Alcohol, exceeding the limit |

Alcohol, exceeding the limit

Eloisa Duarte
Staff Photo |


Leer esto en español.

One Sunday at 12:15 p.m. in an important intersection of Highway 82, my family and I witnessed a horrible accident. In seconds what seemed a calm and joyful day changed gray because one man ran the red light.

There were two scenes. In one a woman suffered death rattles due to the impact of the collision, and on the other side was a young man sitting behind the wheel crying over what he had caused. He was intoxicated by alcohol.

I will never know what happened before the collision, but I imagine that this woman drove calmly without imagining that in the near future she would die due to the irresponsible actions of a drunken driver.

It happened to her, but it could have as easily happened to anyone that passed through that intersection. Thousands of lives are taken daily in our country due to accidents caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. The statistics are overwhelming.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, consuming a safe amount of alcohol is one drink for women and two for men, making it clear that this should be occasional and not an average of consecutive days.

The difference between a social drinker and someone with a dependency of alcohol is that the first one consumes one or two drinks in a sporadic manner, while the other needs to drink daily.

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, causing very serious problems when it is consumed in excess or when it becomes a dependency; among the potential effects are disintegration of family, homicides, suicides and terminal illness.

The accident that we witnessed made me feel a lot of pain and desperation because I saw the innocent woman’s rapid progression to death, and at the same time I felt compassion, frustration and sadness toward the unknown future of the young man due to his bad decision. In a matter of seconds he committed reckless homicide.

Motivated by this tragedy I wrote a letter to my son that maybe you would like to share with your children or with someone that is important with you.

Dear son:

If at one point you consider abusing alcohol you should know that with one too many drinks you could destroy you life, and alcohol in excess will be your door to the world of drugs, from there they all have easy access.

Drinking large quantities of alcohol won’t make you popular, and it won’t make you happy, it will make you dependent on it. If you are not capable of understanding that one or two drinks are enough, then don’t even drink.

Statistics indicate that an alcoholic has a high probability of suicide, of committing a homicide or having a sickness related to the consumption of this depressant.

If you drink in excess, you will face situations with the law, you will make many mistakes, because too much alcohol will hinder your skills for making good decisions.

By drinking alcohol daily, you will risk drunken driving, you will possibly become a violent person and it will be hard to find a stable job.

You will think that all your loved ones have turned their backs on you, but in reality it’s that the shadow of alcohol will diminish your relationships and the good people in your life will go away.

One of the hardest challenges a human being will face is forming a family and keeping it strong, united and happy; however it is a mission almost impossible if you live a life in which alcohol is at the center.

If alcohol rules your life, you will be able to build a house, but not a home where there is peace, financial stability and harmony.

Too much alcohol will disturb your mind and spirit and make you feel brave when in fact you would be driving a life lost in delusion.

And to finish, I want to tell you that when you came into this world you brought the brightness of life and the light of hope; do not allow dependency on alcohol to bring you close to death.

Conserve the brightness of life so you can enlighten with happiness your family members — this will be your greatest harvest at the end.

Love, Mom.

Addictions are the greatest threats of the moment, but there is always the hope for change.

I do not know your situation, but I am convinced that love, temperance, goodness, self control and courage that lie in you can turn into a winner in the fight against the destructive claws of the alcohol.

You can find Alcoholic Anonymous groups across the valley. If you are interested call 970-245-9649 or 970-379-5592 for Spanish. Carbondale is the only community that offers AA meetings in Spanish.

Our ecosystem of hope is the testimony of all the courageous men and women that day by day win the battle against alcohol and addictions clinging in some cases to the love of their families, to God, to support groups, to medical science or to a combination of all these.

If you are struggling, is easy to find somebody able to help you, what really matters is that you embrace the desire to do it; could be a purpose that would transform your life.

Please, be strong and courageous to do it, it’s worthy.

Eloisa Duarte has been a volunteer in many community projects. She has a degree in communications and a passion for education. Her column appears on the third Thursday of each month. Reach her at

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