Go Sober In October

Drink GlassOcsober is a fundraising initiative that encourages people to give up alcohol for the month of October.

I think this initiative is a good cause. Any alcohol awareness campaigns that target young people can only be beneficial in my opinion. Also, what I like about the idea of Ocsober is that the “grown up” who is participating will undoubtedly benefit from this clean living month also! Even those who have no issue with alcohol, per se, still may from time to time have a few too many. Or perhaps it is just a bit more of a habit or ritual than one would like. I feel this is a personal knowing in yourself to how you line up with this topic, and what you, personally, may get out of it.

So, for the person who thinks this is a great idea for someone else to commit to a dry month (this person is possibly the same person who thinks running a marathon for charity is also great for someone else) can still help a lot by contributing on the financial front. The goal is to raise ‘$700,000 to empower 700,000 children’ to make safe and healthy life choices.

So any and all of us can support the cause by either signing up ourselves, or as a group, or by financially contributing for someone who has signed up for the sober month of October. Cool huh?

And, it may also be a good incentive for someone who is wondering about their own drinking to take a look at it and take the challenge for themselves.

Even if you don’t drink, you still can join the campaign and continue your sobriety through it,  showing support and encouragement to those around you by sharing your experience of what living a wonderful, fulfilling life without the need for alcohol looks like!

Here are some facts about the devastating effects of alcohol on us and on our adolescents:

  • Every 24 minutes an Australian dies through either legal or illegal drugs
  • Alcohol related harm was responsible for 5,554 deaths in 2010 and same year 157,132 people were hospitalised due to excessive alcohol consumption (Alcohol’s Burden of Disease In Australia, 2014)
  • Teenagers who start drinking before age 15 are five times more likely to become dependent on alcohol than those who don’t start until they are 21
  • Nearly 50% of 16-17 year old drinkers say they intend to get drunk most times/ every time they drank alcohol
  • More than 20% of 14 – 19 year olds consume alcohol on a weekly basis
  • Alcohol is involved in 13% of all deaths among 14–17-year-old Australians.
  • One Australian teenager dies and more than 60 are hospitalised each week from alcohol-related harms.
  • Drinking contributes to the three leading causes of death among adolescents – unintentional injuries, homicide and suicide.

So, all in all, the main point of Ocsober is to help our young people. But I see that it can have powerful effects on the adult population as well.

Think about alcohol and your life. How often do you feel you need a drink? There are many tests out their on the internet that clarify quickly if you indeed have a drinking problem. One of the main problems with an alcohol problem though, is denial. It sneaks up on people, and is quite cunning in its ability to justify a big night. Again, only you can be the true judge of what effect alcohol has on your life, and what role modelling you may be presenting to your children. I think it is a valuable dialogue to have with each other.

Alcohol is such a crutch in society as a whole, and it is excused so much more readily than illegal drugs or smoking, yet is just as harmful, just as fatal or more. The glamorised alcohol campaigns by alcohol companies is atrocious and really sets our young people up for binge drinking and problem drinking early on. The seductive bottles, fancy wines and the indulgent lifestyle depicted by attractive, rich and successful people who seem to “wine and dine” all the time, with no repercussions whatsoever.This is not accurate at all. We all know that, right? Alcohol  does a lot more harm than good for anyone who drinks (I know what they say about a glass of red wine) but the dangers far outweigh the benefits, no matter what demographic you come from. We all have a liver, blood cells, and a pancreas, and no matter how much money or prestige we have, the effects of alcohol don’t seem to really give a stuff about what income bracket we find ourselves in. The alcohol industry is not that different from the fast food industry in that it sells itself through very misleading advertising. The main victims of this advertising are our young people who are not yet developed enough to make responsible decisions. The seductive advertising and social pressure is enormous. I speak from personal experience, as I fell deep into this trap myself in early adolescents. I have been on both sides of the drinking game. From seduction to destruction. Fine line. I’m sure I am not the only one. Anyone else feel like being candid?

The main reason I chose to write about this topic was to be a voice to mysSplitShire-0061elf and other parents about how our own choices affect our children. What we do, our behaviours, are far more influential than what we say. Children imitate us, and there is generally no differentiation between what behaviours they imitate. They just do what we do. We make choices every day that will impact the rest of our lives, and those around us. We have more influence and power than we think. We don’t have to buy into the masquerade of society and be brainwashed anymore. We can make conscious choices to live wide awake. Individually when we delve into our self- understanding we can determine how this applies to our lives, and collectively we can support each other in passionately wanting to give our children the best chance for their life. Both adults and children having clear heads, healthy bodies and courageous hearts….

So check out the website for the Ocsober campaign for more thorough information and how to sign up.

It seems like a win-win to me.

 

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