A Little Or None At All - Okpala Uzochukwu
Alcohol have stirred up a lot of controversies in the modern world. It is a drink that means different things to different people: to some, it is the best definition of recreation, leisure and having a nice time, to some others, it is the best antidote to stress, while to others it is an unholy drink that can cause a lot of havoc.
Despite the controversies, alcohol is still one of the most commonly abused drug in the world, and the leading cause of preventable infant mental retardation in developed countries (fetal alcohol syndrome).
There are controversies amidst the medical profession too, the general belief is that a little bit of alcohol is good for the heart (some do not agree to this though, instead they believe the research was sponsored by breweries to down play its side effects), never the less, alcohol is a risk factor for numerous diseases which include liver diseases, cancers, diabetes, infant mental retardation, to mention but few.
In our campus community, we have witnessed some bad effects of alcohol. Overspeeding, especially by motorists coming from New Buka late at night thereby endangering the lives of innocent students. The most touching story I witnessed was in my first year (four years ago) when a drunk driver coming from New Buka area killed a barber on his bike. More recent drunk driving incidences we have heard about have lead to injuries only.
There is a good side to alcohol, the bond it creates between friends, its alleviation of anxiety and its recreational purposes cannot be under emphasized.
As a general rule in life, too much of anything is bad, alcohol is not exempted. alcohol intoxication has lead to loss of lives, loss of relationship, loss of trust, disgrace and other social vices. Moderation (a little) or non at all is the safest measure.
(Okpala Uzochukwu is a student of the College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-ife and a health writer on the OAU Peeps Team)