Last night, I decided to head out with a few of my friends to a nightclub in our local city. It was my first night out in a few weeks, since our trip to Slovenia to be precise. Over the past couple of years, my toleration towards alcohol has rapidly declined. Not that I was ever a heavyweight drinker in the first place! Since partaking more seriously in running, the appetite to endulge in alcoholic beverages has been vanquished. There’s one problem though. It’s a rather big one too. I live in country culturally known for their alcoholism. A country that takes pride in being associated with this practice. Yes, that country being Ireland.
I’ve learnt how to distinguish myself from this culture, but it’s very clear that the majority of people here haven’t. Allowing myself to cut back on binge drinking or drinking alcohol in general has been one of the best decision I’ve ever made. Previous to last night, my last encounter with alcohol would have been three weeks ago, as I’ve mentioned, in Slovenia and prior to that months with no alcohol. I’m feeling the best I ever have. Body and mind are in top condition and I love it. If you’re a heavy drinker I advise you to go a month with no alcohol and see how you feel. I promise you it’s the best you’ll have felt for a very long time. This is not to say that I don’t ever drink alcohol, because I do. I’m a college student in my defence! But I’ve learnt how to drink sensibly and only occasionally. I’m not going out drinking every week, far from it. I have nothing against people drinking alcohol in a sensible or reasonable manner. It’s a sociable and enjoyable encounter. However, when I see people drinking vast quantities and, more worryingly, becoming so dependant on it to enjoy their night that it starts to bug me.
It’s become very apparent though, that alcohol is a major problem in Ireland. Especially with the younger generation, who have become so dependant on the substance that it’s frightening. You can see teenagers from the age of thirteen upwards starting to drink alcohol, I kid you not! And why? It’s so pointless. When you see a teenager that young drinking too much, because they’ve no idea how much they can tolerant, and end up in hospital getting their stomach pumped. Then you begin to question how big the problem really is. It’s impossible to go out on a college night or weekend without seeing numerous people passed out,covered in their own vomit, after being kicked out of the club due to the high level of intoxication that has taken over their body. I guess that makes you cool nowadays though, right? The thing that makes it worse is that they don’t learn. It’s as if they enjoy being in that condition, because I can assure you that you’ll see the same person in the same condition a few weeks later. I just can’t understand.
It’s clear to see that the problem is only getting worse. The price of alcohol has risen in recent years, but it doesn’t make a difference. People haven’t changed and I don’t think they ever will. At least not while they’re living in this country. It makes me sad when I see a person drinking two bottles of vodka, whiskey, rum, you name it, because one isn’t enough. If you’re drinking two bottles of any spirit then you have to start questioning yourself. That you’ve become so tolerable to a substance, so you decide the right thing to do is double your quantity intake in order to reach a level of pollution you deem reasonable to enjoy your night. I worry that the times when a person can go out, alcohol free, and enjoy their night are long gone. It doesn’t help either that if you’re not drinking, you’re an outcast. You certainly can’t join in on their drunken fun if you’re sober, oh no! That’s going to ruin the vibes.
It’s crazy! Don’t get me wrong, I love my country and the people who inhabit it, but there is a very big problem staring our nation in the face and they’re oblivious to it. Oblivious to change. Acceptant of a culture that is absurd. Proud to be labelled a society beloved of alcohol. I’m not proud. It’s time we start to live in the reality of a problem that needs to be solved. If you go to most European countries and you won’t see this problem. Becoming dependent on anything is unhealthy. So why did Ireland have to go and choose alcohol to feed their craving dependant nature.
I hope one day this problem can be solved, but I’m afraid it won’t be in my lifetime.