26 Sep

We fumble our words and we stumble our bodies, we dance in a trance but struggle to interpret the cutting of other people’s shapes and we spend the next day hanging out with Mr and Mrs hung-over, who are very unforgiving, eventually re-calling all the idiotic acts we performed the previous night. So the question is…. Why do we do it in the first place??

Don’t us humans learn from our mistakes?? How did we get to be the most successful species (dubious) if we don’t learn from our mistakes? What attracts us to alcohol?

In a study done by Claude and Roberts called Alcohol Myopia: Its Prized and Dangerous Effects they put the reasons why we are attracted to alcohol quite poetically: “intoxication can make us frightenly aggressive, yet more altruistic, it can relieve stressful anxiety and tension, yet increase anxiety and tension, it can inflate our egos, yet lead to ‘crying-in-ones beer’ depression”. They name alcohol as a two headed beast both capable of giving us a desired outcome, but also taking us away from the desired outcome down a path of negative effects. (Claude & Roberts 1990)

They say one of the main reasons it is hard to evaluate how alcohol will affect one person is because it depends on how that said person is feeling on that day and what setting the alcohol is being consumed in (Claude & Roberts 1990).

Insert my scenario, where the setting is at a house party, and the drinker is surrounded by good friends and a positive environment. This type of setting is conducive to a positive feeling drinker. One that doesn’t get violent, feel anxious or left to cry in their beer alone, but rather turns into Chuck Norris when their friend jumps into the pool, one that dances, however obscenely, the one that has a smile on his/her face till the very wee hours of the morning.

Interview in action!

Unfortunately not every scene is like this, and so the other head of this beast ‘alcohol’ has the potential to show face and write the story that we are all so familiar with. The violence, the stupid decisions, the fights and all that crap.

So, have fun with your friends as you drink. If you feel a bit Debbie Downer maybe just stick to the cordial, because it seems from all the research I have done (Claude & Roberts 1990, Glindemann et al 1990, Houben & Wiers 2007, Hull & Young 1983, Kiene et al. 2009, Lynne et al. 1995 & Steele & Critchlow 1985) alcohol plays on your weaknesses as much as it can play on your strengths. From all the negativity out there surrounding alcohol, let’s not add to it, and instead use this drug in a responsible manner if possible and wrestle with our friends, dance like a fool, jump into the pool and maybe at the end of the night, have a little drool, but in a FUN, FRIENDLY way. As all those alcohol commercials say under their breath at the end of the commercial ENJOY RESPONISBLY!



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