25 March 2013

An Alcoholic Generation?

Yesterday I happened out just after 9pm and what I saw broke my heart. While stepping out of a chemist where I had gone to pick some lozenges, I was shocked to hear a loud shouts coming from right across the street. I stood there for a while and what I saw unfold before my eyes broke my heart to the core.

A group of five young girls who looked like they had just cleared high school stood right in the middle of the road. With them were three young men who seemed composed despite the rowdy noise from the girls. I could tell the girls were very drunk and two of them were smoking. They kept harassing the boys to go along with them even though they were reluctant. What I was watching was a clear show of girls in control.

I stood there a while longer watching the group. Vehicles had to make their way around them as they were right in the middle of the road. It was a good thing this was an estate shopping centre otherwise they risked getting run over walking right in the middle of the road. I wondered if their parents knew what they were up to, and even wondered more how they would go home to their families intoxicated as they were. Every once in a while they would hurl insults to passersby and follow it up with loud laughter.

This is not an Isolated happening as over the weekend I saw so many people both young and old passing the hours around tables laden with alcohol. It is now not necessary to drink alcohol in the confines of low light pub as there are now outdoor pubs in the form of tables. Here you find groups of men drinking in the company of ladies who occupy whatever sitting space is available, mostly on the laps of the men. They sit there discussing politics or football as they while away most of the weekend drinking.

In both these scenarios, alcohol is in use in large quantities. It seems nowadays if you are not drinking you are not with it. Alcohol has become the social medium in our society so that if one does not want to be left behind then they need to frequent these alcohol clubs often. It is pathetic watching so many people wasting away their lives in what appears to be a frenzy to outwit each other in intoxication. But what exactly is turning our society into a drinking society?

It is a society gone bad when socialising is done in pubs. I always wonder even more when I see women competing with the men at downing drinks with abandon. Women are not meant to drink. Alcohol makes one loose their focus and we need mothers who are alert to deal with the matters of bringing up a family. So while these women are drinking late into the night who is left with the children, who is mothering them? No wonder we are seeing more and more kids brought up by house helps who may not have the necessary parenting skills. Someone needs to tell ladies that there is nothing cool about sloshing down countless bottles of beer and getting back home late to sleeping children.

Yes life  is tough and not getting easier. But when a man or woman chooses to drown their cares with alcohol it does not help anything. No one gets a medal for being an alcoholic and abdicating their roles which is what alcohol does to most. We are seeing more and more men turning into alcoholics day by day and who seem to only work to go out and drink some more. If everyone has turned into an alcoholic, then what is the future of our society? Is there no other means of letting it out except through drinking?

No wonder we are seeing an increase of broken homes. And with that comes broken children who also turn to alcohol to try and cope with life issues. There is also an increase of criminal cases performed under the influence of alcohol. Not to mention unwanted pregnancies that result from the one night stands induced by alcohol consumption. Alcohol brings with it a chain reaction and if left unchecked we could be turning into a drink dependant society. Then woe unto our children!

Alcohol will not solve any problem and that is clear. The effects of alcohol need to be brought out more and more even on national television so that people are reminded what it is they are getting themselves into. Religious leaders too need to call for sobriety and bring forth campaigns on the vice. Sweeping the menace under the rug will not help our society rather we all need to point alternative recreational means of letting off stress. Surely there are more beneficial forums of socialising that do not dent the pocket and cause breakdown of relationships. If we all seek to find them.
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