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Alcohol deaths double in the UK.

Old 07-20-2006, 01:00 AM
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Alcohol deaths double in the UK.

That's what it said on the news this morning - some areas of the country fairing far worse than others. When I've driven through town at night, past the queues to get in the nightclubs, my heart has sunk - these are YOUNG, YOUNG people throwing up drunk while they wait in the hope of more to drink. There isn't just one or two.

At the end of my street the teenagers drink - 11+yr olds about hits the mark, with most around 14 I reckon.

The news, the outside objective measures tell me it isn't just my own circumstances that have begun to leave me feeling our 'binge' culture is roaring out of control. 24 Hour drinking is now in place and some warning adverts have begun based on not ruining your night out getting blasted.

All the reading I did last year apalled me - it apalled me how much is known and NOT advertised, how much information isn't reaching public ears. Most frightening is the biological effects of alcohol on the young brain, the frontal lobes, the part most needed for self control which don't even fully develop until kids reach around 18.

We will have a considerable butchers bill to pay for our attitude that drinking is a forgone conclusion, that it's part of growing up and doesn't even need the consideration MANY teenagers give to smoking - the majority still refraining. Alcohol research will become better funded, more subjects to study, more of a flap as the cost becomes apparent. BUT hell, the cost to those lives?

Universities get less government funding and have become keen to find new resources, the breweries compete for campus spaces and it isn't just one or two bars on campus - more like 5 or 6. Being drunk through student years has become a culture defining what it is to be young. Town nightclubs cash in with student nights and heavily discounted drinks.

As a smoker in a world of warnings I know full well it isn't the only answer. But where and when I can smoke reduces - as does the company I have smoking with me.

I'm all for informed choice but where is the information?

It isn't that the problem is hidden - I think the reports of the problem being out of hand are frequent, but not the costs, not the realisation that this doesn't just happen in the slums, not the understanding of the physical impact of alcohol, (with of course the exception of the liver - but to kids that's years away and 'only' alcoholics).

I have a suspicion part of the issue is that alcohol has become so engrained at every level, from taxes to parents own drinking it has become a relied on companion. I would like to be a conspirasist believing it's merely matter of money and industry, but the cultural weight of it seems as strong if not stronger to me.

I think now people have more spare cash than ever - especially the young. It's not being wealthier as such, house prices and the big stuff remain out of the reach of many; but spare change, a 1 in your pocket is a constant and alcohol has become cheaper and cheaper with the advent of 'white cider'.

I feel very sad about it, I want to say it's just my perspective that's changed but the news says different. I don't even know why I'm writing this except it matters to me - especially for those so bloody young.
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Old 07-20-2006, 01:16 AM
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Interesting Eq. I recently wrote on a post about a 'daughter who had been lead estray by a "loser" - and it got me thinking back to my teenage years. And to be honest I was being flippant.

I ran with the rough crowd - and they are dying, in their 20's. Over dose, heart attack (yes, heart attack), suicide, I know one who even died after taking an E. Motor bike crash. Why?

Because they could not get out of the drug/booze infested environment. We all REALLY LOVED getting out of our minds. And I realise now how lethal that really is. Its just dangerous on so many levels. Not everyone 'matures out' like I did. I was drinking, for chriss sake, about 70 pints a week, taking fistfulls of E, coke, acid the whole shabbang. And in the back of my mind was the thoughts: 'everyone does this, its okay'.

Its a tricky one.
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Old 07-20-2006, 01:18 AM
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Out of say fifteen young lads I used to hang aroung with, I would say half are either dead, addicted to drugs, or have almost catatonic mental illness.
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Old 07-20-2006, 05:32 AM
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I THINK there's 10 years between us and it's the generation that are 15 now I worry the most for.

With mental health problems seeming to be in constant rise again it surprises me how little is said about links to substance abuse - something so well accepted within social care and undebated in science, yet no clear warnings.

The only positive sign I see is the clamp down on serving under age, but that only emphasises it's association with adulthood and does NOTHING to protect or inform 18 yr olds.
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