Why Do The British Drink So Much?

Source: BBC News

I first met alcohol in the late 1980s. It was the morning after one of my parents’ parties. My sister and I, aged nine or 10, were up alone. We trawled the lounge for abandoned cans. I remember being methodical: pick one up, give it a shake to see if there’s anything inside and, if there is, drink! I can still taste the stale, metallic tang of Heineken on my tongue. Just mind the ones with cigarette butts in.

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But it was at university that booze and I became properly acquainted. My memory of my first week is of social anxiety offset by cheap alcohol – a harbinger of the next four years. At one ball, I drank so much free wine that I vomited the stud out of my nose and down the sink. My diary entry that night consisted of four oversized words scrawled in turquoise pen: “drunk + sick / Freshers’ Ball”. But that was how it was: sometimes you were the one bundling people into a taxi, sometimes you were the one being bundled.

Recently, I started to wonder if my generation’s relationship with alcohol was abnormal. When I looked into the numbers, I realised that it was.

I discovered that 2004 was Peak Booze: the year when Brits drank more than they had done for a century, and more than they have done in the decade since. Leading the way to this alcoholic apogee were those of us born around 1980. No other generation drank so much in their early 20s. Why us?

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Alcohol kills one person every 10 seconds worldwide: WHO

Categories: Addiction, alcoholism

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