On Tuesday, Feb 13, 2018, the Georgia Senate voted in favor of Senate Bill (SB) 17 allowing on-premises alcohol consumption to begin at 11:00 a.m. on Sundays while keeping off-premise sales, such as the ones at supermarkets, to remain illegal until 12:30 p.m. on Sundays, across the state. Called the “brunch bill”, it will allow Georgians to purchase alcohol at the state’s restaurants and wineries on Sunday mornings.
While the original legislation allowed including grocery stores in the establishments that would be allowed to sell alcohol from 11:00 a.m. on Sundays, the provision was stripped off and added wineries to the list of businesses that are allowed to sell alcohol before noon. Although the bill was passed by the Senate, it is yet to pass the House. However, even if the bill passes the House, the local counties get to decide whether or not to allow the earlier sale of alcohol.
Even though there was a lot of opposition to the bill, it had its share of supporters too, including the restaurant industry.
Among those opposing the bill is Senator Bill Heath, who says that most of the problems that the legislators are called to fix are rooted in alcohol abuse. According to Senator William Ligon, while the state of Georgia stands for “wisdom, justice and moderation,” the state appears to be losing its moderation when it comes to alcohol consumption. Taking a middle stand is Senator Jeff Mullis who says that even though he is personally against expanding alcohol sales statewide, he is in favor of the bill as it gives the local communities the ability to decide whether to allow earlier alcohol sales or not.
Alcohol and its risks
There is a reason why alcohol consumption is a matter of concern for many. While it may be considered to be nothing more than a pleasant way to relax by some, excessive drinking could cause major health problems, which might even be life threatening. A slew of risks factors is associated with drinking alcohol. Excessive drinking increases:
- The risk of injury or being involved in an accident, including fatal motor vehicle crashes, trauma injuries and sexual assaults.
- The risk of incurring serious physical diseases including gastrointestinal problems, cardiovascular problems, liver diseases, sexually-transmitted infections due to unsafe sex and several types of cancer.
- The risk of birth-related defects, harm the fetus and lead to still births.
- The risk of alcohol use disorders (AUDs).
- The risk of incurring mental health illnesses ranging from depression to suicide.
In addition to causing a host of mental and physical problems, drinking alcohol in excess can lead to a host of problems including interference with work, school or normal daily functioning. Alcoholism can be termed as a chronic disease, for which a comprehensive treatment would involve medically assisted detox, followed by psychotherapy under the guidance of trained medical health professionals.
Help is available
Alcohol is undoubtedly a leading cause of deaths in the U.S. and is a public health crisis as an estimated 88,000 lives are lost each year in America because of alcoholism. Long-term alcohol abuse poses a great challenge to an individuals’ physical, mental, and emotional well-being. When left untreated, alcohol abuse can lead to addiction that puts its user at risk of serious medical consequences.
If you know someone struggling with addiction to alcohol, it is advisable to get professional treatment and support. At the 24/7 Alcohol Abuse Help, we can help you learn more about the best treatment services in your area and help you or your loved ones get connected to the specialist treatment centers. Call us at our 24/7 alcohol abuse helpline number (866) 480-6873 to get to know the finest treatment centers for alcohol addiction near you. You can even chat online with our representatives for further assistance.