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Can you guess what is the number one drug problem in North America?
If you answered “alcohol,” you’d be right! Just look at the statistics: • Alcohol is at least partly responsible for 100,000 deaths each year! • More than 7% of adults have a drinking problem, and nearly half of all adults have at least one alcoholic in the family. • Nearly 50% of all highway accidents involve alcohol. • Nearly 50% of all violence at home and on the job is related to alcohol. • Alcohol plays a part in half of all murders, rapes, and child abuse cases; one-third of all suicides; and nearly three-quarters of all assaults and robberies.
Do you think your brain is too large? Would you like a smaller size? Try alcohol. When Dr. Cyril Courville, a neurologist, studied 40,000 brain specimens, he discovered that the most common cause for brain atrophy1 was alcohol.
Do you feel you are too intelligent? Too coordinated? Alcohol can come to the rescue again! Many people don’t realize that alcohol causes the red blood cells to cluster and block the capillaries. The result? Blood flow is reduced to the brain and muscles, leaving you less coordinated, and less able to think clearly. Eventually, the muscles and brain actually grow smaller.
But isn’t wine drinking good for the heart? Don’t be too sure. A few years ago, a study seemed to show that French men who drank two to three glasses of wine a day had less heart disease. What no one mentioned was that these same men had three times as much esophageal cancer, and were twice as likely to die of stomach cancer or liver disease. And come to find out, it appears that the lowered heart disease was due to their diet—not their glasses of wine!
Alcohol is bad for nearly every part of the body. Look what even a small amount each day can do! • It can cause cirrhosis of the liver. • It weakens the immune system. • It robs the body of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium. • It increases blood pressure. • It irritates the stomach, slows digestion, and causes ulcers and bleeding. • It increases the chance of cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, stomach, large bowel, pancreas, thyroid, and breast.
Good wine! The Bible says, “the new wine is found in the cluster, . . . destroy it not; for a blessing is in it” (Isaiah 65:8). Today, we know this is true! Pure, unfermented grape juice contains resveratrol, which can actually help lower cholesterol. Grape juice is also rich in antioxidants, which fight cancer. It even soothes and heals problems with the stomach.
The Bible has strong words for anyone who thinks he can get away with drinking alcohol: “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. . . . At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder” (Proverbs 20:1; 23:32).
William Shakespeare may have been thinking of these verses when he summed it up so nicely: “Oh, that men should put an enemy in their mouths, to steal away their brains!”
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