They say one of three topics not to talk about in polite company are religion, politics, and money and the discussion of one of these subjects – religion – proved fatal for a Port St. Lucie, Florida man.
Tuesday night in Port Saint Lucie, Florida, the stakes were high after an alcohol fueled argument about religion, which led a man to shoot and murder his friend according to police reports. Alcohol abuse appeared to be the leading cause of the argument and murder after a night of heavy drinking of Red bull and Whiskey.
According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), the harmful use of alcohol is a global problem which compromises both individual and social development. It causes harm far beyond the physical and psychological health of the drinker, including the harm to the well-being and health of people around the drinker. Alcohol is associated with many serious social and developmental issues, including violence, such as murder, evidenced by the aforementioned incident in Port Saint Lucie.
How alcohol can make us aggressive?
“Alcohol reduces our ability to think straight,” says Professor McMurran, a psychologist at the University of Nottingham. “It narrows our focus of attention and gives us tunnel vision.”
”If someone provokes us while we’re drunk, we don’t take other factors into account, such as the consequences of rising to the bait. This can lead to violent reactions from people who would usually shrug things off,” McMurran added.
Alcohol also reduces anxiety, which can be one of the reasons we enjoy drinking. But, according to Professor McMurran, anxiety actually protects us by telling us to avoid or escape certain situations.
“When we’re drunk, this warning system doesn’t work and this can put us in dangerous or confrontational situations.”
The way we process information is affected when we’ve been drinking too. We’re more likely to misinterpret other people’s behavior and misread social cues. This could be the reason why so many drunken fights start over little more than a ‘dirty look’ or argument about religion while playing cards and drinking large quantities of Red Bull and Whiskey.
Alcohol, alcohol abuse and addiction accounts for 92% of domestic violence according to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Alcohol is associated with violence among family and friends, co-workers and strangers. Alcohol related accidental deaths include road driving while intoxicated, alcohol related road rage and wreck less driving, assault, assault with a deadly weapon, drug overdose, to name a few.
According to Karen Corcoran-Walsh, founder of Inspirations for Youth and Families Teen Rehab and the Cove Center for Recovery adult rehab, a substance abuse evaluation, psychiatric assessment, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) combined with a strong support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), provides a platform for success in recovering from alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction.
What is CBT?
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on exploring the relationship between an individual’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors. During CBT a therapist will actively work with a person to uncover unhealthy patterns of thought and how they may be causing self-destructive behaviors and beliefs. By addressing these patterns the person and therapist can work together to develop constructive ways of thinking that will produce healthier behaviors and beliefs. For instance, CBT can help someone replace thoughts that lead to low self-esteem (“I can’t do anything right”) with positive expectations (“I can do this most of the time, based on my prior experiences.”).
“If you believe someone has an alcohol abuse problem that is spiraling out of control – as a last resort, it may be prudent to have him or her enter a drug and alcohol treatment facility. By failing to act, can be the difference between someone committing a violent murder or recovering from a serious alcohol abuse problem,” said Walsh.