Home » Excessive alcohol consumption is the third leading cause of preventable death in the US

Excessive alcohol consumption is the third leading cause of preventable death in the US

Social Drinking
Thinking of Others

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

Key Verse: Philippians 2:3-5

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus

Dr. Sheldon Gottlieb, MD, Director of the Diabetes-Heart Failure Program at John Hopkins Health Care, LLC, says, “Alcohol is a drug, the most widely available and most widely consumed drug in our culture.” Dr. Marvin Block, Chairman of the American Medical Association’s Committee on Alcoholism, confirms: “…(alcohol) a drug it is, in scientific fact.”

“OK,” many might say, “it’s a drug, but there are other drugs that people abuse, why pick on alcohol?” First, far and above all other drugs, it hurts our society. The George Washington University Medical Center reported that the estimated cost to our nation’s economy from accidents, health problems, crime, and lost productivity due to alcohol abuse is approximately $185 billion each year! Yes, that is $185 billion – with a B! That far exceeds all other drugs in their damage to our society…when added all together!

The United States Surgeon General in 2006, Richard H. Carmona, MD, stated that alcohol leads to more than 100,000 deaths each year in the United States. An MSNBC news report on September 24, 2004 stated that excessive alcohol consumption is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States and shortens the lives of these abusers by an average of 30 years. According to MADD, alcohol kills 6.5 times more young people than any other illicit drugs combined. Can sincere Christ followers make a case for supporting this industry even if they don’t abuse it?

“Father, grant me wisdom to gently and lovingly take a personal stand against anything that hurts people’s lives! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”


  1. Bill Fransee says:

    I have heard the argument about Christians NOT supporting “the industry” that produces alcohol. In my opinion, this begs the question, what about guns? Many Christians that I know have multiple guns and they continue to purchase more. The fact is that our country is also plagued by gun violence. Wouldn’t buying guns also support an industry that produces a product that kills and destroys lives? Of course, I anticipate the counter argument that guns save lives, protect individuals, etc. But one can also argue that recent studies prove that occasional/moderate consumption of wine/alcohol is actually “good” for cardiovascular health. So, where does one draw the line when there does not seem to be a definitive answer in the bible?

  2. Hey Bill,
    It is certainly true that there are a lot of things in this world that have some good and cause some harm. All of these things take discernment on the Christ Follower’s life. However, the government figures show that the destructive side of Alcohol cost the economy $249 Billion a year. That cost surpasses all other vices you can think of, including the gun industry. They also tell us that 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually (according to one study, on an average there are 12,000 gun homicides a year in the US). I don’t want to make the case that all “good” christians don’t touch alcohol. I do want to make the case that we all carefully look at the facts and decide what legacy our personal lifestyle will leave for our kids and grandkids. It’s my opinion too many people simply do what feels good for the moment, rather than what might be good in the long run. There are lots of great Christ Followers that social drink and I’m not wanting to suggest that they should think like I think.

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