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Binge *hic* Drinking

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Ktulu, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. A brand new problem has come to the attention of our government for urgent action.

    Binge Drinking

    Blah blah blah, shock horror, think of the children, et-cetera.

    Now, there's not a clear definition of Binge Drinking, but what's generally accepted as the typical is quoted in that article, or paraphrased by me, here:

    "Going out to get pissed."

    Obviously it's terrible and must be stopped, say doctors, police and politicians. However, I think this another example of how our government treats a symptom rather than an illness, taking futile measures with more of an appearance of doing something rather than any concrete accomplishment... or paraphrased by me, here:

    "Politicians are fecking clueless twats."

    But I'll go into that a little more later :)

    Is the one and only problem that people drink a lot?
    Or would you agree that the real problem is that people want to drink a lot?

    I'm overstepping whether drinking is bad or not... I think we've all seen alcohol related violence, obesity, health complications enough to know that the stuff ain't exactly a vitamin supplement.

    I think the real problem is that Australians WANT to drink a lot.


    - we are a pressured population.
    - we are increasingly time poor.
    - we have guilt marketed to us by the greens and climate change lobby.
    - we have fear marketed to us by the media and the government.
    - we are paying more for housing that is becoming less accessible.
    - we are paying more for fuel and feel forced to buy it while the government does nothing about the price of fuel OR public transport.
    - interest rates are up.
    - inflation is up.
    - there is increased financial strain on families.
    - children pick up household tension on things like finance.

    When do people traditionally drink heavily?
    It's in times of celebration of course; but definitely also sadness, loneliness, depression, hardship... isn't it?

    What is the oldest thing human beings have used as what you could call an 'anti-depressant', eh?
    That's right :arrow: alcohol.

    Binge Drinking is up?
    Well what do you expect, it's the most readily available and cheapest self-medication for the blues around.
    In Australia, prescriptions for antipsychotic medications rise by 30% a year. 86% of THOSE drugs are just anti-depressants :eek:

    --> while the population rose just 1.5% last year.

    Oh but anti-psychotic prescriptions are just to treat the problem that was always there. Isn't it wonderful we found a way to treat these poor people who used to go unaided through life?

    This is wonderful mental health-care progress!


    Nah, I call bullshit.

    Life is growing increasingly more complicated and stressful and we just aren't happy about it.
    There are many ways of dealing with it: some people drink.

    I don't see the big surprise in any of this - it's been a hot topic for ages, and I could talk about drug use and escapism... hell, I think I can link the early sexualisation of teenagers, pornography and even Harry Potter to this same societal trend - but you'll have to catch me over a beer to hear that sermon ;)

    If the government really wanted to help the situation:
    - increase funding for mental health, and train front-line medical staff to refer patients to alcohol counselling in appropriate instances [and make this mandatory for drink drivers].
    - work to stabilise the economy, increase housing affordability [release government land for development to increase availability] and improve public transport.
    - encourage more play, physical exercise and fun in general in schools WITH parental/family involvement.

    ... just my humble opinion as a bloke who enjoys a few solid beverages and a good DVD or video game on a regular basis and has been accused of mild alcoholism on the odd occasion :)

    Whatcha reckon?
    Warning labels on drinks will fix everything? ... stubby holders cover 'em anyway! :eek:
  2. I don't drink alcohol at all so as far as I'm concerned, they can ban it!
  3. There is a cultural aspect to this. In Australia alcohol tends to be seen as "something that gets you drunk", ie as a means to an end, which would explain why binge drinking is so prevalent. Also explains why high-alcohol drinks that taste crap and are loaded with artificial additives are so popular. There's also a cultural thing in that "getting pissed" is seen as a right of passage for young people and proves that you're an adult, much like smoking.
    It's very different in European countries like France and Italy I've been told where it's not the alcohol people enjoy, but the wine etc. that contains it. So people drink more often, but drink less quantity and a much higher quality (which is actually good for you). The absence of some magic age at which you can suddenly drink as much as you want is probably also a factor - there's no real fascination with going out and getting blind drunk on cheap booze if you've been drinking wine most of your life already. Funniest part is that some people have actually suggested increasing the drinking age to 21 as a solution - yeah like the US and New Zealand don't have binge drinking :roll:.
  4. I gotta have a laugh at the stop-gap measures put in place by the goverment. I'm surprised they haven't tried to make it illegal again (and look how well that works for drugs). The worst one I've heard so far is trying to raise the drinking age - dumb as it will make booze look even more attractive (and look how well that works also).

    As you pointed out Ktulu, the reasons why people feel they need to get blind every night should be addressed, but given the funding provided for mental health, dont think that's going to happen in a hurry. So shortsighted it's not funny.
  5. The drinking age should be raised for Footballers. Maybe 45 would do it.
  6. I also laughed at this proposal. Responsible exposure and education seem to be the answer, at least in my eyes and those of many european countries. I have heard various incarnations of the phrase 'it's the culture that has to change' on the news as well, which I think I agree with (and can be argued is part and parcel of 'exposure&education'), though as I don't drink I can't really speak on that aspect.
  7. I've got friends with teenage offspring that are trying to deal with binge drinking at the moment. It's pretty extreme - we are talking about a large group of kids who pretty much drink themselves into unconsciousness nearly every night of the week. A lot of them have been taken to hospital and spent days their getting the toxins flushed out of their systems. But it doesn't seem to faze them. It seems to be a bit of a joke and a badge of honour to get your stomach pumped and wake up on a drip, and they go straight back and do it again as soon as they get out.

    I don''t know the statistics, but it would seem to me that most of the fuss is about underage or new drinkers. The kids known to me don't have a lot of stress on them that I can see. They come from a wealthy suburb, will always have opportunities, will get fed clothed and housed no matter what happens. I don't think they're depressed (but I might be wrong). They're partying hard, and for some reason the bar has been raised very high in the last few years when it comes to proving how 'extreme' you are to your peers.

    Like most kids, the potential consequences, and cumulative harm, seem to be unreal to them. They believe they will just bounce back like they always have, and they don't notice that they bounce just a little lower each time.

    I doubt that much of what the feds have suggested will do much, but (now that I'm well and truly out of the party loop) one thing I would do is cut way back on hours that bars can serve alcohol 'til.
    It won't fix the problem for most under-agers, but it might help the twenty-somethings before they end up in a morgue.
  8. I had a cousin like that, he died of liver (Multiple organ failure really) failure at 22.
  9. If you need a stubby cooler you are drinking to slow and need the practice :wink:
  10. And there's that cultural thing again, the fact the amongst some circles that sort of thing is considered fine. Probably stems from a lack of decent role models - not surprising given the way people worship celebrities that are constantly in and out of rehab (and court) for booze and drugs. Of course I doubt the Government saying it's bad will do much for some - just look at how many still take up smoking.
  11. Possibly also because it's really fun.

    The current definition of binge drinking is a joke. More than 4 drinks a day for men and 3 for women is binge drinking. Who can keep in that limit on a Saturday night?
  12. I've got to agree. I like to drink because i have sh!tlaods of fun when i do. But my bingeing occurs in slightly different form.. I dont have anything to drink mid week, maybe one beer if its been really hot, but come Friday night i'll have 10+ without even thinking twice.

    My drinking can not come from problems of a financial nature or lack of time or depression, cause the day after i go out or 'get on it' i'm feeling waaaaay worse about everything.
  13. This is a hot and dry land. Don't forget what happened to Burke and Wills. If they had been on the piss, they would probanly still be alive today, instead of doing a "perish".
  14. I can go out with friends and have just as much fun as them, without getting absolutely smashed (Or not even touching the stuff). I'm sure that for some drinking a shitton may help in enjoying themselves, but I don't need to.
  15. It's a culture thing from my experience. As a 12 year old I was on the piss with my mates LOTS. Straight spirits too, we thought we were hardcore little f*ckers.

    I mostly gave the drinking a miss from about 15 to 18 as myself and my mates were very serious about our sport.

    I then lived in a residential college for a few years, and my sport became more of a social thing. Fishing and drinking, sport and drinking, socialising and drinking, sex and drinking, exams and drinking. Drinking goes well with pretty much everything. Not a whole lot of sadness or stress through those years, but still a lot of drinking. It's a hard habit to get out of sometimes when catching up with old mates, even though I don't really get on it anymore.
  16. For probably the first two years after we all finished school me and all my mates went and got hammered at least every 2nd week, if not more. But since then we hardly ever do, everyone's got jobs or gotten to the pointy end with their studies and don't have the time, or can't spare the cash to do it.

    But realistically, there's nothing the gov. can do to stop people going out and getting hammered. No one obviously cares about enforcing the RSA laws, and short of that, all they can do is make booze more expensive, which would just piss everyone else off.
  17. i think an updated rendition of "we are the world" would steer the youth back on track.
  18. As a non-drinker, but a lifetime observer of the exact opposite (Army, church ministry, etc) can someone answer me a serious question?

    If a 12 year-old was to go into a pub and order a whiskey, he and the hotelier would be in a power of trouble. So how then is it NOT illegal for fathers and mothers to introduce their little ones to alcohol, "So that they will learn to drink responsibly"??? Why are parents not prosecuted for exactly the same thing as a hotelier would be prosecuted; supplying intoxicating spirits to a minor??

    Supplementary thought; I wonder how many children who have been the benficiaries of the above 'enlightened' approach, are among the teenage alcoholic stats now???
  19. Alcohol is actually a depressant, but a different depressant from what your thinking. In some people it makes them feel relaxed and dulls their mind so they forget about their problems :cry:
  20. In France, parents introduce their children to alcohol by giving them watered down wine to try. Of course, the drinking culture is very different there.

    I see no problem with trying to teach your children to drink sensibly and responsibly - provided you set the same example in your own drinking behaviour. You lack a certain amount of credibility if you try and push the responsible drinking message while regularly getting hammered.