The Price of Alcohol in Human Terms
So the latest research allegedly shows that we consume large amounts of alcohol because it’s cheap. Given these facts then I guess that we are also drinking large amounts of fizzy drink because they are also cheap and stocking up on chocolate bars when they are on promotion?
I have never once been asked by a researcher if putting the price of alcohol up would make a difference to my buying habits. To my knowledge, none of the people that I have worked with have been asked the same question. So just who is asking the questions and who are giving the replies?
Can we be sure that the population is being completely honest about alcohol consumption and the real reasons that they are using it when asked by some random researcher? I suspect not.
Much of the UK’s drinking problem is unseen. For many there is a big stigma surrounding the use of alcohol. Many are just too reluctant to admit that they have a problem at all. In my experience there is a bigger problem with binge drinking among the middle class, middle aged population than with the mostly blamed younger generation. But again all the research in the World just doesn’t reveal this, but it is right in front of us for all to see.
We delude ourselves most through learned behaviour that we drink alcohol for the taste, even though I see little evidence of a big drive to create drinks with the same taste as alcoholic ones but without the alcohol. If it really was about the taste then surely we would want the toxic parts removed?
Chill out or Opt out?
How about using it to ‘chill out’? Truth is that if we don’t know how to truly get into a relaxed state without alcohol then we already have a problem. In these circumstances the action of being relaxed is alcohol dependent, and that is often the starting point for many alcoholics.
Time to face the facts. Putting the price of alcohol up will not stop people with alcohol issues or who ‘binge drink’ or ‘over indulge’ from buying any less alcohol. They will just buy products with higher alcohol content or they will make their own or we will see a whole new underground black market develop.
Binge drinkers are using alcohol to ‘self medicate’ their lives, not because it’s cheap. We need understand why we are all still under the illusion that using mind altering drugs on a regular basis is ‘normal’, or is it the way we live our lives that needs looking at?