In the African American community, we have had to deal with a huge amount of economic disparity for a whole lot of years. Sadly, part of this financial depression has led many of us to venture into an assortment of vices as roads to escape our depressing lots in life. In the sixties, seventies, eighties, etc.,  the demons of choice were very serious illegal drugs, but in the midst of those times, and even now there has also been a number of us who’ve had problems with drinking. Many of us literally attempt to drown our sorrows in vodka, gin, tequila, rum and cognac (and sometimes, even a case or two of beer). These libations of varying brands and price points have become a crutch for those of us with a little money, as well as for those of us with quite a few coins to rub together.

Although at the higher end of the spectrum, we look at ourselves as just having fun or enjoying a martini or three (living like the other half lives), we often rep this happy exterior as a cover for our real problems with drinking. Just because we’re better off, doesn’t mean it’s not a problem.

Now back to the drowning of sorrows in the economically challenged areas; aside from all of the damage that a constant barrage of alcohol can inevitably cause (like liver disease, kidney failure, car accidents, reckless sexual activity and increased depression), the mere slump into addiction can become a barrier to any advancement in life — all by itself — creating a devastating downward spiral cycle of drinking because I’m unhappy and I’m unhappy because I’m drinking.

This is just a little message of caution before going down that road, and don’t think that just because you’re only a social drinker, and just like to get a little wasted every now and then — that you’re not on that path; it can grab you with no warning, and then you’ll be sitting trying to figure out where you are and how you got there. –mark anderson