Alcohol and Mental Health: Understanding the Science behind the Dangers

Understanding the Impact of Alcohol Advertising on Youth Drinking and Public Health

Alcohol is a substance that has both benefits and drawbacks. The Qur’an states that “there is great evil in both [intoxicants and gambling], as well as some benefit for people, but the evil outweighs the benefit” (2:219). However, research has shown that individuals with mental illness who consume alcohol may face a reduced life expectancy of about 10 years, partially due to higher risks of physical health diseases. Moreover, alcohol consumption can lead to a negative feedback loop, as those who are susceptible to mental illness tend to drink more.

The detrimental effects of alcohol consumption are further exacerbated by the advertising practices of the alcohol industry. Major alcohol trade groups’ attempts to introduce advertising regulations have failed to stop the rise in youth drinking that is a result of alcohol advertising. The Lancet-published study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation found that consuming anything more than 2 teaspoons of wine and 2 ½ teaspoons of beer can be detrimental to the health of those below 40 years old.

It is important to acknowledge that the norm of Western society is to consume alcohol. Yet, the great thinker Aldous Huxley once said, “the hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found amongst those who appear to be most normal… their perfect adjustment to an abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness.” This highlights the need for preventative measures that include educating young people about self-control, delayed gratification, and future goal orientation, all of which are linked with higher religiosity and better health.

Research has shown that religious individuals are less likely to develop serious mental and behavioral afflictions. For example, adults who did not consider religion to be important were 50% more likely to use alcohol and cigarettes and 3 times more likely to binge drink. Therefore, teaching individuals the importance of personal commitment to values such as self-discipline, integrity, transcendence, and communalism can help prevent mental illness and substance abuse.

I know it might seem like a laugh to have a pint or two with your mates and blow off some steam, but is that really what you want for your spiritual life? Don’t you want to better yourself and lead a healthier, happier life?

Instead of hitting the pub or taking drugs, there are so many innovative ways to pass the time. Hit the gym, read a good book, learn something new – the possibilities are endless. By doing so, you can avoid the pitfalls of alcohol and drugs that can lead to mental health issues and much more. Not to mention, these substances can break up families and friendships of those who care about you, and you’ll end up looking at them bad.

So, take a moment to reflect on your choices and consider the impact they have on your life and the lives of those around you. Choose the path of self-improvement, and you’ll see the benefits for yourself and those you care about.

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