By Paula Henriquez
HAVANA TIMES – I haven’t had good experiences with alcohol. Ever since I was a little girl, I have had to deal with bad experiences. I’ve grown up hating this damned drink that can take everything away from you, even what’s most sacred: your family. My feelings haven’t changed over time, but they have weakened, almost by force.
Alcohol is a legal drug in most of the world, except for in Islamic states. Alcohol addiction is the cause of many, many deaths, every year. I don’t understand how people continue to start drinking, even when they know what it can do to them.
I also don’t understand how events and publicity to promote alcohol consumption exist. Although it’s very clear that it is more than a lucrative business. Drinking alcohol is also a way for many people to step outside of themselves. Others do it so they can see their problems from another point of view. It might even seem like a back door to escape a rough and relentless reality.
Nevertheless, it is far from being a solution to any problem, rather it’s the exact opposite. The only thing people who seek refuge in drinking alcohol find is social rejection and a loss of credibility. They even lose their dignity, in the most extreme cases.
Even so, you can go down to any store here, any day of the year, during the worst economic and commercial crisis in the country, and you will find shelves full of all kinds of alcoholic beverages. Tequila, Whisky, Vodka, Rum, Liquors, Wine… there’s a long list.
The butcher’s is full of empty freezers, the perfume store is just as well-stocked as the butcher’s and so on. Except for the liquor store, which is always packed with a great variety of imported and national brands. If that isn’t enough, there’s also the so-called neighborhood kiosks. These retail sales points have ended up pretty much becoming extensions of the liquor stores.
I don’t believe my hate will ever disappear. The presence of this elixir is omnipresent every time I go out looking for something. Reminding me of everything it took away from me when I was a little girl.
I’m sure that many people identify with my experience or know somebody who has endured the same thing.
I wonder what’s so different about this drug and all the others that are persecuted and sanctioned so much? Tradition? Culture? Excuses.
Alcoholics don’t know their limits when consuming, which grow as they gain greater tolerance. If not treated, it can turn into a chronic, incurable, degenerative and deadly disease.