Thursday, May 28, 2009


I am doing a few projects on work about drinking.  It makes me think about what the problem is about how we drink.  It's Australian to have a drink, is it Australian to get trashed?  Probably.  Do other countries act the same way?  There is a view that in Latin countries, they drink better, they drink socially and getting drunk is not the ultimate goal.

One of the big problems with binge drinking is the violence associated with it.  Sometimes it can be scary to go to some pubs, or on nights out.  Drinking also seems to amplify the mood that you are in.  If you are in a depressed mood, and you are looking to forget your troubles, you think drinking can help.  It often just makes it worse.  I don't think anyone has ever said,'I got drunk and when I woke up the next day, I had no problems'.  Someone once said, 'I drink to forget'.  Someone smarter once said, 'I drink to forget I drink'.

Why do we drink?  So many reasons, lose inhibitions, a way to say things and get away with it, to excuse behaviour, to get courage.  Why do we get totally trashed when we know it's so bad for us, and more often we end up with the bad consequences of drinking, like spending too much money, hangovers, health problems, lack of motivation, losing brain cells, arguments, fights, embarrassing things, forgetting what we did?

Drinking is so important to the culture.  There are people you can talk to, but you feel closer to the people you can have a drink with.  If you don't drink, you will be asked why, as if you have some sort of problem.  Why is that?  If you don't drink, you have to wonder if there are the same social opportunities.

It's not like it's getting particularly worse these days.  The problems have been there even since Australia was settled by convicts.  It seems like every effort to get people to drink better... extended drinking hours, allowing females into clubs, extending liquor licences, making sure food is at venues.. it's all backfired.  We've traded the 6 o'clock swill for boozy nights out drinking shots.  It's gotten to the point where the government feels that people can't control their drinking, and have banned some shots, and banned drinks for a certain time period each hour.  

I don't know how the situation can change.   

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