My last drink: An alcoholic by definition

My last drink was not too long ago funnily enough. After all alcohol is the only drug that you can take without fear of being arrested, only if you’re over 18 that is. Personally I’m not really a fan of alcohol, although I know a few of us may not be here if it wasn’t for it – I think perhaps the only reason that I do drink alcohol on average two to three times a week is that its so widely accepted and part of british culture. If I was to suggest that we all get stoned after work on a Thursday evening I would probably lose my job, however if I was to suggest that we all go for a drink my comments would be met with great enthusiasm, even by my manager who is a member of her local parish and I’m sure a very well respected member of the community.

The problem, or to many the attraction with alcohol is that it seriously impairs judgement – I’m sure everyone who drinks will have done something stupid whilst under the influence of alcohol. After all that’s what it does – in the same way for many that smoking cannabis makes you paranoid or giggly or sleepy. However I do believe that the legality and social views towards alcohol have perhaps led to a lot of personal downfalls – it is currently estimated that every 1 in 17 people in the UK is alcohol dependant.

I think that it is alcohols legality that is one of the reasons that a lot of the problems exist – however making it illegal as the United States once did only caused greater problems as the sale of alcohol changed hands from liquor stores to organised crime rings. Again it would seem that alcohol (like all other drugs) will be taken by people regardless of its legality – therefore although it is legal and there are still problems I’m sure that there are far less problems than if it was illegal.

I wouldn’t say that I was a heavy drinker or addict however probably do drink more days in a week than not – mostly because I find that I will always meet friends at a pub or at least once a week will find myself out for “after work drinks” – I work for a recruitment agency where everyone likes a good drink lets just say. Its sort of embedded in the nature of a lot of business nowadays and being realistic unless you are a NA/AA participator then a coffee just does not suffice neither has the same ring to it as “fancy a drink?”. Take yesterday for example, I was working at a festival and over the course of the day drank 4 cans of lager – only 4% lager at that which I drank between the hours of 1pm and 10pm – personally I wouldn’t count that as having a drink as I didn’t get drunk off it – however I’m sure a doctor would have to say that if I did that every day I would be an “alcoholic”, personally I wouldn’t worry at all. Let’s also say that this would certainly be the same doctor who goes home and knocks back the best part of a bottle of wine every day – I know in terms of government guidelines my mum would be known as a raging alcoholic, in reality she has an extremely successful city job where she is wined and dined at least once a day and this is where a lot of her success has come from, meeting clients and doing deals – albeit most if not all of the time with a bottle of wine in close proximity. Once again I find this is the government misleading us by saying one thing and demonstrating another – I bet David Cameron in terms of the national guidelines is also a raging alcoholic yet he is our PM.

Who knows, there is no right or wrong when it comes to alcohol. As with most substances it is purely down to the individual as I’m sure the whole of the England rugby team would certainly be considered as alcoholics by government guidelines yet in reality they are successful athletes and being a 17 stone man a few pints of larger is not going to have the same affect, if any.

Perhaps instead of issuing “guidelines” for drinking there should be more responsibility for every individual concerned, after all most people are sensible enough to know when they have a problem with something and to be quite honest those that are not need to learn, they can’t rely on government guidelines (which seem to change by the minute) to tell them whether they have a drink problem or not.

However, I must say at least as society we are allowed the freedom to drink as and when we want, that is one thing that we shouldn’t take for granted. Pubs are great places and an amazing part of our heritage, you never know alcohol could be illegal this time next year so lets not get caught up with the negativities involved and enjoy, albeit responsibly!