Fear of Flying High

by The Discovering Alcoholic on July 20, 2010

I’m dealing with a family medical emergency, so I’m using the way-back machine to resurrect another favorite from the 2007 version TDA. I’ll have an update on what’s going on in my life later this week and some new material I promise.

I grew up hearing the horror stories of heroin and PCP (70/80’s formative years). Back then most of us kids weren’t all that turned on by the thought of anything heroin related that involved a hypodermic needle and PCP, well too many cop shows had already made sure that I wasn’t interested in base jumping without a parachute. Alcohol on the other hand, was a whole different story. Take Bluto from Animal House in his cool “college” sweatshirt draining a bottle of Jack Daniels or crushing a beer can on his forehead, now that was just plain awesome.

The acceptance of the dangers of alcohol when compared to “hard” drugs is analogous to the irrational fear of flying compared to driving an automobile. The odds of being killed in the air are 1 in 11 million, but the chance of being killed in an automobile accident is a very probable 1 out of every 5000. Now I consider both equally dangerous, but our society’s acceptance of alcohol as a benign substance in moderation as compared to the taboo reputation of drugs is just plain illogical.

I grew up in the small town South, where alcohol was considered a rite of passage and drugs were big city evils. Of course once I got into my teens marijuana became just as accepted as drinking, but the hard drugs were still “scary”. Even after I was an accomplished alcoholic and prescription drug abuser I still had an aversion to cocaine and heroin. Sure I sampled almost everything being drunk enough to have lost my fears and inhibitions, but never once did I try intravenous injections.

My fear of flying high didn’t save me though; my alcoholism took me to that same rock bottom destination.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tim July 22, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Sorry to hear you guys have a medical emergency. If you need anything let me know.

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2 Zentient July 21, 2010 at 8:33 am

I am raising an 11 and 12 year old. I discussed with them the other day about alcohol addiction, because drug education programs do not explain addiction, they focus on just don’t drink and legal and moral consequences. In a 2 block area near my house, you can get alcohol at Target, Walmart, the minute marts, Kroger, Meijer, just about every store where you buy stuff each day. I shopped for t-shirts for the 12 year old boy who wears adult sizes, and on one rack there were 6 shirts with different booze references and logos. Take note when you watch TV, and you will be a bit stunned to see how many dramas’ and comedies’ episodes have someone drinking alcohol, or showing booze bottles, glasses of wine. Our local zoo has a beer festival each year now. Of course this is not the sole cause of alcoholism, but you have to take pause in recovery when you realize that booze is an ingrained theme of our society. So these children will have to deal with all this and not become alcoholics. When you don’t drink alcohol, you can feel like you belong to a counterculture group! And TDA, may your family crisis pass soon and suffering end.

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3 The Discovering Alcoholic July 22, 2010 at 11:18 am

Thank you Z- I’ll write soon.

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