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Drink driving facts blog

What is the solution to the alcohol and other drug problem in Australia?

At a time when alcohol is arguably the MOST concerning issue of our time, definitely bigger than the “war on terror”, we ask, what is the solution to this increasing menace in Australia. Further, while you are at it, what is the solution to the drug problem in general? There are now more potent drugs, doing more harm, in minute doses that are no longer detectable by technology.

 

I ask, does anyone really care?

 

People enjoy drinking, so people don't care. Politicians enjoy tax revenue, so politicians don't care. Parents worry about their kids, however, the responsibility is no longer theirs when their teen reaches 18. In such environments where heavy drinking is normal, parents are actually busy binge drinking themselves. After all, they work hard and if you work hard, you deserve a drink; this is Australia mate, that's what we do, its in our culture. If you are not able to drink your mates under the table, you are not a man: keep practicing and you will get there.

 

Professionals don't care, they are busy teaching harm minimization to those who are beyond controlling harm. You are allowed to get drunk, just don't drive afterwards. Its' ok to have them “pissed” or “blackout”, just have taxis or designated drivers available. This is a party mate, we are sociable, our friends are drinking, so I will drink with them.

 

TAC, LLC and other relevant authorities such as AHA, they don't care. It's our economy. We have trained staff through responsible serving of alcohol, an all 2-3 hour course, that teaches a young individual to dispense responsibly the drug alcohol to (mostly) alcoholics and to refuse service whenever appropriate. Simultaneously, the same course fails to define the legal definition of intoxication, except for a person's inability to stand up or speak properly.

 

The alcohol industry, they don't care. They are in the business of doing business. “Alcohol does not kill”, “people do”. However, unlike guns, alcohol alters moods, judgement and behaviour.

 

Australia all in all does not care; social binge drinking is our national icon. In fact, this is the Australian definition of social drinking. How else do we celebrate winning the “cup”. Furthermore,unlike other drugs, it's ok to be drunk! It's not as if we are shooting up or something? It's not as if we are junkies! For example, the community does not care that the addictive processes, rehabilitation and even mode of treatment can be similar for all drugs, including alcohol.

 

So, what do we do? How do we secure the brain of our future leaders? Go back to “prohibition”? It is ironic that, statistically, the least dangerous drug in our society is illegal whilst the most damaging is legal? Is that a paradox or a proof that prohibition in fact works. The community does not care that it is NOT about prohibition, it is not about legalisation. It is about “accessibility”. Have you noticed, illegal substances are far less accessible!

 

What is the answer?

 

Let's make it unfashionable to be blind drunk at social event, let's reject terms such as “party or recreational” drugs. Let's reject “getting drunk socially” as part of the norm and “binge drinking” as Australian social drinking icon. Let's stop “justifying or covering up” thereby enabling those who are sick to get sicker. Let's stop practices such as “shouts”, “drinking mates under the table”, “dare drinking” and “drink cards”. Let's begin to model good behaviour to our young. Let's use moderation as the key to our lifestyle. Let's become the smart country we claim to be. Let's start  NOW.

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