What the Bible Says
About Alcohol Abuse
Alcoholism is an addiction, and although treatable, most alcoholics have an incredibly difficult time admitting
that they have a problem.
This also leads to loss of control, which means that once a person begins drinking alcohol, he or she cannot
control the amount of intake.
Israel was a wine-producing country. Because of this people had to be aware of the dangers of drinking too much
The Bible has very specific things to say about alcohol in particular and allowing anything or anyone other than
God to be in control of one’s life.
Alcohol and drunkenness is first mentioned in Genesis 9:20-29. Noah, who was a great hero of the faith, planted
a vineyard. When he decided to drink some of its wine, he could not control how much he drank and he ended up
One of his sons found him lying uncovered (naked) in his tent and mocked him. His other two sons covered him up
without looking at him and they were praised and blessed for that.
This story is believed to have been included in the Bible in order to show that godly people can still sin and
that their bad influences affect their families as well.
The second mention of alcohol in the Bible is in Esther 1:10-11.This story is told in an effort to show how
self-restraint and practical wisdom are weakened by too much alcohol and that poor decisions are made when people
are not thinking clearly.
This is the story of King Xerxes who was drunk from wine.
He commanded his servants to bring him Queen Vashti who was his wife to dance and show her body to him and his
group of visiting male dignitaries.
It was against Persian custom for women to appear in that way in front of groups of men and the Queen knew that
her husband was drunk and that was clouding his choices so she refused to come to him.
The King was angered and in his drunkenness thought that her refusal to come to him would mean that all women
would stand up against their husbands.
Because of this he sent through a new law that the Queen could no longer be in his presence and that all women
had to respect their husbands wishes and that every man would be ruler over his wife.
This completely changed his relationship with his wife, of course, and the relationships between men and their
wives all over the country.
Did You Know
Women process alcohol differently than men. Women who are alcoholics or even
occasionally drink too much alcohol face much greater health risks than men who drink the same
Women who drink will get drunk faster than men get and become addicted to alcohol
faster than men become. Although men are more likely to drink alcohol and drink in larger amounts,
gender differences in body structure and chemistry cause women to absorb more alcohol, and take
longer to break it down and remove.
In other words, upon drinking equal amounts, women have higher alcohol levels in
their blood than men, and the immediate effects occur more quickly and last longer. These
differences also make women more vulnerable to alcohol’s long-term effects on their
Research has shown that they also suffer the consequences of abuse-related
illnesses a lot quicker than men do. The effects on the
liver are more severe for women than for men and women have a higher risk of having alcohol-related
liver diseases such as cirrhosis and hepatitis. Proportionately, more women die of alcohol related cirrhosis
than men do.
Some alcohol-related illnesses that female alcoholics are at risk for include heart
disease, ulcers, reproductive problems, pancreatitis, memory loss, and
osteoporosis. In the late stages of
alcoholism, women can develop hypertension, anemia, and malnutrition faster than men
according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Several recent research projects have determined that excessive alcohol consumption
in women can result in breast cancer and different cancers of the digestive tract.
A recent study showed that women who drink two to five alcoholic drinks per day
have a 41 percent increase in their risk of getting breast cancer. Research has shown that excessive drinking in women actually
causes the brain to shrink.
Proverbs 23:29-35 specifically gives instruction for people not to get drunk.
It talks about how people who get drunk have sorrow and strife in their lives.
To make wine an end in itself, a means of self-indulgence or as an escape from life is to misuse it and to
invite the consequences of the drunkard.
There are many alternatives to alcohol that can actually help a person to feel more
creative, less stressed, more confident and even warm.
Exercise is one activity that can help relieve stress and help a person deal with his or her
The soothing comfort of alcohol is only temporary.
Real relief comes from dealing with the cause of the problems that cause one to drink.
To drink initially is not such a bad thing but it is the lack of control that comes with drinking and
drunkenness that the Bible speaks against.
Drunkenness causes irresponsibility and poor decision making that leaves people with a lifetime of
consequences to deal with.