Monday, January 21, 2008

On alcoholics...

Here's something that irritates the crap outta me...Or as Peter Griffin might say: "You know what really grinds my gears...?" Someone is arrested and charged with a criminal offense. This person also happened to be drunk when they committed this offense. For some inexplicable reason, the courts here in North America (in Canada and the US), actually consider this a mitigating factor when considering sentencing. And I mean mitigating on the side of leniency. This makes absolutely no goddamn sense whatsoever!

Do any of you reading this have any idea how many people die each year, because of the actions of drunks? Beyond the simple statistics, it is a question of morality. Of responsibility. Of justice. Anyone who becomes intoxicated does so by their own hand. I have never seen anyone held down and made to drink until they were drunk. That's just not how it works. By taking the decision to have that first drink, an individual is ultimately responsible for everything which will follow. Regardless whether they "remember it or not". You do not abrogate your responsibilities simply because you decided to get drunk. And make no mistake, it is a conscious decision that everyone who drinks makes. Even, or should I say particularly, practising alcoholics.

Anyone who thinks that an alcoholic is incapable of controlling their drinking, is just flat wrong!! We all choose what we do in life, just as we choose our emotions when responding to any given situation. An alcoholic chooses to drink to excess. Yet it is not the drinking itself which is the disease. The drinking is only a symptom. The disease lies in the deciding to drink... over anything else. It is never how much or how often a person drinks, that makes them an alcoholic. It is why they choose to drink.

The only thing that can force an alcoholic to realize that they need to change, is for him or her to hit their bottom. In many cases, that bottom is brought about by being held legally and criminally accountable for their actions. To face the consequences of their total disregard for themselves and others. Alcoholics thrive and depend on others minimizing the gravity of their actions, of their condition... They are masters at laying blame, shifting responsibility . So long as we continue to treat them with kid gloves, so long as we continue to absolve them "because they're sick", so long as we continue to make excuses for them and treat them as though they are the victims, we only contribute to the problem. By doing so we all become enablers... just like designated drivers, or courts that would sue a bartender for serving a person "too much alcohol". What manner of insanity is this??? Following this logic, we should expect a restaurant chef to be sued for serving a customer so much food, that they have become obese? I'm sorry, but that is simply fucking stupidity.

We have done everything within our power, even corrupted the laws and the courts, to make the alcoholic's world an easier one for him or her to live in. And all at our expense. Cases of vehicular homicide, DWI/DUI resulting in the death of anyone, should be treated the same as manslaughter, at the very least. It's time to make a change.

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