ALCOHOLISM IN THE MODERN AGE

Statistics show alcohol addiction continues to kill

Every day, more than 270 Americans die from excessive alcohol consumption. According to the site Alcohol Addiction, 100,000 people die annually due to alcohol abuse and events that stem from excessive drinking.

Most children and adults who become problem drinkers begin drinking socially and sparingly until it becomes more and more integral in their everyday lives.

Consider the following facts about modern alcoholism:

  • 3 million teens between ages 14 and 17 are problem drinkers.
  • 1 in 13 adults abuse alcohol or are alcoholic.
  • 43% of adults claim to have an alcoholic in their family.
  • Alcohol abuse in the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

As a society, Americans have become comfortable with alcohol use. A survey conducted by The Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that slightly more than half of the adults asked are considered to be regular drinkers, meaning they consume more than 12 alcoholic drinks a year.

Ted Harrison, a counselor with Wauona Consulting and Training in Chaska, Minn., says that it’s the inert trust and comfort members of society feel toward alcohol that makes it such an easy drug to overuse.

“There are politically correct and politically incorrect addictions,” Harrison said. “Alcohol is a politically correct addiction. There’s almost a pride in it for some. One by one, priorities get set aside until all that’s left is the focus of the addiction.”

Harrison likens it to a switch that goes off in people who abuse alcohol that turns them into full-fledged alcoholics. Once that happens, the only option is complete abstinence from any intoxicant.

“There are two types of people who say alcohol is not a problem,” Harrison said. “Alcoholics and people who don’t have a problem with alcohol.”

The website Alcoholism Facts gives a succinct definition of alcoholism:

Dependence on alcohol where there is always a strong need or craving to drink is known as alcoholism. When this craving for alcohol is indulged, it leads to loss of control where the person lacks the ability to limit his drinking. He becomes physically dependent such that if he doesn’t consume alcohol, he goes into withdrawal symptoms like sweating, shaking, nausea, and even anxiety. Without help, a person addicted to alcohol will build a tolerance for the substance wherein he needs to drink greater amounts in order to get high.

Paul Kurr is a recovering alcoholic who has been sober for more than four years. The following video tells his story:

For people who have legitimate concern as to whether or not they are alcoholic, Harrison says the easiest way to tell is how they react to a month of sobriety.

“If you stop drinking for 30 to 45 days, an alcohol abuser will feel better,” Harrison said, “but an addict will feel worse, because this will be the lowest point of their detox.”

Harrison also believes society has come a long way in providing assistance and resources for addicts who recognize their disease.

“There was a time when, if you were diagnosed as an alcoholic, it was a curse of death,” Harrison said. “Now there are AA and 12 step programs all over and, though they’re not treatment, they can help in getting people sober.”

The website AlcoholScreening.org has put together a test that people can take to help determine whether their drinking has reached a point where they need assistance.

Ultimately, Harrison says that it is up to society to address the growing problem of alcohol addiction.

“We are raised in a culture of addiction,” Harrison said, “whether it’s alcohol, drugs or money. People buy t-shirts will beer advertisements and then give them to their kids.”

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STEVE DiMEGLIO TO SPEAK AT MSU, MANKATO

SPORTS WRITER WILL ATTEND ALMA MATER’S MEDIA DAY

Contact: Scott Wilking
Phone: 507-555-1234
Email: scott.wilking@mnsu.edu
Twitter: @sawilking

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

MANKATO, MINN.–Senior Golf Writer for USA Today, Steve DiMeglio, is returning to the place where it all began. He will be attending Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Media Day, where he will give a speech titled “Mickey Mantle’s on Line 1, Steve!” It will takes place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium.

The presentation will address DiMeglio’s journey from editor at the MSU Reporter to the White House to the house that Ruth built to his current role as a golf reporter for one of the most respected newspapers in the world.

“He was absolutely the most dedicated sports editor our paper has ever had,” said Ellen Mrja, a professor in the Mass Media department. “His sports pages were more than scores. They were interesting, informative and consistently outstanding.”

The event is being financed by the Nadine B. Andreas Foundation. There will be no charge for attending.

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THE AUDACITY OF AUDACITY

Learning how to use Audacity was incredibly simple for me, because I have a wealth of experience with more sophisticated audio editing programs, like Adobe Audition. Still, considering it’s a free program, Audacity is an incredibly useful tool for anyone looking to utilize audio sound bites in a multimedia presentation.

Getting Started in Audio Editing
is a tutorial by Mindy McAdams that covers all of the necessary basics for novices of audio editing. I didn’t have the luxury of a tutorial when I began editing my band’s music, so I had to teach myself all the ins and outs of editing sound, which resulted in a lot of trial-and-error (as well as crappy sounding finished products).

Here is some advice for those new to audio editing:

  • Learn the basics — Knowing how to cut, paste and trim within an audio file are a prerequisite to everything else.
  • Take your time — There are infinite edits you can make, and you’ll never find what you’re looking for if you don’t try different ideas.
  • Feel free to experiment — Some of the best things I’ve produced have happened completely by accident.
  • Don’t get frustrated — It can be very tedious, but there is no better feeling than listening to a finished product that sounds great.

Learning about how to recover from mistakes and how to zoom in on a small sample of your audio file are critical for establishing a comfort level with audio editing. Once you have the basics down, then the fun can really begin; using effects and filters in creative ways can truly enhance your sound files.