A few weeks back our eighteen-year-old daughter decided to do a controlled experiment. She drank for the first time. She drank to get drunk. That’s the bad news for parents who haven’t had alcohol for decades. The good news is that the next day she felt terrible and vomited. She discovered that alcohol is a poison.

I told this story to a couple of friends. The first told me of how her son used to party with his mates in theU.K.until the night one of them got alcohol poisoning and passed out. The other boys finally decided to get him to a hospital. It was touch and go as his stomach was pumped and he lapsed in and out of consciousness. The doctor on duty in emergency made a point of taking each of the boys individually in to see their very sick friend and gave them each a talking to, away from the few parents who had, by this time, also been alerted. My friend’s son obviously was deeply affected by the experience, to the point where he didn’t touch a drop of alcohol until he was close to thirty, at which point he had the sense to do so in moderation. He has not been drunk since. My hat is off to the doctor who obviously went out of his way to teach these young men a meaningful lesson.

The other friend told me of his ‘controlled experiment’. He and his roommate had a party in their flat during the second term of their first year at university. My friend drank too much and passed out. The next thing he recalls is waking up in a hospital three days later. His parents were by his side. His mother had gone grey overnight. Three years later his eldest sister died in an accident, further traumatising his mother. It was then he decided never to get drunk again. He couldn’t bear the thought of hurting his mother further. There is a lesson in this. Everything we do impinges on the lives of those around us. I respect this friend for his decision to think of those he loves, not just of himself.

I share these stories because I know many of us have drinking and other habits we would love to overcome and don’t quite get to. Below is a link to my personal story with alcohol and why I decided at a young age to stop. There is also a link to an interview I did with a, acknowledged alcoholic who has received much needed support from Alcoholics Anonymous.

Human birth is a blessing. It is surely worth looking after our bodies, not denigrating them with toxins, allowing our souls to shine through, and positively impacting everyone around us.

In good health,


Alcohol: A Personal Perspective

A Story of Alcoholism and How AA Helps

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

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