By Jerry Roker
for Bahamas Press
Our communities are plagued by young and old rum drinkers from all walks of life, including men, women, young boys and girls.
Innocent lives have been snuffed out by drink drivers. The police don’t give statistics about deaths caused by drunk driving. The authorities need to take away the licenses of drunk drivers for life, and there should be stricter laws for who drink while driving.
Alcohol has been the destruction of the human race since the beginning of time, and it has now taken a toll on our country with a population of less than 400,000 people. Alcohol has today been a major cause of the domestic violence in our country. It has also been a contributing factor to suicide, murder, incest, accidents, ‘cussing’ and fighting. It is a major cause of poverty, family breakups, divorce, and the failure of our children in schools and universities. Alcohol is a drug just like marijuana, cocaine, heroin, etc.
Our country has become a very vulgar and lawless place to live in. Every day, we hear ‘cussing’ and dirty language coming out of the mouths of our Bahamian people. From the rich to the intellectuals to the man in the street, they all behave the same way.
Alcohol abuse and cigarette smoking are contributing factors to major health issues such as brain damage, cancer, heart attacks, and even stroke. Drinking can cause blackouts, memory loss, and anxiety. Long-term drinking can result in permanent brain damage, serious mental health problems, and alcohol dependence or alcoholism. Young people’s brains are particularly vulnerable because the brain is still developing during the teenage years. Alcohol can damage parts of the brain, affecting behaviour.
Alcohol can also cause high blood pressure (hypertension), which increases the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. It also weakens heart muscles, which can affect the lungs, liver, brain and other body systems, and also cause heart failure.
Our people are like night owls, they love to hang out late, but we cannot sit for one hour in a church and listen to a service. I have known some very educated and talented individuals who cannot hold down a job because they have a drinking problem.
If we are to eradicate rum drinking, domestic violence, dangerous driving, etc, we must have more serious laws and close down all the illegal bars and rum shops in our country. We have become a land of lawlessness. We need to arrest it now before it’s too late.