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Booze Culture and Peer Pressure - what is it doing to us? Weekenders 4th-6th August.

Old 08-03-2017, 03:00 AM
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saoutchik
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Booze Culture and Peer Pressure - what is it doing to us? Weekenders 4th-6th August.

This week two people at work have said that they were hungover and another said he was still drunk from the night before. This is out of a total of about 46 and I have not spoken with everyone so it is genuine percentage.

These people are not being praised but it is certainly acceptable to turn up for work this way and there is an underlying sentiment of 'I made it to work despite being hungover.' This is on a weeknight.

Here in Britain at least the idea of going out and enjoying yourself without alcohol is considered unusual to say the least. It is an Alice Through the Looking Glass world where little justification is needed to drink excessively but if you mean not to drink then you have to be armed with an excuse "I am on antibiotics" or "I'm watching the calories" in order to avoid being called anti-social or a spoilsport.

Whether you go out or stay home advertisments for alcohol are ubiquitous and across all media platforms - mostly consisting of attractive young people in impossibly glamorous surroundings. It is grooming young people into the normalization of alcohol with a fictional ideal that bears no resemblance to reality.

My last couple of years of drinking were a joyless world of solo drinking without any social aspect but prior then I was a part of that booze culture. I am hoping there will be people reading this who also fall into that category and who want to get off the alcoholic treadmill before they reach the state I did.

All my best memories of weekends, nights out, concerts, bands, sporting events and travel date from before alcohol took its iron grip. Surely it is better to have a night you don't want to forget than a night you cannot remember.


Last edited by saoutchik; 08-03-2017 at 03:03 AM. Reason: Grammer
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Old 08-03-2017, 03:14 AM
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Agree with you, was back in the UK for a visit recently and the pubs are reinventing themselves to stay alive, so selling bottles of wine and cocktails, etc.
Pub culture seems to be growing again, but supplemented by much more normalised home drinking.
The fact is I can't drink normally and was drinking socially, but like you had retreated into drinking at home alone.
Happy to be moving away from that again and trying to make new memories
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Old 08-03-2017, 03:29 AM
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This really belongs to TeaOrCoffee, but Shotgun! Yea, I called it!
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Old 08-03-2017, 03:42 AM
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I don't think the drinking culture here (In Manitoba, from my perspective) is as engrained as you describe the UK Sao. The advertisement is somewhat controlled by regulation but I can still see it everywhere without trying. Liquor can only be served until 2am. But, growing up, we always went out drinking Friday and Saturday nights, it's just what everyone did and was never questioned. (Then we drove home).
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Old 08-03-2017, 04:07 AM
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I am in the UK and what you say is so true!! If you don't drink, you are automatically boring, or people look at you like you have 2 heads!! People go to the pub straight after work before going home, i know of someone that is in a carpool and is dropped at the pub every night after work. He eats his dinner there and stays until closing, every single weeknight and has done this for years, he is in his 30's . Nobody has concern for him, all his workmates grumbles about how lucky he is that he can do that, I see a full blown alcoholic with no family to go home to. To everyone else, its just their mate that likes a drink, he does funny stuff and has a million great drunk stories to tell.

I lived in the USA and Canada for a time and not drinking there, was so much easier, not every activity involved it, and was frowned upon to be drunk in public as an adult. People see that stuff, and automatically whisper there is a problem (at least in conversations I overheard). I went to parties and the men stood with a beer together, not many, a couple each, when I asked for a beer instead of lemonade, wow did people stare!! When a normal drinker say they are going for a drink, they go for A single drink. Not stay out for 3 hours and come home hammered as we Brits have a tendency to do in our binge drink culture.

It was when I moved back to the UK I began to spiral rapidly, as the temptation and the normalness of drinking allowed me to not seem like I was doing anything wrong. There is always someone that drinks more than you. The advertising here is shocking, the price of alcohol is so cheap, everything here is laced with an alcohol link. Its everywhere! I have told people I don't drink now, I will have to tell many more, and I imagine I will begin to see the invites to places decline and see who my real friends are. I feel grateful my husband isn't much of a drinker at all, not many of us non drinkers on this little island! We are literally slowly killing ourselves and our young people here
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Old 08-03-2017, 04:43 AM
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I'm in.

Good intro, Sao, and good shares, everybody else.
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Old 08-03-2017, 04:56 AM
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I can cautiously, though honestly, say that I'm in for my first sober weekend in many months. I'm on day three and i'm really surprised that I've gotten this far.

I was just thinking yesterday, driving home from work and listening to the radio, how many adverts for alcohol there are. How are we alcoholics supposed to stay on the sober bus?

We also have a big drinking culture in Uganda, i'd say. People generally go out almost every night of the week after work to socialize and drink.... I did that myself, Tuesdays through to Saturday, when I was younger and could handle the hangovers at work. Then I graduated to drinking at home alone.... So much easier, cheaper and there's no need to drive.
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Old 08-03-2017, 05:07 AM
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What is it doing to us? It is destroying the very fabric of our culture and it is by design. Alcohol is cheap and readily available everywhere, why is that? Doesn't take a genius to connect the dots.

I am interested in hearing more from you European folks, I just can't get my head around how drinking is just like tying your shoes, its normal and done every single day. I wonder how a society can function that way? Aren't there health clubs or parks or bike paths around where people can go? Or is it just pubs, pubs, pubs?
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Old 08-03-2017, 05:27 AM
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I saw something the other day about the idea that what has happened in the UK is a meeting of cultures, where the traditional UK binge experience, go out on a Friday for 5 hrs met the european daily glass of wine with your dinner experience.
I think for me, the fact is, I can be aware of the change in drinking culture, but to be honest, I can't blame it, because it was my choice to keep drinking and to move my drinking indoors and secret and out of control.
It's also my choice to change the way I approach alcohol now. I don't know if there are more ads now, or I see them more because they remind me that I can't drink.
I'm glad to live in a country that still respects the outdoors a lot, so there is other stuff to do.
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Old 08-03-2017, 05:40 AM
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Great intro per usual, Sao. I think we could shorten the phrase "drinking culture" to "drinking cult". Almost more appropriate!

Those of us in early recovery have a hard time finding our ways out of the cult. Our lives are centered around the cult, our friends are in the cult, and all of our social activities take place with the cult.

The good news is that we don't have to be a part of that rat race, and we can elect to step away by choice. Sobriety is very much like breaking free of a cult, and it's so amazing to enjoy the wonders and opportunities in the "outside world" once we are free!

Breaking the chains comes down to confidence. You have to be confident that you will actually enjoy a sober life. You have to trust that living sober is not only meaningful, but fun! I think the reason so many fall back into drink is that they just aren't confident that their lives will really improve without booze. They don't trust the unknown.
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Old 08-03-2017, 05:53 AM
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I'm in!

That sounds rough, about things in the UK. I thought it was bad here. Alcohol is so glorified and normalized. But, being drunk on a regular basis (at least past college-age) is definitely frowned upon. I do hate the thing where you have to give a reason why you aren't drinking. (esp when you always did in the past - maybe because of that it would be understandable?) No one would question it if you said you didn't drink pop, etc!
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:23 AM
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Welcome to Weekenders teaorcoffee, noturningback2 and thomas11.

Congratulations on shotgun Dragon.

Good to see you Lava

I don't want to give the impression that the UK is uniquely bad or make the thread UK-centric, I have to refer to it as it is the part of the world I understand. I think that having very strict licensing laws with all pubs shutting at 10.30pm sharp may well have caused or at least contributed to our binge drinking culture, we can drink 24/7 now but the bingeing remains. That and the fact that our weather often makes it impossible to sit outside sipping a beer or wine. Another thing about Britain is that there has never been a temperance movement to speak of so in the past teetotallers have been regarded as oddballs and weirdos. Some good news is that is changing slowly, partly as a result of immigration from countries and religions where alcohol is forbidden. This is more noticable among the young.

It definitely is culture drives these things, an example of this is the opiode addiction crisis in the US. It is nowhere as bad in the UK for the simple reason that doctors where not under pressure to prescribe them. It just goes to show that culture and policies do make a difference
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:35 AM
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if you watch some documentaries on you tube called Booze Britain, its shocking how the younger generation are using alcohol. All the while sleep walking into possible alcohol addiction and the age of people getting liver disease is younger and younger. There is also a growing trend of women having alcohol problems, catching up with the men.

I found myself how frowned upon being openly drunk in public was in the USA when I went to a bar with friends and I proceded to do as my culture does, and drink and drink and do shots and drink more (I was 28y/o), I was so so drunk, and the reaction I got was NOT good!! After that I knew better, I didn't drink like that again in public there again, but after growing up doing that in the UK, I literally thought that was normal.

I don't think we can blame having an alcohol addiction on the culture in Europe, I just think it makes making changes and abstaining that little bit more of a challenge, as its so openly encouraged and normalised. But if change is what you want, then its possible. I can honestly say I do not know of one single person who does not drink at all, family or friends, apart from my great uncle who is 23 years sober.
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:57 AM
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Old 08-03-2017, 07:00 AM
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I'm in!!

BigSombrero!! Good to see you!

This is a fascinating opening post and shares. I have never been a big social drinker. From the very start, in my teens, my few friends were the "good kids" who never considered drinking underage...I stole and "borrowed" from adults from age 14 and then found the saddest little liquor store you ever saw, when I was 16. The miserable broken sick man who ran the till would sell to anyone who came in the door, including me. I did NOT resemble a 21-yo, and he never asked for an ID.

I got my act together around age 19 and drank normally for a few years..meaning for me only special occasion with my religious friends. Omg...stopping now...this would turn into a travelogue of my drinking life.

Let me abruptly stop with just this...I see how the "cult" of normalized drinking has changed for young people around me where I am (middle of US). The booze industry with "hand-crafted" and "ethnic/international" cocktails...has coat tailed on the gourmet concept and enticed people who wouldn't be as interested. I really see it in young 20-something children of friends and acquaintances. Having escaped the hellish party culture of high school and college, they now think they are doing the mature and sophisticated thing.

Gosh...chatty today I guess. Glad to be here.
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Old 08-03-2017, 08:28 AM
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I am IN!! My daughter leaves for Florida with a friend tomorrow for 12 days. Though I am excited for her I will miss her terribly. I've never been away from her for this long! I plan to use the time to spend with my son with a lot of 1 on 1 time. Every 16 year old boy LOVES his mom time, right? ;-). Looking forward to an alcohol free weekend!
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Old 08-03-2017, 08:28 AM
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Drinking culture is definitely ingrained in life in Baltimore. However, active life is as well. It's very easy to find people who want to go kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking, running, etc. They generally drink beer afterwards, but it doesn't bother me to be around folks who are drinking.

That said, this weekend I am going paddle boarding and kayaking. I'm also going to the water ballet, which is such a campy, fun, Baltimore type thing to do.
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Old 08-03-2017, 09:33 AM
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I'm in for the weekend - AV has been speaking to me today but I have a life coach course to go to this evening so know I can't drink. Felt quite strong this morning but not so this afternoon. Always come away from the course feeling positive so its arriving at the right time for me X
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Old 08-03-2017, 10:27 AM
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so very easy to relate on the other side of the pond, too. thank you so much for the truth in your post!!
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Old 08-03-2017, 10:50 AM
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I am in! The culture in this part of Texas is definitely booze-centric, though there is a small but significant minority of abstainers. Usually there is a moral, religious medical, or marathon-running reason attached, though. I could do that too--but why? Why is just not wanting that lifestyle enough? Why do people care? Why are we put on defense? No one cares if you like strawberries or not. So strange but true.

I don't desire to be sober due to my religion or for any other socially-sanctioned 'reason'. I want to be sober because I enjoy life and people more when sober, especially on the weekends. It's easier to sleep at night, I exercise daily, look better, think more clearly, and am a much better friend and loved one sober. Not sure why I should feel compelled to say I am on antibiotics--. Madness!

Hi, my name is Red. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday....I am grateful, and in for the Weekender.




Love

Red
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