I was thinking about a nice email I got from Margaret. Last week, I was telling her about my dad. He was many things, but one was he was an alcoholic.
Alcoholism was difficult for me to understand as a kid. And for adults to understand too. One way to understand is to listen to the song Cherry Red Wine from Luther Alison (go ahead, Google him...). Luther had sadness, anger - desperation in his voice "sittin' here wonderin' what I can do". I received a great chunk of understanding from the book Stiffed (subtitle The Betrayal of the American Man) by Susan Faludi. Faludi tells us that men are victims of patriarchy too. And when men are unable to live up to the patriarchal mythology, they sometimes turn to drugs, alcohol or abuse.
We all possess a Constant Craving (listen to k.d. lang sing it). The craving is for love, joy and attention. We are social creatures. We evolved that way because that adaptation was beneficial. But drugs and alcohol also bind to those joy receptors in our systems and trick us into thinking we were getting what we need (listen to Cocaine, by J.J. Cale or Eric Clapton). Drugs and alcohol weren't around when we evolved to be social, loving creatures, so we aren't equipped to deal with the threat.
So we have to deal with drugs and alcohol in our conscious brains. We need to show people about the ecology of joy, and teach them about the false joy of drugs and alcohol.