Ironically enough, I always research an article before I write it. I see if there are similar articles out there., find websites that might be helpful and generally try to get the biggest/ best picture of the situation I possibly can. What amazed me when researching for this was that there is a term for people who completely abstain from alcohol by choice. A fellow Odyssey writer mentioned the term when I was talking about my article and I did a bit of looking around. It's called being "Teetotal."

For some people not drinking because a choice they make for a specific reason. Maybe their health won't allow them to consume alcohol. Maybe they can't because it affects them badly. Perhaps they are a pregnant or breastfeeding woman and don't want to risk their child.

For whatever reason, choosing not to drink is a big thing.

It means if you go out with friends or family who are drinking, you actively choose water, soda, or another non-alcoholic beverage to consume. Personally, sweet tea is addictive and typically my choice of beverages. A ton of people will say that lessens the fun you have, but I happen to disagree. My life is full and amazing without alcohol.

You shouldn't need alcohol to have a good time. Having fun can happen without inebriation.

Enjoy a dance. Go to a party. Live life to the fullest, but don't compromise yourself to do so. If drinking puts you in a bad place, make the choice to not drink. Make yourself the designated driver when out with friends if that is the only way to stop you from drinking.

I did drink. Once. I got so drunk I still to this day do not remember what happened that night. Needless to say, I hated it. I hated feeling so bad with a hangover the next morning, but more than that, I hated the loss of control consuming alcohol places on people. Too much to drink and people act ridiculous. Things go wrong.

Occasionally, I'll have a sip of something someone else is drinking, but I don't actually consume a full drink myself. The last time I did even that was over a year ago. I prefer to have my wits about me at all times and know the decisions I am making are my own, not because of what I have drunk.

To me, alcohol is a drug.

It does what most drugs do. It changes you. Ibuprofen is a drug that alleviates muscle aches. It changes the way your body responds to pain. Alcohol, on the other hand, changes the way you think, feel, smell, taste, see, hear, and interact. It completely removes all your sense of self. You are no longer you, you are just a drunk person. I find it funny that I am always questioned about why I don't drink. Alcohol is the only drug you have to defend yourself for not taking. Society believes that we should all drink as long as we are legal. This is wrong in so many ways.

If you want to learn more about alcohol, it's effects or how you can stop drinking, please visit the following websites below.

Drug Abuse: Alcohol

Active Beat: When Alcohol Becomes A Problem

Drugs: Alcohol

Alcoholics Anonymous