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.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Alcohol And Pricing Out Alcoholism

Pricing alcohol higher to combat consumption?


Addiction does not work like that. Alcohol cannot work like that. Alcoholism isn't a new science and many 'facts' are very well known. When something is well understood, it can be easily and invisibly manipulated. To confer advantage. But advantage to one can be horror to another. While other essentials get relegated to a more inferior level, the cost of these other essentials increases as the cost of alcohol is increased. The argument is based on the perception that a cheaper commodity will encourage engaging with it. Making it more expensive does not prevent the engagement. Profit can be made from the misery, rather than tackling the problem. The sales of alcohol would not be expected to suffer, but the families and everyone connected to the 'alcoholic' do suffer. The alcoholic suffers through being totally controlled by alcohol, and it is complete reliance on drink, whereas the families suffer by both watching the alcoholic suffer and having family finances diverted to satisfy the alcoholic. Being an alcoholic is not by choice, but by addiction. The 'alcoholic' will not go without (cannot go without - DA) and this is the dreadful nature of addiction.

Enabling a higher cost for alcohol does nothing to reduce the problem of 'binge' drinking and the subsequent increased likelihood of alcoholism. It's a major factor in the closure of public houses: the cost of drink necessitates alternative sources to be found. Cheap alcohol in supermarkets can be bought that is then consumed at home instead. Drinkers still drink, but just change the 'watering hole'. Responsible drinkers are punished by being forced to perpetuate and subsidise those who cannot stop drinking. NOT won't.

Physiologically? Possibly, but psychologically:


Addiction has main players: the physiological and the psychological. The physiological effect is essentially the adaptation of the human organism to any agent and is much like changes realised in the physical stress-related activity of bodybuilding. Muscle growth. The removal of the increased stress that causes extra growth will result in reversion to a smaller muscle that is still large enough to deal with the normal physical stresses of lifestyle. Muscle growth is reversible. However, addiction is not tackled simply by the removal of the agent that is responsible for the physiological dependency. The alcohol itself. Psychological dependency is extremely potent.

Nicotine dependency is similar. Stopping smoking means never starting again. Starting again defines only the suspension from smoking. The psychological desire must be dealt with and can continue long after any physiological dependency is ended. Emotion is psychological. A broken bone is related to body physiology. Addiction involves both together and breaking the addiction necessitates tackling both.

The physiological dependency can be removed relatively quickly, but the psychological desire is much more difficult. This captures a definition of an inability regardless of the want to break the habit. It's not about the 'irresponsibility' of the 'binge drinker' (the 'alcoholic' in the making) or the 'fully blown alcoholic'. The 'alcoholic' in nearly all situations is in total denial by refusing to accept they have a drinking problem. Governments seriously desiring to tackle the problem (and that is highly suspect, the revenue is too BIG 'an earner' - DA) have a journey up the very, very steep hill. But they never demonstrate a serious attitude. The individual with a serious drink problem desperately needs help. Not punishment.

Drinking is actually encouraged so to maintain the revenue flow and a few drinkers (millions) unknowingly having an addiction are targeted. A massive cost in terms of money and the misery of their close contacts. Easy money for a government. Many people are 'addicted' to petrol through the 'need' for a car, but as nobody really 'needs' a car, it is personal choice to have a car. Life would be very difficult without access to a vehicle and, of course, it becomes another (expensive) necessity. Asymmetrically 'balanced' by the huge weight of revenue, social problems are declared manageable. It's deceit and a dereliction of governmental responsibility. Drinking is out of control with the future revenue providers starting the career in drinking earlier and earlier in life. The binge-drinking teenager is a disaster in progress. The disaster becomes ever more serious, but the revenue into the Treasury continues to increase.

Alcohol for many is as serious a problem as the crack cocaine or heroin to the drug addict. Alcohol is just another legalised drug. A legal drug can be openly taxed. An illegal drug cannot be taxed. (Yet. Until it is decriminalised - DA.) An end-of-life attitude begins at a very young age, resulting in hopelessness. 'Responsible' government behaves as though it couldn't care.

Money is the god and it's worshiped. Absolutely.