Uncorked! Book Review

11 May 2015
Uncorked! Book Review

After carefully reading Uncorked! I am convinced I need to take action and alert everyone I can about the dangers and hazards of alcohol. This book has stirred me to realise I have probably neglected my duty of care. I have not even been aware of many of the issues involved. I have not spoken up to inform those people whom I have been responsible for about all the disastrous affects alcohol can cause on individuals, homes and society at large.

UncorkedSo my mission is clear-to share the up-to-date information and scientifically proven dangers of alcohol. Authors John Ashton and Ron Laura have spent 10 years monitoring the social and health impacts of alcohol. Uncorked! is based on extensive health and social research studies and clinical and community observation. Besides the impressive yet tragic statistics throughout the book, many stories of personal lives broken or hurt because of alcohol are included. The story of the young girl raped, bruised and battered found on a Sydney rubbish heap beside a stinking toilet, revolted, saddened and angered me. These stories are powerful reminders that the misuse and abuse of alcohol is appalling and costs Australia $A7 billion per year.

The 10 chapters are riveting reading and are supported by impressive current references. Uncorked! reveals evidence to show that alcohol is a poison, that alcohol even damages the reproductive system of young adults, it causes brain damage to the foetus, that alcohol causes women and men to be degraded, that alcohol causes most domestic violence, murders, broken bodies and homes. It shows that alcohol and families do not mix.

We have a responsibility to be informed and speak up for those who hurt and for those who don't know or care. Uncorked! gives the history of the mechanistic world view that has so permeated our culture. The authors remind us that we need "to become stewards of nature's resources and a caring partner in her life-giving systems. . . . It is only through exercising duty of care as a fundamental principle of society rather than self-interest that sustainable health and prosperity can be achieved, and the need for alcohol and drugs replaced by the joy of human relationships and love" (page 115).

Ashton and Laura suggest that society can no longer keep the needless pain and suffering of alcohol abuse hidden. Therefore they have suggested strategies society and governments should adopt to make people aware and obligated to respect humanity. Not enough has been said to promote the sense of informed choice that people can make. It is time to recognise we have a duty of care to our children from the foetus to adulthood and beyond. Uncorked! gives us the information and the guidelines to act.

Every school, church and home needs a copy of Uncorked! now. This is urgent.

Uncorked! is available on HopeShop

Joy Butler