Friday, 9 April 2010

A sad state of affairs

This is an observation, it's not a criticism, and not aimed at anyone in particular, just something I have noticed. These photographs which I took yesterday in town, make me very sad. There are ten barriers in total which have been installed in strategic places at a busy crossroads in the town, which is a magnate to teenagers hell bent on rendering themselves totally legless and out of their skull. The area has several bars close together, and on Friday and Saturday nights it has been a no go area for quite some time now for people not wishing to partake of this activity.

The police and ambulance services are in attendance to pick up the bodies and hopefully make sure that no lives are lost. But what a sad state of affairs. The reason for the barriers across the roads are to prevent vehicles entering the area and accidently knocking the intoxicated teenagers over, whilst they stagger from pub to pub. You might say it is health and safety gone mad, but I suppose it is better that people have to divert from their normal route rather than a young life be snuffed out.

Young people drinking has always happened, it's nothing new, I did it when I was a teenager. But never to the extent that I didn't know where I was. I always went home while my legs could still carry me. How sad that now they are picked up off the street, taken to a hospital, cleaned up, and escorted home, and that's if they are lucky. Some may even find themselves lying face down in a back alley having been beaten up and raped. Truly shocking.

How sad that the only way to control the situation is to put up these barriers. In a way the message they give out is, 'you go ahead and drink yourself into oblivion, we'll keep you all in one enclosure, watch over you, and take you home when you are ready.'


Responsibility for your own actions is a hard lesson to learn. You drink a little, fine, you can handle it, most can but some can't. They don't know when to stop. I am not talking about alchoholism here, but social drinking that has got out of hand. Walk down any street when it is collection day for recycling glass and tins. I am shocked at how high the boxes are piled up with beer and lager cans, and wine and spirit bottles. It seems like every day is party time.

I listen to people who think it's fun to have a few drinks, not just once or twice a week but every single night. I think it's sad that people feel they need to drink to enjoy life. The harm they are doing to their internal organs does not enter their head, it's only later on in life when their bodies can no longer function properly, that they begin to wonder if they might have overdone it a bit. It is possible that some people will never connect their ill health to the amount of alcohol they have consumed, instead looking for other reasons why they are so tired and have digestive problems.

Oh dear, this all sounds a bit preachy, I'm sorry, I don't mean to be. I just feel sad that some people don't think about the choices they have in life. Ok teenagers might be at the experimental stage, and hopefully they will grow out of it, but some will carry on the downward spiral into an early grave, that's not only sad but tragic.

My father's premature death was caused by excess drinking and smoking, he dropped dead of a heart attack at the age of 46. Thank God I have not inherited that gene from him. The thing is that none of us know when our time is up, but I am sure as hell not going to do anything that might accelerate my demise. I am having too much of a good time, with an ocassional bottle of wine once a month.

8 comments:

  1. Mike and I are regular drinkers - we have one bottle a week! we drink half of it on friday night and half on saturday night, so we drink two glasses a week each! If alcohol was banned tomorrow I wouldn't miss it!

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  2. Our recycling bin is rarely full of bottles - because we homebrew and recycle them ourselves *grin*.

    I think the real truth of why many town centres are devoted to drinking in the evening is that somebody is making money from it. It is becoming harder to find places for a "quiet drink" of an evening and pubs, often pushed by breweries, are following whatever gimmick puts the most money over the bar in the shortest space of time.

    Friends of mine used to run pubs and even quiet backstreet pubs are told to "open all day" even if it costs more to open than they make during the day. They could have run a nice, profitable pub that opened only on weekday evenings but the brewery insisted they open all day and then demanded to know why the takings actually went down! As a result the backstreet pub they ran was sold off for housing and this puts more pressure on the high street pubs.

    I'm not sure the bad behaviour and excessive drinking is always teenagers as they don't always have the money for pub prices.

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  3. I remember when the only place you could buy alcohol was an off license or pub and to get into either you had to be 21. Greed drives the world now and the young people are victims of the money making Governments,(all of them.)
    Lots of young people now come from split homes and have not had the discipline in their lives that they should have had.
    When they reach the age for work there is simply no work to be had. Again I remember when you could buy a local paper and pick a job to try with no trouble. No wonder they spend what little they have to drink, it takes them away from reality for a while.
    I have a 20 year old Grandson living with me so I know first hand about the problems facing your people today.
    Until they have hope for their future these young people will keep drinking. Look at Russia for an example of people drinking when they were in a hopeless situation.
    Sorry to rant but I feel so strongly about the plight of our young.

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  4. People who have a repeat visit to A&E because they're drunk should be made to take responsibility for their choices and billed for the cost of their treatment, including the ride in the cop car. If they are below the legal age for drinking alcohol they should be charged and their parents should be made to pay the fine.
    The ones I feel sorry for are the other residents living within the area served by the Health Trust who in fact are the ones currently paying for this antisocial drunkeness and that's not just.

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  5. Of my four children... two like to drink and have done so to excess from time to time when they were teenagers (sadly I think to the extent that you describe here) and yet the younger two have both had one occasion when they drank until they threw up and then decided it was not for them... one being totally tee total now for several years and the other only a very occasional social drinker and he is only 20 years old... in fact he used to watch his girlfriend get paralytic and he would simply take her home - and him cold sober. We brought them all up just the same so I don't know why they have turned out so different.

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  6. Thank you for your responses, it's interesting to discover how other people view the situation.

    You're right, Wyrdwhorl, the town centre pubs do not care about anything other than making money, even though they could be contributing to a young persons life of misery. Yes, teenagers don't always have the money for pub prices, so they drink cheap booze before they go out, and smuggle it into the pubs in pockets and bags.

    I totally agree Jane, that people who are taken to hospital because they have been picked up off the street with alcohol poisoning should be billed for the cost of it, and the parents should pay. After all it is self inflicted.

    Crafty Cat Corner, I do feel that the biggest cause of teenage drinking is that they can see no future for themselves. Someone who has no job must have a low self esteem and the only way to bolster themselves up is to hang out with mates who drink. It's very sad that they need to do this, we are failing our young generation.

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  7. We are a different generation, and we grew up in a time when you had a healthy respect for alcohol. The trouble nowadays is that there is nothing taboo anymore and that there are too many oppertunities for getting hold of alcohol; then combined with the total upsence of selfrespect in youngsters who often mix different types of alcohol in one night in an attempt to impress their peers, ending all too often with lethal consequences.

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