very much a ‘poison’ and the changes in their behaviour was frightening to see at times.
I am just involved in a research project about head and neck cancers. Cancer of the pharynx is cancer in your mouth – no fun for eating and swallowing.
Well said Loretta. We have gotten to a stage where almost no function goes ahead without alcohol and when anybody tries to stand up and limit (not even stop completely) it sales, there is a swift and strong rebuttal. It seems we are a society who feel entitled to drink alcohol and smoke tobacco freely as a coping mechanism and as a ‘reward’ or social requirement. I also feel that there are huge amounts of greedy governments and businesses who gain through alcohol sales so have a vested interest in encouraging people to consume these products. The damage is beyond measuring.
One day it will be known by all and considered crazy that we even partook in such lunacy. Society has a long way to go until we all get there but with blogs like these telling it as it is and highlighting the truth we are shown another way a way that does not poison or harm but instead heals and evolves.
Great article and a brilliant point about the link between coming of age and society’s permission to guzzle alcohol. As kids, we desperately want to be older and so the lure of being a grown up is further symbolised and evidenced by legalised drinking habits. But it would seem that all our rites of passage in life are associated with and marked by alcoholic celebration, making the risk of being labelled a misfitting party pooper very likely for anyone with the common sense to choose according to the body rather than from a misguided sense of wanting to fit in.
I did not grow up with a lot of alcohol but it was definitely considered normal to have a glass of wine on occasion and my mother even gave us a brandy drink when we we felt unwell. It had eggs, milk and nutmeg and I grew to really like it. We had brandy poured over the christmas pudding so we could set light to it. Brandy went into the christmas cake. Tiramisu was a favorite dessert. Travelling one was always encouraged to try the local alcohol and there seemed to be a belief that the stronger it was the better somehow. Of course as a teenager I drank socially and this continued to a greater or lesser degree till several years ago where I began to focus on the effect this strange substance had on my body, and I didn’t really like it. Now I feel that stopping drinking alcohol was one of the the best things I have ever done. My health and well being has improved enormously and the money that went on alcohol can now go on better quality food, another bonus.
I remember as a kid we were allowed to drink small amounts of wine so that we could feel grown up at the dinner table. It was also seen as a way of lessening our chances of rebelling as teenagers. What it did though was normalise the drinking of alcohol and make it almost a goal to be able to tolerate the taste of it as it was thought that one of the best things about getting old was the fact that it was legal to drink. And i did become very good at drinking alcohol, until my late 20s when I realised how much it was taking it’s toll on my health. Now I do not miss alcohol one bit.
This is a great blog exposing that this lie that there are safe level of alcohol that can be consumed is completely and utterly false. So much money is drained from the health system treating all the illnesses that are related to alcohol consumption, yet the same health system still claim that there are ‘safe’ limits that people can drink. This just seems so contradictory to me.
It would seem the evidence is in. Yet it is still the person who doesn’t drink who is considered strange. I suppose the numbing effects of alcohol also allow a person to stay blissfully unaware of the consequences, for awhile.
‘Professor Ian Olver, CEO of Cancer Council Australia, shared his latest findings on alcohol and cancer. He presented evidence that alcohol consumption is a known cause of cancer.’ – on this point, isn’t it interesting how a substance such as alchohol which is proved to kill cells hence why it is used to preserve and stop the decaying process is also presented on by professionals in the health industy as being ok in moderation, not only this but some alcohol in moderation to support your health. It’s interesting what we can overlook when we are wanting something to be ok that we are personally invested in.
Thank you for spelling out so clearly the harm caused by ingesting alcohol Loretta and your call ‘for us all to take responsibility for the choice to consume alcohol; to be honest and feel what is really going on when that choice to drink is made?’ However much they try and fool themselves people know deep down that alcohol is not good for them but unless they are willing to address the issues of why they drink they will struggle to maintain abstinence.
What an honest account of the effects of alcohol. As you clearly say Loretta, what is really going on that we need alcohol in the first place and what is missing in our everyday lives that we become dependent on consuming it…?
Thank you Loretta for opening up the conversation. I feel we all really know that alcohol is a poison to the body – I certainly did but that didn’t stop me consuming it until I attended a presentation by Serge Benhayon where he explained the energetic effects alcohol has – it was this that caught my attention and I made the choice then to stop drinking as what he shared confirmed a truth I had already felt in my body. He also explained the reason we drink and take drugs or adopt any other dysfunctional behaviour is to numb ourselves from feeling what is really going on and dealing with the issues. Time to start taking responsibility!
It is crazy that as a society we have normalised alcohol so much when it is a known poison to the body. I know I would have ignored this truth when I was a drinker preferring to override all my body was telling me until I was forced to look at the harm that alcohol was doing to me and my life – thank god I listened as my whole life changed for the better when I stopped drinking.
I was offered the occasional sip of alcohol as a young teen, but it was not at all pleasing . I did drink occasionally when I was around 20 and just occasionally at family get togethers or outings with friends. In my early 50s I decided that I wouldn’t bother to drink as it was mainly to make everyone else feel comfortable. Then when I connected to Universal Medicine and the Presentations of Serge Benhayon, and there was confirmation that it was indeed a Poison in the body, I felt the truth of this, and was glad I listened to my body all those years ago.. Thank you Loretta for your sharing.
I remember how alcohol was given to me as a taste from someone’s glass and how I turned up my nose at the smell and spat it out. I remember the laughter of the adults and in later years, I got lost and it became my prop to hide and lose myself. How has drinking alcohol become the most acceptable form of behaviour in our society, and not to drink is often viewed as strange? Someone asked me enquiringly a couple of nights ago, you don’t drink ANY alcohol now? It will be marvellous when it becomes more socially acceptable not to drink alcohol and it’s viewed in truth as the poison it is.
Yes that day is coming Gill! Eventually everyone will know how harmful alcohol is, our bodies will never not be able to hide the devastating effects and nor to will society as alcohol related crime and abuse will become more exposed.
Yes Loretta, it absolute declares that we need to take responsibility for our life and not poison our body and cause for mental demage (including the impact on others around you). I have recently seen a video where it was being shown how alcohol, through for instance parents effect their children deeply, you could see in this video how children receive their parents when they had drank alcohol, it was shocking. Lets wake up.
There are no safe levels of consuming a substance that is well known for all the abuse and harm that you’ve mentioned here Loretta. It really does beg to question – WHY is this form of abuse on a global scale accepted and legal? and WHY is it needed? Are the levels of abuse and illness worth covering up whatever it is that is trying to be drowned? and does whatever is perceived to need such extreme drowning really that bad? What Universal Medicine has taught me is that altering myself in any way comes from an already altered perception of myself and is not actually the real me. In the connection to the real me the way in which I address the issues in my life are completely different and much more supportive and loving that does not leave myself or others in a lesser or ill state.
I agree there is no safe level of alcohol. What I would like to know how come these findings on the association between alcohol and cancer don’t make headline news? Where are the journalists who are willing to step up and report these facts that are based on actual evidence.
I was watching a video recently of the top 10 most dangerous drugs out there, and while things like Cocaine, Ecstasy, Heroin all made it into the top 10, the most dangerous drugs were Alcohol and Cigarettes. These legal intoxicants kill hundreds of thousands of people each year, and the reason is that they are an an accepted and normal part of the society we live in. If you consider for a moment the energy we put into saving kids from drowning in pools, or people from dying in car accidents – the death toll of these is a fraction of the people dying from fags and booze. Why are we not doing more be it the law, education, or medically to highlight and eradicate these forms of abusing ourselves?
It was great to read your post Simon; because of the legalisation of these toxins there has been a reductionism of seeing the full impact of these substances. As you say hundreds of people die an early death as a result. Physically there is much damage but also on an emotional level and the substances are drastically damaging relationships. The extent of the damage is far greater than most allow to be felt/seen.
My eyes have been opened to a small degree to the damage Katie, but I agree – the effects of these pervade through the whole of society, in ways we just accept as normal but are far from it. Its time to take a really cold hard look at what is really going on so we can wake up and smell the roses.
It’s important to remember that legalising something doesn’t mean it’s good for us or our bodies, however as soon as we legalise it, we are in effect saying the behaviour is ok, – and so it becomes accepted as the norm, when in fact it is often the complete opposite of normal!
This is a great point Simon, which highlights how normalised these abusive behaviours are in our society today. We all know the campaigns against drink driving, yet there are still recommended ‘safe’ levels of how much you can get away with drinking if you are going drive. I know that if I drank within those recommendation, it would definitely not be safe for me to be behind the wheel of a car.
Just that comment ‘getting away with it’ says so much Eleanor
And add to this list sugar and caffeine and we have another two legal intoxicants that kills thousands of people each year.
It speaks volumes to me that when these kinds of statistics are presented, we, as a general whole, tend to shut down to them. I know this because there isn’t any general movement in humanity to move away from the harm that socially acceptable drugs like alcohol do. If anything it causes a backlash of defence of the ‘right’ to drink alcohol and labels those who choose not to as the oddballs of society (either that or they are labelled victims because of alcoholism). Doesn’t this expose how little value we place on life? How little we care about the quality we and others live in? And if you agree with this, as I do, then this doesn’t make much sense, as we are abusing ourselves in fundamental ways and also polluting the whole of humanity with our actions. This leads me to understand that there is a part of me that I have let rule the roost that really doesn’t care one iota about me – a fragment of me that thinks it is IT. Thanks to Universal Medicine I know this part to be my spirit – immortal and irresponsible and yet lost. By recognising this it is then possible to bring a greater understanding as to what is going on when humanity dances wilfully along the path of self-destruction, and with love and tenderness, bring us to a stop, where we can bring that fragmented part of us back into the whole and start to truly care again.
We seem very blasé about the dangers related to behaviours that are self indulgent… yes, we will rescue someone in an accident, but may not see anything wrong with the harm caused by alcohol and cigarettes.