Can somebody explain the British attitudes to drinking and the need to drink to excess to me?
Okay, so this is more my views of the Legal Drug, Alcohol. As well as the social effects of alcohol, as this is one of the most commonly used legal drugs in the UK, today.
We have another totally legal drug which you can buy at any corner shop or supermarket and that´s nicotine in the form of tobacco but the problem that nicotine creates are completely different and less of a threat to society than alcohol.
To say I never drink would be hypocritical, but to say I drank to excess would not be. I have never really drunk so much as to lose all comprehension or rational thought and to be honest I find that when I reach my limit then I won’t or more usually, can’t drink any more. Those who do are just drinking for drinking’s sake! I like to drink in moderation, I know my limits and I never step over that limit.
If I go out with friends its to absorb the atmosphere not the alcohol. You could say I am a passive drinker. I get drunk on the atmosphere.
I also don’t need to drink endless pints to prove I am a man any more. I don’t need to drink my peers under the table to prove myself. Why on earth this is the norm I will never understand. What’s so big and clever about drinking 10 or more pints, falling down or throwing up, embarrassing yourself or even worse doing something stupid which you regret the following day, or maybe for the rest of your life!
The point I am making here is that we have a society, which revolves around a drug, and be under no illusion alcohol is a drug. Which is freely available to anyone, regardless of age (I know you have to be 18 to buy it, but how many kids do you see drinking in your area on Friday, Saturday nights?). And there will always be the landlord who flouts the law and serves those obviously younger than 18.
I can remember going to pubs with my brothers and friends, as young as 15. I was very tall and well built for my age and would get served no problem. I am not proud of this though, well not now anyway.
The consequences of drinking too much aren’t as bad as taking an overdose of heroin, but they are bad all the same.
The thing that bothers me the most about alcohol consumption is the violence around this drug. How many times have you seen fights in a pub or in the centre of your local town. Would you see this if users of other drugs got together, have you ever seen a group of hippies fighting after a dope smoking session?
This has an adverse effect on our society, it increases the cost of living for you and me (higher policing costs means higher council tax). It also creates other forms of crime such as vandalism (well in my area it does, the only vandalism I see is after chucking out time on Friday, Saturday evenings as the p**shead’s walk past my house, caused by supposedly responsible, 18+ year old people).
There are also other problems associated with the taking of alcohol such as health risks, which ultimately will lead to further cost to the general public as we have a public health system, which we all contribute to in the UK in the form of National Insurance contributions.
I know the government takes a huge slice of tax revenue from the sale of alcohol, 11 billion pounds in 2001, and this would mean that any sane government would never ban alcohol, which is not what I am saying. What I am saying is that the taking of other, Hard drugs is not as much as problem in society as the taking of drugs such as alcohol.
So, what do I propose we do with the sale of alcohol? Well, as long as it remains a legal drug then nothing can be done, and I hope it does remain legal as I said I like a drink now and again. Only a small one!
What can be done to moderate drinking and change our attitudes to drinking? Again nothing, there will always be a publican somewhere who will serve you a drink even if you have been refused drink elsewhere, profit first – responsibility second!. You can always get drink at a supermarket or corner shop and drink yourself stupid at home. Drinking is a part of our society, like it or not.
If I could stop the younger generation from drinking then I would, but as long as there is a misnomer that somehow alcohol and drinking are a macho pursuit then I can’t. Maybe all teenagers should be forced to drink until they pass out then have their stomach’s pumped, whilst awake. Maybe it might stop a few drinking too much!
What I would like to see disappear is the need for people to drink themselves into a drunken mess before they decide they have had enough or pass out. How many times have you heard “I was so drunk last night I couldn’t walk or talk”?
Breaking your spine has the same effect, it’s cheaper and the effects last forever!
For me not having control of my mind is a complete no, no and I always stop drinking before I get to this state. Why is it important to be able to drink more than the next person?
Why do young men and women find they need to drink themselves unconscious to prove themselves to their peers?
Why do certain people need to drink pint after pint before they function normally in a social environment?
I wish I had the answer to all these questions. I wish I had some magic cure that would rid this country of its drinking problem but I don’t but should some people be asking themselves, should I be doing this or even am I an alcoholic?
All I can say is that if you drink to excess then your going to end up with at least a bad headache and an empty wallet/purse, and I know what I would rather have. (No headache and lots of money!!)
Ultimately we need to change our attitudes to drinking in our society.
Find out more information on “How to give up alcohol“