An international repository for alcohol related problems

· Christianity, Islam

They ask thee concerning wine and the game of hazard. Say: ‘In both there is great sin and also some advantages for men; but their sin is greater than their advantage.’ And they ask thee what they should spend. Say: ‘What you can spare.’ Thus does Allah make His commandments clear to you that you may reflect. (Al Quran 2:220)

O ye who believe! wine and the game of hazard and idols and divining arrows are only an abomination of Satan’s handiwork. So shun each one of them that you may prosper. Satan desires only to create enmity and hatred among you by means of wine and the game of hazard, and to keep you back from the remembrance of Allah and from Prayer. But will you keep back?
(Al Quran 5:91-92)

The Holy Quran acknowledges that there is some good in alcohol but the problems far outweigh the advantages.
Since 1982 more than half a million people have died in alcohol related driving accidents in USA alone.[1]

Medvedev plans drink-driving crackdown

Moscow traffic

Road accidents are common on Moscow’s busy streets

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has announced a zero tolerance policy on drink-driving – a major cause of death among Russian men.

“I believe that consuming alcohol before driving should be banned,” he said, speaking live on Russian TV.

“I will make corresponding amendments to the law.”

Heavy drinking and related traffic accidents are seen as one of the main reasons why one in three Russian men dies before retirement age.

In a wide-ranging end-of-year interview, Mr Medvedev said “we are not ready yet for allowing consumption of alcohol – even small, limited amounts of it – before driving.”

“We are not very accurate drivers as it is, and after a glass people completely lose their heads. Besides, we do know how people (in Russia) usually drink: a glass at first – that is allowed now, isn’t it? – then two, and three, and finally ‘okay, let’s roll’.”


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  1. Zia H. Shah

    Germans want absolute ban on drink-driving
    The poll, conducted by Emnid for the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, showed 77 percent of those asked wanted to see the blood alcohol level at which people are allowed to drink, reduced to zero.

    Men feel less strongly on the matter, with 68 percent of them in favour of an absolute ban. Of the women questioned, a massive 85 percent were in favour.

    The European parliament voted in favour of a rule for newly qualified drivers and professional drivers to be banned from drinking and driving. This should be achieved by all new cars being fitted with breath-test equipment which would prevent a driver with alcohol on their breath being able to start the engine.

    The move is just one of many in an attempt to reduce the number of people killed on Europe’s roads each year. Another is to push down the speed limit in all residential areas to 30 kilometres an hour.

    More than 35,000 people are killed in road accidents across the European Union each year, while a further 1.5 million people are injured. The cost is estimated to be around €130 billion a year.

  2. Zia H. Shah

    Prevalence of alcohol blackouts
    Department of Psychiatry, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina conducted a survey on this issue.

    The authors conducted an e-mail survey of 772 college students to learn more about their experiences with blackouts. Approximately half (51%) of those who had ever consumed alcohol reported they had experienced a blackout at some point in their lives, and 40% had experienced 1 in the year before the survey. Among those who drank in the 2 weeks before the survey, nearly 1 in 10 (9.4%) had experienced a blackout during that period. Many later learned that, during the blackout, they had vandalized property, driven an automobile, had sexual intercourse, or engaged in other risky behaviors. Experiencing 3 or more blackouts was associated with a variety of other experiences, including heavier drinking, lower grades, an earlier age of drinking onset, and having others express concerns about their drinking. The female students who reported blackouts during the 2 weeks before the survey drank far less than male students did during this time period, supporting the use of gender-specific definitions of risky drinking.

    J Am Coll Health. 2002 Nov;51(3):117-9, 122-31.

  3. Zia H. Shah

    Alcohol and Gambling Make Poor Economic Sense
    In 2006, Americans aged 15 years or over consumed, on average, 2.3 gallons of ethanol. The trend over the past decade is an alarming one: per capita alcohol consumption in 1997 was 2.1 gallons, and rose steadily every year since then. Although the price of distilled spirits fell over the same period, the final price for the consumer, mainly due to governmental taxes and tariffs, went up progressively.
    The cost of alcohol, however, runs much deeper than its retail value. It can exert a tremendous negative effect on the physical, moral, and spiritual fibers of both an individual and the collective society. Alcohol’s effect on personal and national economy makes a sobering reading. Whether it is health care expenditures, loss of productivity, or criminal activities related to alcohol, the country’s finances suffer hugely every year. According to the 1998 statistics (the latest dataset available), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimated an annual economic loss of $184.6 billion related to alcohol abuse alone.

    Here is an article by Dr. Manzurul A Sikder:

  4. Zia H. Shah

    Famous historian Arnold J Toynbee about Islam and alcohol
    Let me share a writing by Arnold J Toynbee about influence of Islam in curing alcohol dependence. He was a very famous historian in his time. Encyclopedia Britannica online has the following to say about Toynbee:

    “Arnold J Toynbee was an English historian whose 12-volume A Study of History (1934–61) put forward a philosophy of history based on an analysis of the cyclical development and decline of civilizations that provoked much discussion.”

    The essence of Toynbee meta-history is that civilizations thrive and survive on the basis of their ideas. He was not particularly fond of Islam, but he counts two major strengths of Islam over the Western civilization, namely prohibition of alcohol and human equality in Islam. He had the following to say about Islam and alcohol:

    “As for the evil of alcohol, it is at its worst among primitive populations in tropical regions which have been ‘opened up’ by Western enterprise; and, though the more enlightened part of Western public opinion has long been conscious of this evil and has exerted itself to combat it, its power of effective action is rather narrowly limited. Western public opinion can only take action in such a matter by bringing its influence to bear upon Western administrators of the tropical dependencies of Western powers; and, while benevolent administrative action in this sphere has been strengthened by international conventions, and these are now being consolidated and extended under the auspices of the United Nations, the fact remains that even the most statesmanlike preventive measures imposed by external authority are incapable of liberating a com¬munity from a social vice unless a desire for liberation and a will to carry this desire into voluntary action on its own part are awakened in the hearts of the people concerned. Now Western administrators, at any rate those of ‘Anglo-Saxon’ origin, are spiritually isolated from their ‘native’ wards by the physical ‘color bar’ which their race-consciousness sets up; the conversion of the native’s soul is a task to which their competence can hardly be expected to extend; and it is at this point that Islam may have a part to play.”

    A little bit later in the same chapter:

    “In two of these tropical regions, Central Africa and Indonesia, Islam is the spiritual force which has taken advantage of the opportunity thus thrown open by the Western pioneers of material civilization to all comers on the spiritual plane; and, if ever the ‘natives’ of these regions succeed in recapturing a spiritual state in which they are able to call their souls their own, it may prove to have been the Islamic spirit that has given fresh form to the void. This spirit may be expected to manifest itself in many practical ways; and one of these manifestations might be a liberation from alcohol which was inspired by religious conviction and which was therefore able to accomplish what could never be enforced by the external sanction of an alien law.
    Here, then, in the foreground of the future, we can remark two valuable influences which Islam may exert upon the cosmopolitan proletariat of a Western society that has cast its net round the world and embraced the whole of mankind; while in the more distant future we may speculate on the possible contributions of Islam to some new manifestation of religion.”

    Click to access Islam-the-West-and-the-Future-200911.pdf

    Arnold J Toynbee. Islam, the West, and the future. This is a chapter of a book by Arnold J Toynbee, Civilization on Trial, published by Oxford University Press 1948.

  5. Zia H. Shah

    Binge drinking in colleges
    Nearly half of America’s 5.4 million full-time college students abuse drugs or drink alcohol on binges at least once a month, according to a new study that portrays substance and alcohol abuse as an increasingly urgent problem on campuses across the nation.
    Alcohol remains the favored substance of abuse on college campuses by far, but the abuse of prescription drugs and marijuana has increased dramatically since the mid-1990s, according to the study released today by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.

    By searching on Google the topic, ‘binge drinking in college,’ I came with 350,000 articles. Reading one a day will take me almost a thousand years.

  6. Zia H. Shah

    Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report for USA
    Islam obviously has several clear distinctions over Christianity and the Western civilization. These are the three contenders for the world-view of the future. The West uses ‘Christianity’ and ‘Western civilization’ interchangeably, depending on the occasion and need.

    Let this knol or thread be devoted to the favor that Islam has done to humanity by prohibiting alcohol. Please also cite references so it becomes an international repository on this issue. Here is what I read today:

    “Dangers of alcohol. Excessive alcohol use is the third leading lifestyle-related cause of death in the United States every year, according to the CDC.

    ‘Nearly a quarter of general hospital admissions in the country are either directly or indirectly related to alcoholism,’ said Lewin, who added that alcohol is responsible for 50% of all liver-disease related deaths in the United States.

    The total direct cost to the health care system from alcohol-related health problems is about $45.5 billion, according to industry reports. ‘On top of that is the indirect costs to society from lost work productivity and driving fatalities,’ Lewin said.”…ion=2009110304

  7. Zia H. Shah

    An article from Review of Religions
    Review an article by Dr. Latif A Qureshi – Edinburgh. The Impact of Alcohol on Society. Review of Religions, January, 2004:

    It is estimated that in UK alone it is responsible for a range of alcohol-related problems. It is linked to up to 22,000 premature deaths each year and is costing the country up to £20 billion a year.


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