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Wayne Post
  • JOEL FREEDMAN: “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” glamorize drinking

  • As entertaining as the popular ABC programs, “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” may be, I don’t like the way the programs attempt to glamorize drinking alcohol.

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  • As entertaining as the popular ABC programs, “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” may be, I don’t like the way the programs attempt to glamorize drinking alcohol.
    Dating and romance are linked to endless rounds of cocktail parties. Whether they are on dates or waiting for dates, the contestants are usually drinking. After each rose ceremony, while the contestants who don’t receive a rose go home with broken hearts, the remaining contestants and the bachelor or bachelorette resume drinking.
    As a result, some contestants become obnoxious. One bachelor contestant was kicked out of the mansion before the rose ceremony. Many contestants can’t drink safely on or off the program. Several years ago, one woman who won the bachelor’s heart was later arrested for public intoxication.
    We don’t see the participants smoking tobacco or marijuana or using other drugs other than alcohol. Why is alcohol abuse glamorized? While alcohol is liquid and legal, it is still a drug that is responsible for about 85,000 deaths per year among Americans. Alcohol is the leading cause of death among Americans age 15 to 24. For at least 20 million Americans, alcohol is highly addicting.
    The overall problem of alcohol abuse has reached crisis proportions. Considering its relationship to suicide, violence and crime, to family disruption and broken homes, to highway casualties, to job loss and absenteeism, to poverty and to psychological and medical ailments, the human and economic costs of alcohol abuse are enormous.
    Millions of Americans regularly consume alcohol for relaxation, entertainment or whatever, using this drug as a social lubricant to have a good time. “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” perpetuates the myth that people can drink their way to happiness. I suspect that many of the young people seeking romance and true love on these programs would prefer to be sober, but drink because they believe they are expected to drink.
    During my lifetime, I have witnessed our country, with regard to cigarette smoking, transform from a smoking society to a mostly non-smoking society. During the 1970s, most American adults smoked. Today, most American adults are non-smokers. Now it’s time to change from a drinking to a mostly non-drinking nation.
    The CAGE screening test can help you determine if you or somebody close to you may have a problem with alcohol. Answer yes or no to the following questions: Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking? Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking? Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking? Have you ever had an eye-opener (a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover)?
    One “yes” response indicates a possible alcohol problem. A “yes” response to more than one question indicates a probability of a drinking problem. Consider calling 211 (Lifeline) for help with alcohol abuse.
    Page 2 of 2 - As for “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette,” it would be nice if, during the next season, no alcoholic beverages are served. Fruit and vegetable juices, club soda with lemon or lime, or other non-intoxicating beverages should be substituted for alcohol.
    I’d be willing to bet the show would become more enjoyable for both the participants and the viewers.
    If any participants claim inability to refrain from alcohol, they should be counseled to seek help for a drinking problem before they seek romance.
    Joel Freedman of Canandaigua is a retired Canandaigua VA Center social worker who provided counseling and other social work services for many veterans with alcohol problems. Freedman is a frequent Messenger Post contributor.
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