I have quite a bit of alcohol experience with heavy drinkers, people who abstain from drinking and moderate drinkers. So I was pretty shocked when I read the headline that shouted out to me, “Study: Consume lots of alcohol, live longer than non drinkers.” I kept thinking, “Well, that is totally unfair.” Then I thought, “A lot of people aren’t going to be showing up for their AA meeting today.” AA stands for Alcoholics Anonymous and a lot of the people in the world who now abstain from drinking once were alcoholics. Hopefully they didn’t see the news today.
Abstainers that used to be alcoholics often are not very healthy because of the bad effects of heavy drinking. Maybe some of them were part of the study so their health was already damaged before they were able to stop drinking.
Thinking back on growing up and noticing that a lot of non-drinking women were married to heavily drinking alcoholics, I started wondering if the researchers were on to something. Because the wives usually looked about twenty years older than their age and they did usually die many years before their husbands. Mostly from being worn out and I remember at least one from her husband’s alcoholic accident with a shotgun. So were these the types of people in the study? Possibly the study was all married people with one a teetotaler and one a heavy drinker. If that’s the case, OK, I can buy the research results.
Then I remembered another article written by Sandra Brown, M.A. that I had just read yesterday which seemed to be the Ginger Rogers to the Fred Astaire of the heavy drinkers’ article. The subject was “someone else’s pathology” about how people in pathologicals’ families and at their workplace are affected. Now this article’s conclusions made sense straight away. Antisocial personality disorder, sociopathic and psychopathic behavior are considered pathological because the people with these illnesses display “no conscience.” It turns out that about one out of every 25 persons in the USA has this type of mental illness, according to Ms Brown’s article.
And guess what? Ms Brown tells us, “It is estimated that over 60% of pathologicals have addictions including drugs, alcohol, gambling and porn.” There is the culprit we are talking about: alcohol. She suggests we can estimate that 91.2 million people are negatively affected by another person’s pathology. Since alcohol is the biggest drug addiction in the country I think we can realistically assume a big slice of that 91 million people are heavy drinkers.
Ms Brown continues to explain how people around pathologicals suffer from all kinds of stress related illnesses including sleep deprivation, depression, anxiety, and may even end up with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. So if the heavy drinkers we know are pathological, there is a good chance we could end up dying before they do unless we strengthen our own mental and physical health to protect ourselves. Not so easy to do.
So I am really proud of myself for figuring out how it could be possible that heavy drinkers do live longer than abstainers, because I don’t buy all that “good time Charlie” rubbish about drinkers being fun and abstainers being jerks so the’ life of the party’ lives longer.
I decided to find the abstract for the original article stating the research results. When taking into consideration all the possible data that doesn’t match the standard, Dr. Holahan and his group found that abstainers have a 51% increased mortality risk and heavy drinkers a 45% increased mortality risk compared to moderate drinkers.
I take the lesson from this research to be, drink moderately and enjoy your friends. You will laugh more, you will reduce your stress and you’ll live longer and more happily.
60 Million People in the U.S. Negatively Affected By Someone Else’s Pathology
Study Consume lots of alcohol, live longer
Late-Life Alcohol Consumption and 20-Year Mortality