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How To Avoid Getting Drunk

Intoxicating drinks have wielded detrimental effects on human society for thousands of years. King Solomon wrote in Proverbs 20:1, "Wine is a mocker, Strong drink is a brawler, And whoever is led astray by it is not wise." The Bible has a sobering and sane message about drinking and drunkenness. One verse that succinctly captures the tone of that message is Ephesians 5:18: "And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit." The New International Version says, "Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery." In similar words, the New Revised Standard Version reads, "Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery." Once a person becomes drunk, they are also debauched. The process of getting drunk started with the first drink, and then little by little, drink by drink, they became debauched. By the time they are drunk, they have become infected with a full-blown case of debauchery. The Greek word asotia (pronounced as-o-tee'-ah) is translated variously as "excess" (KJV), "dissipation" (New King James Version; New American Standard Version), and "debauchery" (English Standard Version; New Revised Standard Version). Asotia means "wastefulness" or "reckless abandonment." If you've ever been drunk or around someone who was, you have seen debauchery in all its foulness and folly, and you don't need a preacher or anyone else to explain about the reckless abandonment drinking can lead to. Drunk people are quite literally reckless. The National Partnership on Alcohol Misuse and Crime reports that each year 13,000 people are killed in alcohol-related accidents on U. S. roadways. The U. S. Department of Justice Report on Alcohol and Crime found that alcohol abuse is a factor in 40% of violent crimes committed in the U. S. Drunks wreck cars, marriages, hearts, homes, and lives. We don't need to review a truckload of statistics (although they are readily available) to know that the cost of drinking in America, in terms of both money and human misery/suffering, is staggering.

Imbibing alcoholic beverages leads to a condition we refer to as "impaired." An accurate term, for alcohol is a mind and mood altering drug that has a powerfully damaging effect on the brain. Those effects include blurred vision, slurred speech, slowed reaction time, a reduction in coordination, and a dulled memory. The drinker gets "loose" as he/she drinks. As the drug does its work there is a lessening of care and anxiety, along with a lessening of moral power and restraint. The result is all kinds of perverse speech and irresponsible behavior. Proverbs 23:33 describes alcoholic impairment in ancient but accurate words: "Your eyes will see strange things, And your heart will utter perverse things." A story about Bubba illustrates how alcohol impairs. At the police station, Bubba explained to officers why his cousins shot him. "Well," he began, "we was having a good time drinking when my cousin Ray picked up his shotgun and said, 'Hey, do you fellas wanna go huntin'?' " An officer asked, "Then what happened?" Bubba replied, "The last thing I remember is I stood up and said, 'Sure, I'm game.' " Friend, there is a way to guarantee you will never get drunk — just don't drink. Period. Will you think about it? -Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil." (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22)

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ