Tuesday, 5 November 2013

When is drinking alcohol an issue?

As many people will tell you, I like a drink (of the alcoholic variety)...and in fact, when looking at photos there is often a drink in my hand or on the table.  For that reason, when some of the children visiting my house 'Trick or Treating' the other night were accompanied by mothers with their wine glasses in their hands, I initially laughed but on reflection I find myself feeling quite uneasy.

Alcohol consumption is very high in Australia and its effects show up in many ways:
  • Public drunkenness.  Whether at the big Spring Carnival race meetings, or at bars and nightclubs or almost any social gathering, it is increasingly common to see drunken behaviour, and often results in fights and brawls, vandalism and general anti-social behaviour.
  • Health problems. Long term alcohol use is associated with many diseases including forms of cancer, obesity, liver disease, damage to unborn children, cognitive impairment and self harm.  Fortunately many mothers now limit their alcohol consumption during pregnancy and while breast feeding.
  • Social problems.  Relationship breakdowns, violence against women and many crimes are strongly associated with alcohol use, and of course, despite drink drive legislation still many road accidents and deaths are the of impaired judgement following alcohol use.
Some time ago, the 'government" was showing an ad where children were imitating their parents' alcohol consumption that always made me think: What is the example we are setting our children???

Is it possible to have a social gathering without alcohol?

What lesson are our children learning from the way we drink on every possible occasion?

Today has been Cup Day in Melbourne.
There have been images on TV showing various groups enjoying the races, accompanied by champagne, beer and whatever else people choose to drink.
No doubt people have been booked for drink driving and other alcohol related offences.

What messages have your children picked up form this?

Does this concern you?

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