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How to get people engaged in sobriety?
This lecture was given on April 17 of 2012 in the town of Lyudinovo, Kaluga oblast; it can be useful for the speakers that advocate sobriety in other groups.
In the article "We will die out if we do not get sober" (Vest’ newspaper from 28/07/95) Chief Narcologist of the oblast reported that in 1985 in Kaluga the had one case of delirium tremens a year, and in 1995 they had 20 such cases each day(!). I was surprised to find out that the doctors themselves smoke and drink while attempting to make decisions about how to deal with these problems. For example, at an NLP seminar in Zelenogorsk all 50 participants (professional narcologists) smoked in the course of study and drank after classes.
In 2000 in Kaluga, doctors performed an open air on the radio on the problem of drug addiction, explaining the relevance of issue by the fact that "almost every day one drug addict is treated in an ambulance." At the same time 35 people call the ambulance every day on alcohol issues, but the problem of alcoholism is not considered important for some reason.
Having taken part in the conference of sober movement in Moscow, I understood that only sober people can solve the problem of PAV propagation in Russia. There I learned that there are branches of Sober Movement in the regions of Russia, that there is SBNT (People's Union of Struggle for Sobriety), whose leader academician Fedor Uglov, a famous surgeon, is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest operating surgeon. He has been working till the end of his life, and he was also actively involved in social work. He did not drink alcohol and did not smoke, and he died at 104.
I learned that since 1991 SBNT conducts seminars on sobriology (the science of sobriety), prevention, social pedagogy and alcology. I began to attend these seminars, and I saw their miraculous effect: people who were coming to the seminars changed their attitude towards tobacco and alcohol and left staunch teetotalers. The seminars are held every year from September 20 to 30.
At such seminar in 2003, the International Academy of Sobriety (IAS) has been founded.
In Kaluga, sober movement is receiving support from the media with sober leaders, such as newspapers "The Green Bell" and "Kaluga professional unions". Media where the leaders smoke and drink oppose the dissemination of information about sobriety and do not want to help overcome alcohol abuse and smoking (the newspapers "Znamya" and "Vest’"); they never print even the advertisements for the seminars The Sober Movement.
The seminars of The Sober Movement disseminate the following information on smoking, alcoholism and drug addiction:
1. The book "Choose Life" by Yury Sokolov provides data that demonstrate the scale of social destruction of our society (Picture 1). From this date, it follows that all our troubles are due to the destruction of moral with per capita consumption of 3 liters of alcohol per year, and to mental decay with 6 liters per person per year. At 19-20 liters per person per year (equivalent to 50-70 liters per year per every male), the health of society is completely destroyed. WHO estimates that alcohol consumption of 8 liters per person per year is a threshold at which the changes in the society are irreversible (the society dies out). By official date, the Russians drink 18 liters per person per year, but real number is even higher.
2. Yury Sokolov was an alcoholic who went through a course of G. Shichko. He then learned this method and started to help the addicts to get free from their addictions (to alcohol and tobacco). This method is used in many parts of Russia. The Shichko method is based on presenting the information about these problems and on psychological work with the own self. The main condition is the sincere desire of a person to break free from addiction. The Shichko method has been improving, the ways of long-distance work have been designed; one such example is the successful work of Professor V. Grinchenko in the town of Yelets of Lipetsk oblast.
Picture 1. Social Diagnostics of Decline of a Society
One of the leaders of the Club of Sobriety in Nizhnekamsk is Yu. Morozov who also got sober by the method of Shichko (Picture 2).
Picture 2. Cover of the brochure by Yury Morozov
3. Tobacco also causes degradation, disruption of intellectual activity and physical illnesses. At the medical faculty of the Rostov University, they analyzed the effect of smoking on the learning process. It was found that with the increase in dependence the academic performance is declining (the number of students who get "3" and "2" is growing, and the number of students who get "4" and "5" is decreased).
4. Alcohol and tobacco affect the health of future generations. Defenseless children pay for silly habits of adults, like addiction to alcohol (Picture 3).
Picture 3. Dependency of the number of handicapped children born from alcohol consumption
5. A woman is born with a certain number of eggs that do not change in her lifetime and that can not be restored. And no matter what age a girl causes damage to the egg, she can give birth to a disabled child.
6. In 1991, 1700 physicians from various special areas, in a letter to the Government wrote: "Why alcohol and tobacco, the drugs which in their destructive effect do not differ from other drugs such as morphine, opium, chloroform, ether, marijuana, and sweep damage in the tens and hundreds of times, still are not subject to the law against drug addiction? Maybe because they can be used to ruin more people, because they allow you to do dark and dirty things less noticeable to the deluded eyes? Is it not the time to stop attend to the mob, which profit from destruction of human life and health, from production and sale of alcohol and tobacco?" That is, work to overcome drug addiction must include alcohol and tobacco as well.
7. In his works Professor Krivonogov shows that Russia has been a sober country. Picure 4 shows that the losses from alcohol consumption exceed the revenue for a factor of ten.
Picture 4. Profit and losses from alcohol, billion rubles, 2006
8. Changes in the State Standard for alcohol (GOST) are very symptomatic and revealing.
Covering the threat
GOST 18300-72 (1972)
Par. 5.1 “Ethyl alcohol is a colorless flammable liquid with a characteristic odor; it is a potent narcotic drug that at first causes excitement and then paralysis of the nervous system”.
GOST 5964-82 (1982)
Par. 4.1 “Ethyl alcohol is a colorless flammable liquid with a characteristic odor; it is a potent narcotic drug”.
GOST 5964-93 (1993)
Par. 7.1 “Ethyl alcohol is a colorless flammable liquid with a characteristic odor”.
Excerpt from the Great Medical Encyclopedia, editor in chief: Academician B.V. Petrovsky. Moscow: The Soviet Encyclopedia Publishers. 1986, Vol. 28, pp. 372-373:
Ethyl alcohol (С2Н5ОН): colorless hygroscopic liquid burning taste, with characteristic odor.
Alcohol has narcotic and toxic effects on human body, after which comes sharp depression of the central nervous system. Even small doses lead to disruption of the major functions of the body and to severe damage to all organs and tissues, causing organic diseases of nervous and cardio-vascular systems, liver, gastrointestinal tract, leads to moral and mental degradation of the individual.
The question arises: why are we getting negative results if a large amount of time is dedicated to prevention of surfactants, publication of manuals, conducting events (round tables, classroom hours, lectures, drug treatment, etc.) and considerable financial resources are allocated for this work, with the wide involvement of doctors, educators, media, volunteers and the public? Number of smokers and drinkers are growing, their age is decreasing. How can we turn around this situation?
This question now concerns everybody in Russia, from the President to every citizen who wants to live in a prosperous country.
Briefly this question can be answered in the words of Vladimir Khoroshev, a doctor and former editor of the "Planet of Health" magazine: "What do you fight against, fiercely fighting against you. You must not tell people what not to do, but what to do!"
Here is an example: a demonstrational class hour for students of vocational school. The students listen to the lecture about alcohol, tobacco and life in prison. The boys from one of the schools have left in the middle of the event. They explained that they have "heard this all over 100 times." And to the question "What did you understand at this event?" one student replied: "I understand that alcohol is more harmful than tobacco, so it is OK to smoke".
We all want the children and teenagers to be sober, but why don’t we talk to them about abstinence rather than about what not to do?
Let us talk about advertisement. Advertisement is informing by any means about things that they want people to use, apply and consume. That means that by talking about tobacco, alcohol, drugs, and now about suicide, aggression and other negative phenomena, in reality we advertise them.
We can say that the Russians are killing themselves and Russia with their own hands.
For talking about sobriety the following leaflets would be good to use:
A. Live in sobriety means love oneself, love the children and love Russia.
B. Sobriety means a happy life!
So, for children and teenagers to be sober, they need to listen about sobriety see sober adults and understand the value of sober way of life. By the way, the majority of Russians vote for Sobriety.
THE MAJORITY OF RUSSIANS VOTE FOR SOBRIETY
On December 9, 2010 the TV channel Russia-1 hosted a combat between the partisans of drinking (people’s deputy Mr. V. Zvagel’sky) and partisans of sobriety (P. Bulryayev).
Voting of the spectators have shown that the vast majority votes for sobriety
For Sobriety / For Drinking
Eastern Siberia 2:1
Western Siberia 3:1
Central Russia 11:1 (55,000 people for sobriety, and 5,000 people for drinking).
It was nice to see that the host of the show Vladimir Solovyov has voted for sobriety!
NOW WE HAVE TO OVERCOME THE RESISTANCE OF THE ALCOHOL SELLERS!
‘Podsporye’ newspaper № 113, page 24, www.sbnt.ru.
Where to start sobering up? We must start with ourselves. There is a booklet that can be given out: "Start with Us"
Start with yourself!
Unprecedented spread of alcohol and tobacco in Russia led to the extinction of the population. Many, including the President, are willing to stop this process, and two ways are suggested for that:
The first way: to sober the country. Numerous community organizations in Russian regions, members of the Russian Public Movement "Sober Russia" follow this route. Members of these organizations lead sober and healthy lifestyle and encourage people to turn to sobriety. Only a sober Russia can become a great country, they say.
The second way: retain the right of adults to consume alcohol and tobacco, but encourage sobriety for children and youth. The purpose of this way consists in keeping the profits of alcohol and tobacco business and the right people to consume alcohol and tobacco, that is, the right for self-destruction. What can be achieved by moving along this path?
We know that kids look up to adults and sooner or later will be drinking and smoking, imitating adults. The fight against alcoholism and smoking of the children will turn into an endless waste of efforts, resources and time. In addition, preaching sobriety to children while drinking and smoking is hypocrisy, and alcohol and tobacco use will lead to the birth of weak, retarded, handicapped children, who are reduced to miserable conditions of life.
It is therefore clear that smokers and drinkers can not stop the extinction of the Russian people. And they do not have the moral right to get involved in this problem.
Yu. Sokolov, a prominent figure in the sober movement said very well of this: "We, the older generation have been fooled with the help of legal drugs: alcohol and tobacco. Weaker next generation is being duped and destroyed with the illegal drugs. And those who are on duty and must protect the country from the drug genocide shrug their shoulder helplessly, saying that it is incurable. Probably, they shrug the shoulder because they themselves have been fooled by legal drugs. "
So before you tackle the problem of sobering the society, we should get sober ourselves, each and every public person.
If we jointly concentrate our efforts on establishing sobriety, we will get quick positive results. And alcohol can be used for technical purposes.
(For the Russian Union of Youth)
Pupils of the school № 31»
International Convention on Tobacco Control states:
"Everyone has the right to breathe the smoke-free air!"
Protect yourselves and protect the children: remind everyone about this right!"
A good start for sobering up might be a seminar for executives of the oblast and city, educators and all the people concerned, conducted by experts of the International Academy of Sobriety.
For supporting sobriety, it is possible to use the following:
International Convention on Tobacco Control states:
"Everyone has the right to breathe the air free of smoke!"
Protect yourself and the children: remind everyone about this right! "
On the part of the school community with students:
To attract students to work on advocating sobriety among parents, acquaintances, friends, etc.
Use information from the web-sites www.sbnt.ru, www.intacso.ru (where there are materials prepared by Vladimir Zhdanov, professor of IAS and by Victor Krivonogov, professor, academician of IAS).
2. Print out and distribute the leaflets on sobriety.
3. Counteract the propaganda of immorality, drug abuse in their groups and teams (remove from the posters information and images of drugs, ask lecturers questions about sobriety and give them appropriate leaflets).
4. Change events “against drugs” into events “for healthy and sober lifestyle”.
5. Contact Public Chambers of the city, oblast, country with letters, proposals for dissemination of the positive experience of other regions and organizations that have achieved positive results. For example, to stop selling alcohol and tobacco products in grocery stores and tents, to prohibit smoking in the streets, to limit the time of sale of alcoholic products in two-three hours a day at certain stores, etc.
6. To make proposals to the leaders of the village, region, Russia (heads of administrations, the Governor, the President).
7. Use a textbook for students "Life is Beautiful" by A. Majurov, Ya. Majurov, N. Druzhinina. This handbook was printed in Kaluga as limited edition (100 copies). The manual covers the following topics: "Man is created for happiness," "Learn and play to develop the brain", "Tobacco fraud", "How not to become indifferent", "What determines health?", "Know how to control yourself" and other topics that promote a culture of health, that is, a sober healthy lifestyle.
In 2001, in a book series “Lessons in the culture of health” was published a book by Ye. Kakunina, T. Zhavoronok: "Health and happiness are in your hands!" (A book for students, parents and teachers).
The sobering work is already being done in the country.
On February 16-17 of 2012, at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior was held a Congress of the Cleircal and Public Council for the Protection from the alcohol threat.
On the first day of the congress Rev. Gerogy Balakin made a speech in which he noted that "only a united effort of the state, church, community, schools and media can turn back the tide of alcoholism in the country.
What can the Church do?
First and foremost: the Church can deal with preaching sobriety in the church environment. Sobriety is traditional for Orthodoxy. Wine in the language of the Bible and Orthodox Church tradition is not alcohol as such, but derivative of grapes and its purpose is to strengthen and nourish the body and not to intoxicate the mind.
Outside the church the church can (and should!) support sobriety.
Great educational value has a sober way of life of heads of state agencies, doctors, teachers, priests. The situation in the country can only begin to change when sobriety becomes popular among them.
And in general, for the approval of temperance we do not need to wait for someone to make useful power decisions, for alcoholics to stop drinking, for when awakens conscience of those who are interested in alcoholizing people and making money on that... We should not wait for this, but to confirm sobriety as the basis of normal life on earth, and as the beginning of salvation for eternal life!"
The normal state for men is sobriety. And now, in the parishes people are taking a vow of sobriety.
The modern definition of sobriety is: it is a freedom (or permanent abstinence) from alcohol, tobacco and other drugs plus the sanity of the mind.
The study of sobriety and related issues is done by the science of sobriety, sobriology.
In the Congress, representatives of the different regions of Russia have shared their positive experience.
The main initiative for public health improvement has been given to the regions with the promise of support from the top.
Example Mr. V. Telnov, the deputy Chief of Administration of the town of Ukhta, Komi Republic. He is sober for 6 years. He travels around the region with lectures, he is working with youth. Mr. Telnov advises to join anti-drug commissions at the municipal leaders. They often do not know what to do and they will gladly accept the offers to promote healthy lifestyle. So, at his suggestion the Chief Executive Committee has excluded MTV channel from the roster of free TV (MTV promotes all the things that demoralize the society).
Personality counts for a lot. Apply to the bodies of municipal authority and federal structure. There are no villains who only think about how to make people drunk.
One active teetotaler can do a lot.
"Our main weapon is activity. Do not be silent, as silence is killing Russia."
In Chechnya and Ingushetia alcohol problem is solved. They sell alcohol from 10 to 12 a.m. and only in special stores.
The best results are achieved where the heads of the local administration look into these issues personally, rather than entrust it to his assistants.
Komi Republic, Ukhta city. Sober activities are funded from the city budget, the work is done with journalists, there are plasma screens in every health facility which demonstrate public service announcements and documentaries of the Common Cause project. The result is clear improvement in many social indicators and the saying that "We are not ashamed of being sober; those who drink must be ashamed."
Kostroma oblast. Fines for selling alcohol to children raised to one million rubles (instead of three thousand). There is a permanent patrol operating, the sober governor is winning the court cases. The schools are holding sober graduation parties. The motto of the Governor Slyunyaev is: "It is impossible to persuade the evil to turn to good. It can only be made to do so."
Voronezh oblast. Anti-alcohol videos are shown before movies in movie theaters and on the lessons of life safety in schools. About 500 volunteers educate and engage youth in alternative activities. Federal Drug Control Bodies accompany all activities at schools. The result is reduced mortality, early identification of female alcoholism and registration of the troubled teens.
Kovrov City of Vladimir oblast. Street gymnastics is being introduced in the city; school graduation parties are sober for several years. Sober events are widely covered in local press and on television. The city is preparing to declare itself a sober area.
В.М. Пострелко, профессор (Киев)
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