A Response to “Drinking Alcohol Is Stupid”

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    Before I begin my response, I’d like to clarify that I did not write the article, “Drinking Alcohol is Stupid.” There was a misprint in the print edition of The DePauw last week attributing the article to me, but it is actually the work of Carson Mara.

    Now that that’s been cleared up, I believe Mara has some good points that I agree with, though I can’t wholeheartedly endorse the article’s titular statement. In my opinion, the negatives of heavy drinking outweigh the positives. Mara mentions the increased number of hospitalizations this year due to alcohol, and that really worries me. Vividly seared in my mind from last year is the memory of an intoxicated floormate being carried down the stairs on a stretcher to the ambulance. Maybe I’ve just been sheltered, but that experience really scared me. To know that’s already occurred over thirteen times so far this year only worries me even more.

    At the same time, I know there’s got to be many responsible drinkers at DePauw, people who enjoy a beer or a glass of wine but don’t go wild with it. Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with this. I would rather stay sober and go to a movie with friends, but that’s my opinion, and I see no need to condemn or frown upon people who responsibly enjoy this.

    I can’t speak much to the merits of consuming alcohol, considering I’ve never experienced it (save for one tiny glass of wine last Christmas.) Some people say it helps them be more sociable, outgoing, or fun. Again, I can’t speak to this. I have seen the damage it can wreak, however, and this makes me quite leery of it. Several generations of my dad’s family has been afflicted by alcoholism, whether that’s led to dropping out of school or dying; thus I plan to avoid it, especially until I’m 21.

    I have some close friends who plan on never touching a bottle in their life, and I have some friends who (responsibly) touch a bottle every weekend, and I guess I don’t have a huge problem with either. If you’re drinking just to fit in or to fill a void in your life, though, I would say that’s a problem. There’s so much more to life than what a bottle can ever provide, and if drinking is becoming your sole source of fun, community, or happiness, I encourage you to reach out and get some help. Talk to a professor or someone else you trust. You can call 800-331-2900, a hotline for those struggling with alcohol. Shoot, you can even send me an email, and I’d be happy to invite you over to watch a movie or something over the weekend.

    Whatever you decide in terms of alcohol, please just be careful. Watch our for your friends, too. I may not know you, but I care about you, and I don’t want anyone winding up severely hurt or dead from a date with the ol’ bottle.