Sometimes, The Problem With Drinking Is Calling Drinking A Problem

The UK's Office of National Statistics has released a new report, which basically says the whole nation is a bunch of lushes. For starters: the government was forced to revise its consumption calculations because of the "trend" toward larger wine glasses. Whereas a "glass of wine" used to be one unit of alcohol it now counts for two. Add it all up and a third of women are drinking "beyond safe limits" every week. (Meanwhile, a group called Positive Futures conducted a survey of teenagers and found that 42% started drinking when they were 13 or younger. So, you know, lushes-in-training! )And that's not all! The study "discovered" that the more successful one is, the more one drinks. (Well, naturally! The more money you make, the more you have to spend on booze!)



Anyway, the recommended weekly maximum "units" for a woman is 14. Which means we should have one glass of wine every day. Just one! In the new big glasses, though.

Here's the thing: We've got higher life expectancies these days but we're in a fast-paced, globally-warmed, been-there-done-that, terrorism-threat-level-permanently-orangeish world where there are few legal ways to soothe the soul; and sometimes chocolate and pictures of kittens just aren't enough. Many of us emerge from our square-ish homes, travel in boxy vehicles to spend the day in a cube of a workspace. Why not hit the bar for some actual social human interaction? The ancient Greeks had Dionysus; we have happy hour. The government thinks you drink too much? So what?! And if you're successful, working hard, isn't there something civilized about an after-work cocktail? Does anyone else want to raise a glass and toast the invention of alcohol?

Millions Of Middle-Class Women Drinking More Than They Realise Because Of Larger Wine Glasses [Daily Mail]
The More Successful You Are, The More You Drink, Research Finds [Independent]
One In Three Men Drink At 'Hazardous Levels' [Telegraph]
Underage Drinking - The Facts [Guardian]