Pyramid Comment

This journal takes an alternative view on current affairs and other subjects. The approach is likely to be contentious and is arguably speculative. The content of any article is also a reminder of the status of those affairs at that date. All comments have been disabled. Any and all unsolicited or unauthorised links are absolutely disavowed.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Alcohol Addiction And The Hook

Addiction to alcohol is at an alarming and critical level. The clear aim is to hook 'em young and then the addicted (alcoholic) becomes a lifelong supporter of the 'drinks' business. Typically, government is the parasite that feeds off addiction. Tobacco is another trade-off industry. Trade-off the product tax yield against the health of the consumer. Any discouraging comments, and there are those that do care, are offset by the treasury and taxation duty on alcohol and tobacco in the UQ (aka UK) Ltd money machine.

Governments are labelled as not doing enough to 'encourage' people to limit their excessive drinking habits. As a revenue earner, this is unlikely to ever happen. Even being generous, people who drink excessive amounts of alcohol have the minimal of drink dependency and quite possibly are addicted to alcohol, both physiologically and psychologically. The difficulty of stopping undesirable habits is notorious. Consider smoking. The desire to stop must be present as regarding smoking as a reward is doomed to fail. The mind-set must incorporate the true (not deluded) desire to stop. Weight loss and diets are similar. The psychological delusion is very, very powerful. Ask a cocaine or heroin user (addict) to simply stop or 'cut down'. Addiction of any kind is a dreadful condition. Any 'dependency' may begin with a feeling of satisfaction, but eventually turns into the dread of the failure to control. The habit is controlling the user (addict).

Effects of Alcohol

What other motive is there for providing larger glasses of cheap wine than to create a growth in the drink-consumer market? The aim is for increased profits and that means greater sales. That the consumer is likely to die young through either alcohol itself or an accident caused by alcohol doesn't matter to the irresponsible greed-principled purveyors of alcoholic 'beverages'. Typically, and with gut wrenching cynicism, Mark Hastings from the British Beer & Pub Association:

  • "Way back in the 1980s there was a huge customer storm being driven about the fact that people felt short changed in pubs because they were serving 125ml. If people were coming through in increasing numbers asking for 125s, then the one thing you can guarantee is that pubs would start producing them."
This was nearly 30 years ago and a lot should have been learned since those hedonistic days, but about the dangers of alcohol and not the greed that drowns in it.

Another remark concerns "Passive drinking and flawed thinking" and the suggestion that:

  • “Passive drinking is about as sensible an idea as passive eating or passive driving. Such an indiscriminate approach restricts the freedoms and hits the pockets of ordinary hard-working families. It also wastes huge amounts of Government time and taxpayers' money. Most importantly, it totally fails to target and tackle the problem – this is about the bad and criminal behaviour of a few irresponsible individuals. Let’s hold them to account and make them pay for their behaviour – not demonise the entire population of Britain.”
The phrase "hits the pockets of ordinary hard-working families" is rather patronising as it implies selling alcohol in dangerous amounts apparently doesn't have any consequences. The attitude of many young people is that life without alcohol is no life. And a whole lifetime with that attitude. This is a very serious problem and exacerbated by selling more and more alcohol. Shareholders pockets are more important than the individual whose health will suffer. That's business. New drinkers (and smokers) are growing up in the next generation, so if people die young it does not matter. There is always the next crop of youngsters to target. The arguments are essentially identical regarding tobacco (nicotine) and smoking.

Around 14% of pubs and wine bars have already abandoned the 125ml measure in favour of either 175ml or 250ml sizes. The larger size is one-third of a standard bottle. Spirits often sell as "doubles" as the 'standard' measure and it's "all hands to the pump" to 'get pissed fast'. It seems the "double" is the default measure and the "single" is obtained only by explicitly asking for the smaller measure. But once intoxicated early in a session, it can only result in being paralytic when the night is still young. Paralytic is dangerous enough, yet to continue drinking will end up in a hospital or even a mortuary as death almost inevitably supervenes.

People are not particularly aware of alcohol units, yet still want to stay within safe limits. It is difficult, if not impossible, to over-eat as physically gorging on food will result in retching as the stomach is too full. Alcohol is not the same. Drinking beyond that excess quantity is all too easy and here is the problem:

When to stop?

Mental distortion and confusion clouds any thinking that might remain and drinking more possibly seems a good idea. The exact opposite of eating. Too much food can be 'thrown up' and the stomach will be automatically emptied. Up to a point the same can happen with alcohol, but once the Class A Drug is absorbed by the body and enters the blood it cannot be removed except by the body metabolism. Too much in can be too late to get it out.