Yes, we should all have to pay for drunk tanks whether we drink alcohol or not, and here’s why

We live in a culture which laughs off alcoholism and castigates veganism and ‘clean living’, and we’re all responsible for it

News broke today that “drunk tanks” could be introduced across our cities to ease the burden on the NHS (which does not, as Simon Stevens is quick to clarify, stand for National Hangover Service). Drunk tanks are mobile units where paralytic partygoers, or, as my whisky-loving father calls them, “amateur drunks”, can safely sleep off a jug of cheap cocktails as a healthcare professional mops up their sick, wee and/or poo.

We need to look after our young drunks, right? Because c’mon! Who hasn’t woken up in a pool of their own vomit on the street looking up at St John Ambulance crew? Eh? It’s FUN, isn’t it? Just young people having fun, the sort when you black out, lose your shoe and piss yourself on the pavement. It’s a rite of passage! Or so we tell ourselves.

Sadly, I’m in no position to judge the 70 per cent of A&E users over the Christmas period who are there because they have drunk more than their bodies and brains could handle. I came of age in the nineties. Back then we didn’t have the adverts we see on TV now when you’re informed you are not meant to come home with sick in your hair. So how were we meant to know it wasn’t compulsory?


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