When is enough really enough?

19th February 2013
19th February 2013 Lee Hall

Most people like a few drinks on a night out. It usually starts while you’re still at home getting ready. A bottle of wine, a couple of beers, maybe a strong Vodka Red Bull or two, not necessarily all of it as I don’t really care for beer much; but you get my point. It kicks off the night, gets the party started.

The funny thing is when I was a teenager I never drank alcohol. It was as I got older that I learnt to appreciate the way it could make me feel. With every sip I grew more confident, I’d feel a release from the pressures and expectations of day-to-day life. I’d become more friendly and, even if I do say so myself, bloody funny! Everyone wanted to be my friend.

girls-drinking
Unfortunately I also noticed that I became more generous with my money; losing awareness of how much I was spending in a night and buying rounds of drinks I couldn’t actually afford. But hey, at the time I didn’t care. As far as I was concerned, good times were to be had whilst three sheets to the wind!

As a girl I felt 100 times more confident to walk over to a guy I found immensely attractive, and if he wasn’t interested, hey ho, I wasn’t bothered. The alcohol in my system numbed me to the rejection, something which had I experienced sober probably would have had me cowering in my bedroom for a week, too afraid that if I left my flat I might bump into him. I live in London; the chances of that happening are slim to none. But as the morning comes, bringing with it a new day, dull grey clouds loom at your window – we are talking about the UK after all – so does the raging hangover and nausea. “I’m never drinking again” trips from my mouth ever so easily in those moments but when the weekend arrives, I’m out again downing flaming Sambucas and twirling, on dangerously high heeled shoes, around a pole.

I like alcohol, and I’m a responsible person but I know that I am not a responsible drinker. I don’t need to drink to have a good time, I don’t drink every time I go out but when I do go out for a drink, I go out with the sole purpose to get drunk. Lots of people do, and across the UK it’s becoming a problem.

I got talking to a mate of mine the other night about binge drinking, and I asked her why she got drunk. She took a second or two but her answer was pretty much the same as mine: to be able to forget yourself for an evening and enjoy the high of losing all inhibitions. So I asked if she thought anything could be done in regards to curb the growing culture and I liked her response so much that I told her I was going to use it, practically verbatim, in this article. She said:
“I think that the attitudes to alcohol in this country have evolved over decades. It is socialisation that gives us our view point on how and when we should drink. Education on the effects of binge drinking from an early age is the only way to change attitudes; it is not easy to break excesses that have crept into a culture.”

Because the scary truth is that the UK has one of the highest binge drinking rates in Europe! We’re third… in EUROPE. I asked a few guys and girls I work with, have known from school and a couple friends of friends. Most of them revealed when asked, what comes to mind when you hear the term binge drinking, that they thought of loud, rowdy, falling on the floor and being sick, sometimes violent BRITISH men and women. I was appalled.

Ladies, we all know that alcohol affects women differently to men. It’s not because, as they say, we’re the weaker sex, no; it’s because we metabolise it at a different rate. We’re physically less able to dilute alcohol within the body. So in short, women generally get drunk quicker, and stay drunk for longer. Pay attention because the risks of heavy drinking are scary but very, very real. The ones I can personally relate to are the psychological problems of depression and anxiety, not to mention compromising my own personal safety by stumbling home alone some nights.

And lads, don’t think you can get away with it either. Alcohol related illnesses are not just an old man’s problem; and it’s not just your health that you need to worry about. After a few heavy sessions you’re more likely to end up victims, and perpetrators, of crime. Alcohol fuelled sprawls in the streets after a clubs chuck out time is not ‘big and brave’
behaviour, its ‘dumb and stupid’. Get it together, you’re not kids.

mendrinking

Liver; heart; cancer; crime; violence; infertility; the list could go on but I don’t want to depress you just merely bring it to your attention. It’s not a question of cutting out the alcohol, just
cutting down. For the majority of people who enjoy a drink, it doesn’t have a negative effect on their day-to-day life, or impact on their health. So by all means, go out, let your hair down, enjoy a good night out drinking – just do it responsibly.

Lee Hall

Lover of all things FAST. If I am not in the office, you can find me near a track or under a car. I also work with a great people in TrendLife's Editorial team.

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