Ade skipped across the busy road hoping to find a bus heading his way, But his hope was dashed by the unorganized queue he met at the bus stop. He was late for work already and couldn’t wait to be on his way. Before long, a danfo made its way towards the bus stop with the driver chanting his destination in the customary way of Lagos drivers: “Obalende… balende… gbe body e and enter with your change oh!”
Ade hustled in with about one dozen lucky fellows who were able to outsmart and outstruggle everyone else. As the driver made his rounds, collecting the bus fare Ade caught a whiff of alcohol. The source happened to be the driver who was smelling like he had just been baptized in a pool of gin and strong spirits.
“Oga, una no fit drive us like this oh. To dey drink and drive na criminal offense,” he exclaimed, alarmed.
The driver looked at Ade like he has just lost his mind and without deigning to reply him, he moved on to other passengers. One robust woman touched Ade by the shoulder, “No mind am. Na so dem dey do. Na only God dey protect pesin make we pray for safe journey.” The other passengers merely shrugged as to say “this is Nigeria”.
Later that day, media outlets reported an accident on the third mainland bridge. The driver of a danfo bus lost control of the vehicle and plunged into the lagoon below. As at the time of reporting, there were no survivors and recovery operations was still ongoing.
Julien was a fast rising star athlete. 3 Olympic medals, 14 different awards to his name and 7 endorsement deals, he was the toast of the sporting world. At twenty six, he was ranked the third highest paid athlete of all times. With a beautiful wife and two kids, he was truly at the top of the world. Three years ago, his team won yet another trophy and he was pressured into taking part in the celebrations that followed after at the club. One dare led to another and he already was on his 8th shot of tequila, with a female fan hanging on his arm. A little while later, he opened his eyes to see a blue shirt standing over him.
“You have the … silent.. anything… against you.. of law.”
As he was being bundled out of the unfamiliar hotel room, he saw the young lady scantily dressed sobbing in one corner.
He was charged with rape and got a 6 year jail term with a hefty fine enough to bankrupt him. His wife divorced him, taking most of what he had left and all his sponsors pulled their endorsement deals. He was registered as a sexual offender. Julien lost everything just when he attained momentum.
Alcohol in various forms have been used since antiquity and yet, it remains one of the most abused and misused substances on the planet. There have been many researches into both the beneficial and the detrimental properties of alcohol and while there is no denying the beneficial attributes of alcohol, the detrimental effects outweigh the benefits. It is important to know how alcohol can negatively affect you because “alcohol made me do it/ I was drunk that time” is not a valid legal defense.
Here is how excessive alcohol abuse affects your body system:
Brain: Alcohol impairs your neural pathways, disrupting how you think or perceive the world. This can cause changes in mood and behavior. It also impairs your coordination skills which leads to staggering, slurring, inability to conduct fine motor movements and reduced reflex speed. This means it takes you longer to respond to emergencies which may mean the difference between life and death, like Ade’s bus crash. It also may impair memory formation and storage which manifests as blackouts and waking up with no recollection of the past night as Julien experienced. Prolonged alcohol abuse leads to shrinking of the frontal lobes of the brain (the area responsible for emotional control, short-term memory and judgement). Alcohol addiction is also a real problem that may require professional help.
Heart: Drinking can put too much stress on the heart and lead to irregular heartbeats, stroke as well as high blood pressure.
Liver: The liver is probably the hardest hit of all organs after the brain. Alcohol can lead to hepatitis (alcoholic hepatitis), liver fibrosis, hepatocellular carcinoma as well as Liver Cirrhosis.
Pancreas: Alcohol abuse is the leading cause of pancreatitis which leads to complications with digesting food properly.
Immune System: Drinking weakens your immune system, making you susceptible to all kinds of infections and diseases.
Carcinogenic properties: Prolonged alcohol use has been implicated in the development of head and neck cancer, oesophageal cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer.
Diabetes Complication: Alcohol consumption may interfere with the way your body balances the blood sugar level which could lead to complications for diabetic patients.
Excessive use of alcohol is dangerous and you should know when to stop. Do not drive even if you feel just a bit tipsy #CallAnUber. Take care of your health and if you feel like you are getting dependent on the booze, seek professional help.
So what do you say to alcohol, yay or nay?