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Social Consumption of Alcohol

I enjoy the occasional alcoholic drink and there are times when I have a few too many, but in general I don't enjoy being drunk.

As with many teenagers who start to become able to purchase alcohol (whether legally or not), I went through the whole drink vast quantities to prove how much I could hold my drink when I was younger. The upshot of which was generally, however much you can take, you drink far more than this, end up losing most of your inhibitions, being very ill, spending far too much and not remembering any of it in the morning making it a utter waste of time.

Saw this advert at the cinema recently, which seems to cover the point quite well:


(Direct Link)


As I've grown up, I've opted to drink less, but move towards spending a bit more for something that actually tastes nice. Whereas, my aim as a teenager was to get drunk, now it's just to enjoy the drink. If I drink too much then it's because I've not being paying attention to how much I've drunk rather than because I've been deliberately aiming to drink that much and even then I don't get near the states I got into as a teenager.

However, even as a grown adult you still get into situations where peer pressure is pushing you to drink more than you really want.

Recently I ended up the pub with some friends, I had a pint and socialised for a bit, but not feeling like I wanted a second I wandered off for a bit, returning about 2 hours later. By that time they'd had a few more pints and were quite merry, which is obviously up to them if they want to.

From what I gathered when I got back, there had been a few of them buying drinks for another member of the group. Nothing wrong with that in itself as it's just friendly. However, what they'd been doing was buying doubles without telling her, which has been bothering me since I found out. If someone chooses to get drunk that's one thing, but if others around them are actively seeking to make them drunk then that's going against their free will.

You hear many horror stories of people who have had things like Rohipnol placed in their drink. While I'm fairly sure that no one here was trying to take advantage in that way, placing extra alcohol in someones drink is still the same abuse of someone's free will even if the result is more socially acceptable.

For all I know they could have all been perfectly happy with the situation. I didn't really stick around very long afterwards to find out.

To me, being drunk isn't a fun state to be in, so actively seeking to get someone else drunk is just seeking to make a fool out of them. How can that possibly be a good thing?

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
feanelwa
18th Oct, 2009 14:02 (UTC)
That bothers me too. One of the things I'm dreading about my viva, second only to the viva itself, is that my research group are going to take me to the pub and try to get me drunk.
mair_aw
23rd Oct, 2009 12:46 (UTC)
in my research group the expectation is that the successful new dr buys the drinks, not the other way around.
fiat_knox
18th Oct, 2009 14:12 (UTC)
The Old Stoner's Law
Back when Dr Timothy O'Leary and Dr Terence McKenna were experimenting with LSD, and encouraging a generation of people to trip into Nirvana with them, there was something of a Stoner's Law which they came up with.

The basic idea of it was this. Thou Shalt Not Stone Another Without Their Knowledge Or Permission. As an ideal, this meant that stoning should take place in environments where people could trust those who were stoning them.

Of course some forty-odd years of accumulated cynicism and barbarity have led to a world where everything goes, and if it doesn't let's force the issue - or slip something into their drinks without knowledge to make it happen anyway.

Drinking has reached a stage far beyond the alcoholism of my Dad's day, where women would sit alone in their homes and tell themselves they'd quit while keeping bottles of gin in the oven and in secret panels under the bath, and men in rags would hang around the Bargain Booze haranguing passers-by to go in and buy drinks for them. For them, it was the end of the line. For this generation, it's just the top of the road down.

However, it's not entirely a recent problem. What you're describing was becoming commonplace even back in Dr Leary's day. Force and deception have been known since back in the day when kings had to hire food tasters to be sure their enemies weren't poisoning them.

But this feels like the first generation where spiking drinks and surreptitiously "enriching" their alcohol content to make innocents, particularly women, compliant for what comes later, has become the bedrock of binge drinking culture.

It's not a health issue any more. Perhaps we are seeing some of the deeper underlying issue coming to the fore here - the issue of trust. And if we cannot trust ourselves to control our impulses, how can we expect anybody else to trust us - least of all our own government and police?

It's no wonder I'm a tee totaller. If I had to think about this day and night, it'd drive me to drink.
Dave Holland [org.uk]
20th Oct, 2009 15:43 (UTC)
Wouldn't she have noticed her drink was twice as large as it ought to have been? Or was it topped up with a soft drink? Didn't she notice the stronger alcoholic taste?

Curious...
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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