Abstemium (from the Latin abstemius) is one who does not drink alcoholic liquids, such as wine or liquor. The concept is linked to who opts for abstinence (the voluntary renunciation of satisfying an appetite or pleasing a desire).
Abstinence, in general, can be linked to various types of waivers, such as having sex or eating certain foods. This decision may arise out of personal convictions (someone who abstains from eating animal foods, as happens with veganism) or for religious or cultural reasons (sexual abstinence in the case of the Catholic Church).
The term teetotaler, however, usually refers to those who do not consume alcoholic beverages. There are several reasons that can lead a person to abstain: consider alcohol to be a sin or a path to it, fear that drinking leads to an addiction (alcoholism), or observe the harm that alcohol causes in a person. loved one, are some of the reasons that explain why such a decision.
In a strict sense, some people consider abstainers to be those who have never drunk alcohol in their entire lives. From this point of view, subjects who have decided to stop drinking at a certain time or recovered alcoholics are not teetotalers.
The social consideration on teetotalers is diverse, although it must always be recognized that it is a personal decision. Some believe that teetotalers are fearful people who do not believe that they can control themselves when faced with a stimulus such as alcohol, while others congratulate the fortress for taking a similar position and not submitting to the pressure of society.
Being a teetotaler
Those who make the decision to stop drinking alcohol, whether they have never done so or who want to change their tastes, must face a difficult reality: society encourages us to drink. Beer, for example, is a symbol of group fun, happy moments with friends, celebration and adulthood, and its reach is global.
A normal person does not usually contemplate the possibility that the adults around him do not drink alcohol. This does not mean that teetotalers only encounter hostility; the problem is that there is no well-defined and respected space for them in the social structure to which we belong. In other words: not drinking alcohol is synonymous with being weird.
A similar phenomenon occurs with non-smokers, although their case is somewhat different. Firstly, tobacco contributes to environmental pollution in a very particular and direct way, and its consumption has been prohibited in bars and shops in many parts of the world, something that does not happen with alcohol, since it is not harmful unless ingested in gargantuan amounts.
To further accentuate the degree of exclusion that being a teetotaler implies in today’s society, when the media try to paint a picture of loneliness, they show a person drinking in the dark or lit by a sad lamp. The system does not allow teetotalers to be part of fashion trends, nor to enjoy going out with friends, but neither does it grant them the right to be alone, to have nobody to worry about them or who to worry about; because the system does not want them to exist.
And it is that just a few years ago, in 2010, the collection of the five largest alcoholic beverage companies in the world was around 230 million dollars. As in the case of tobacco, economic interests are stronger than the damages that these products can cause to the population, and when a person decides, for whatever reason, to step aside, he declares war on the industry.