Friday, 24 June 2011

Hitting the Bottle

A new medical report was published yesterday.  If ever there was a report that will be ignored it is surely this one.  What did it say?  People over 65 should cut down on the amount of alcohol they drink.  Tell that to the regulars in my local and you will get short shrift, believe me.
Now the thought of lonely, depressed, pensioners drinking themselves into a stupor every night is not a pleasant one and something should undoubtedly be done about anyone who drowns their sorrows in such a way.  It is sad to think they have no other recourse from their woes and as a society more should be done to make sure people do not slip into this loneliness.
However, like everything, not all pensioners are the same, just as not all teenagers or those in-between are the same.
Different people have different tolerances for alcohol depending on what they are used to.   We are social drinkers in my household.  You would struggle to find any alcohol in the house but at the weekend we go to the pub to meet other people and talk about sport and what is going on in the world.  Four pints of beer is normal for my husband and although he would never drive after drinking that amount, he is by no means drunk.  Yet I have been out with someone who doesn't drink regularly and after two pints is definitely tipsy.
I wouldn't encourage anyone to drink till they drop, but what passes for a social drink is way above the limit stated in this report.
If you suddenly tell people to stop drinking it might well do as much harm as the doctors say drinking does.  If people go out to drink it will cut down on their social interaction.  It's hardly worth putting your coat on for one small glass of wine.  If someone has a couple of glasses of wine with their meal or a tot of something before they go to bed, let them.  Apart from anything else, we are constantly told that pensioners are so poor they can't afford heating, so how can they afford to drink - or can't they afford heating because they are spending all their money on drink?  I doubt it.
By the time people have reached the age of 65 please give them the credit to decide how they should live their lives.  They have spent long enough working, let them enjoy a drink or whatever makes them happy.

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