To the Editor:
Whatever media can do to “unmask alcoholism,” as Malachy McCourt does in his “Alcoholism Unmasked” column (March 4) is most welcome. But, hey, don’t be anonymous in accusing “certain columnists in this paper” of saying it’s a matter of willpower, a character defect, [something that shows the need for] responsible drinking lessons, and of being “pious” about it.
This columnist, who often warns about alcohol abuse, never claims it’s a character flaw or willpower. I write mostly about the enormous harm that can result from over-drinking, even just one episode. My great concern is that alcohol has been given a pass compared to tobacco smoking and obesity.
Some individuals can never drink “socially” due to something in their biological makeup. I believe others become addicted by the overuse of alcohol to reduce stress. I believe most people need help to stop drinking and often find it in 12-step programs, which do have a spiritual element.
As for responsible drinking, infinitely more needs to be said about its importance, should adults chose to imbibe. And relatively new medical guidelines show that more than one drink daily for women, and two for men, is excessive.
Now it’s spring break time, when shamefully little is said about the truly over-the-top alcohol consumption among students, often resulting in the most regrettable—even dangerous—behaviors. Attention must be paid!
And here’s to Archbishop Timothy Dolan speaking out against St. Patrick’s Day’s over-imbibing, as did the late Cardinal John O’Connor.
Columnist, Dewing Things Better
Letters have been edited for clarity, style and brevity.
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