By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – Did you see the video of the “fan” at Sunday’s Buffalo Bills game who decided it would be fun to slide down a handrail in the upper deck, a stunt that ended with him tumbling dozens of feet into the stands below, seriously injuring another spectator?

Just a wild guess – could alcohol have been a factor?

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

And what about soon-to-be-former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, the new international poster boy for how badly alcohol abuse can impair your judgment and damage your career?

In fact, glance at just about any daily diet of news stories about crimes, accidents, public embarrassment, etc. and you’ll find that booze was somewhere in the mix.

Before I go any further, let me stipulate that I am not a teetotaler or a prude. I enjoy an adult beverage as well as the next guy; if I’m not driving, I might even have a second one.

But I’m sure I’m not alone in growing sick of seeing, dealing with and, ultimately, paying for the toxic effects of out-of-control drinking by others.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, excessive drinking costs us more than $223 billion a year through the resulting crime, health problems, and loss of productivity.

Binge drinking, they claim, costs the government at all levels more than 60 cents per drink; liquor taxes average about 12 cents a pop. And if you can’t put a price tag on the death and destruction drunk drivers inflict on us each year, that’s not stopping us from trying.

Booze is our biggest drug problem, hands down. Only about 7.5 million people smoke pot daily; over 17 million of us have alcohol use disorders.

It’s getting worse, not better.

And I’m starting to wonder if the booze business and the many businesses that spin off from it are so lucrative, we’ll never see an end to the carnage.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.



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