My generation has an alcohol problem.
Sure, the majority of us seem to drink too much and too frequently, but that’s not unusual for any generation in the 19–34 age bracket.
The problems arise because of how destructive my fellow 20-and-30-somethings can get after a night of drinking.
To use the colloquial expression: we can’t handle our liquor.
But tolerance isn’t the cause of drunken decision-makings. It’s our perspectives on liquor, fun and the relationship between the two that kills, injures and otherwise ruins futures.
Alcohol is a depressant. It’s a depressant that is marketed to us as the key ingredient in a fun night. According to beer commercials, sexy women only exist if you’re drinking X brand. And we buy into it. “We,” being men.
According to Stats Canada’s 2012 survey on heavy drinking, men drink significantly more liquor — and way more often — than women.
My analysis is that men are mostly incapable of having fun without liquor until the age of 35. More specifically, men are focused on finding women. The common conception of young males, especially when in groupthink, is that finding women to take home gets easier after liquor.
So what we get in those scenarios are men fueled by testosterone and booze. Rationality is mostly gone, replaced by bravado. The night becomes a non-fictional Choose Your Own Adventure book and the tragic or unfortunate endings heavily outnumber the positives.
“For sure, I can drive,” the drunk announces to his group of friends.
“Who’s that guy talking to my ex-girlfriend?” he asks before starting a confrontation.
I have heard of and seen scenarios like those in friends and strangers alike. In my capacity as court reporter for the Times-Herald, I have heard sad situations where the entire mess can be traced back to alcohol abuse.
Binge drinking is part of the problem. But our view of liquor as a harmless social lubricant is equally problematic. A friend of mine once drove to a fast food drive-through while over the legal limit. He bumped into the car in front of him, the situation got heated and he assaulted a man.
The police were called and he was charged with impaired driving, assault and drug possession. His situation is just starting to improve, more than a year later.
There are infinitely more examples but you wouldn’t remember them. Nobody listens until these things happen close to you or happen directly to you.
There are differences between alcohol abusers and alcohol addicts. If you think you could be either, I encourage you to go to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting for a better understanding of your situation.
Alcohol is marketed as a necessary ingredient for a fun night. Social events perpetuate this view. And now serious drinking season is upon us.
Before you empty a few bottles this December, go to Moose Jaw Provincial Court and see how much fun people in custody are having the morning after.
Austin M. Davis can be reached at 306-691-1258 or follow him on Twitter @theAustinX.