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Is Country Music Causing Alcoholism?

Is Country Music Causing Alcoholism?

Beer drinking, truck driving and more beer drinking. This article appeared on Fox today regarding the songs our beloved country singers write about one very addictive substance – alcohol. There are so many country songs about drinking. Allow me to list a few:

  • Beer Money, by Kip Moore
  • Beer For My Horses, by Toby Keith
  • Beer With Jesus, by Thomas Rhett
  • Beer Thirty, by Brooks and Dunn
  • Beer in Mexico, by Kenny Chesney
  • Beer Run, by Garth Brooks
  • Billy’s Got His Beer Goggles On, by Neal McCoy
  • There’s A Tear In My Beer, by Hank Williams Jr.

And these are just the ones with the actual word BEER in the title of the song. The article goes on to talk about recent alcohol-related incidents at concerts. People drinking too much, getting into fights, underage drinking, drinking and driving – even one horrendous incident of a young girl being raped. Is this country music’s fault? I think so. It isn’t all country music’s fault. But they sure do make heavy beer drinking sound like fun, don’t they? Take a look at these lyrics by famous country star, Dierks Bentley: Gotta have some cold beer with my country music Gotta have my baby rockin’ with me to it Just like this old guitar’s gotta have its six strings Like an empty shot glass gonna need some whiskey Some things just go hand in hand Yeah and for guys like me that’s country and cold cans So grab a Bud Light or Bud Heavy From the cooler in the bed of my Chevy Doing 12 ounce curls, listening to Merle Haggard y’all It just makes me happy, are you with me Not only does country music mean you have to drink, you have to do it with your baby. Oh yeah, and be sure to be listening to country music, with your baby, and drinking 12 oz beers – IN YOUR TRUCK. I hear the police love to find you doing “12 ounce curls,” while in your vehicle. Don’t forget, you have to drive home after those “curls,” don’t you? Do me a favor and don’t. Do yourself a favor too – and don’t. It would be irresponsible of me to say that ALL alcoholism is directly related to a Dierks Bentley song. Or any country song for that matter. Alcoholism is comprised of many, many factors. Scientists say there are specific genetic factors which may make some people more likely to become addicted to alcohol, as well as other substances. People who have a family history of addiction are at higher risk for abusing alcohol. Alcoholics are six times more likely than non-alcoholics to have blood relatives who are alcohol dependent. Additionally, the alcoholic may have a problem with self-esteem, anxiety, depression, or some other mental health problem.  Drinking alcohol temporarily eases these issues.  Sobriety forces one to deal with them. Many choose to drink instead of face their challenges. Also, stress hormones are linked to alcoholism. If our levels of stress or anxiety are high, some of us may consume alcohol in an attempt to blank out the upheaval. Military service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are likely to experience post-traumatic stress disorder and alcohol use disorders simultaneously, according to researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. But did you know this? In some countries, alcohol is portrayed as a glamorous, worldly and cool activity. Many experts believe that alcohol advertising and media coverage of it may convey the message that excessive drinking is acceptable. The Royal College of Physicians is asking for a European Union ban on alcohol advertising to protect children. Are we one of those countries? Why don’t we ask country music what they think? Maybe one of these talented songwriters can write a song about what really happens when you drink too much alcohol. Maybe they can write about getting so drunk that you crashed your car into a telephone pole and then it flipped three times into a ditch – and remember none of it. Maybe they can write about the next morning withdrawal shakes and moodiness. Maybe they can write about losing their spouses and children and jobs because they just can’t stop drinking. Doesn’t sound like much fun now, does it? Like I said, I’m not here to blame country music for the high rate of alcoholism in America, entirely. But surely these songwriters can see how glamorizing drinking doesn’t help. Alcoholism is real. And for many, it starts with that first beer. Let’s be careful what we write about, what we romanticize, and consider the consequences of our words. And when you hear those lyrics, or your peers telling you just to have one more beer, or even your own mind trying to convince you that you can stop after just one drink – remember this – you were created to rise above circumstances. Not be a slave to them. Sounds like a great start to a country music song to me. Thanks for reading and be safe.