This is for my Social Psychology class - for assessment and communication. I hope you find my thoughts interesting and please feel free to comment!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Alcohol and its consequences...

Alcohol, readily flowing and easily available at social and celebration events for most people, but what is the true cost lurking behind its initial purchase price. I have noticed a couple of posts surrounding alcohol and well it got me thinking. I was going to originally pick the second blog topic on alcohol but then I thought to myself “I already know a fair bit about alcohol, so I will choose a different topic, one that I can learn from.” But after that initial thought and reading other student’s posts, it’s got me thinking how much do I really know? How much does any person really know about alcohol?

First of all let me start by saying that I am no angel in this department, and I have had my fair share of alcohol, but lately my thoughts are changing. I often find myself telling friends who are smokers that they should just quit. It’s expensive, bad for their health, and just generally unappealing (from my perspective anyway). I cannot see one positive for smoking, yet I do participate with many fellow individuals in having a drink every now and again. This triggered many thoughts in me, as although I have heard drinking, particularly binge drinking is bad for health it has never been a factor within my choices. It is only somewhat recently that I have really started to look at the consequences of binge drinking. It can be expensive, bad for your health, make you get into situations you regret and can cause problems between families, partners and friends. Somewhere along the line I knew these things, yet for the sake of a good time, ignorance factored in. Short-term effects can be hangovers, loss of money, or respect, where as long term effects can be as serious as relationship breakdowns, inability to maintain a job, serious health/mental problems, homelessness, effects of pre-natal alcohol exposure, and well the list goes on. Furthermore, pre-natal alcohol exposure can cause long and lasting effects, for both mother and child. I could go on about this aspect surrounding alcohol but I won’t go into it here, and I may post a separate blog about alcohol use and pregnancy. Don’t get me wrong, I also realise that a few drinks can create a “happier” atmosphere but it can also cause a lot of damage. After many years of going out, I have seen and heard some shocking alcohol fuelled stories, some of which has happened to personal friends. After going out on the weekend for a friends birthday and really observing the people around me, it’s pleasing to think that my view of alcohol and drinking maybe adapting. While I was out I noticed a group of young girls who were wearing matching shirts with a slogan on the back stating “so do you want to buy me a drink” or something like that. Among other thoughts, I thought whether or not these girls had thought about the possible consequences, besides scoring a free drink, of having this written on their back. I think it illuminated to everyone that these girls were planning a big night and that they would let a total stranger assist them, when maybe normally they would not. It’s amazing to think that so many people would have had bad experiences from alcohol, whether by participating in bad choices, injury (physically or psychologically), expense (from cost or losing items) or even having a killer hangover etc. If I had a dollar for every time I heard the phase “I’m never drinking again” I’d be a rich girl, yet the alcohol keeps flowing and those people who utter those phrases are generally back on it the very next weekend. On a separate tangent, I heard something about attempts to curve alcohol problems at the car races, so the restriction of one “slab” per person per day was in place. But I thought to myself – that is still a lot of alcohol for one person, particularly when a “slab” can constitute 24 drinks, and according to a friend in some cases 36 drinks. You constantly hear stories that someone was pressured into drinking heavily etc, but where along the line did these types of behaviour become the social norm?

I don’t want to sound like the alcohol grinch and as I said I do like to have a drink every now and again, but after really thinking it through my views have been slightly altered. I know many people can enjoy alcohol responsibly but many people likewise cannot. I realise that alcohol will continue to be consumed at great rates, but I hope somewhere along the line people will realise the damaging effects alcohol can cause and will just give that an extra thought before racing to the bar for another round.

Additionally, I have added some links to other posts on alcohol - however if I missed any please let me know and I will add them in.


Thanks.

4 comments:

shiju said...

Really superb..ZOE.. what you have written is exactly right.. I Found really intresting and i will send this to my friend who are addicted to alchol and smoking. GOOD THOUGHTS.I Congratulate you for this work and the good work you are doing for creating awareness among people. YOU ARE NOT DOING A SMALL JOB..ITS A GREAT ONE. GOD BLESS YOU..ZOE.. KEEP GOING..

shiju said...

Really superb..ZOE.. what you have written is exactly right.. I Found really intresting and i will send this to my friend who are addicted to alchol and smoking. GOOD THOUGHTS.I Congratulate you for this work and the good work you are doing for creating awareness among people. YOU ARE NOT DOING A SMALL JOB..ITS A GREAT ONE. GOD BLESS YOU..ZOE.. KEEP GOING..
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shiju
Alcohol abuse affects millions. This site has a lot of useful information.
http://www.alcoholabusecenter.com

symonds said...

Very nice.

http://www.alcoholtreatmentclinics.com

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