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. Why? - 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 --> 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! Right? 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!