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roxii

How much of a problem is alcohol?

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I know that’s a stupid  question and I suppose what I’m really asking is does our society have an issue with how flippantly we talk about alcohol and it’s effects. 

I don’t drink much any more, I’m pretty much a non drinker who has the odd drink every few months but in my youth I drank as much as I could. 

Its seems to me though, that we now talk more openly and frankly about suicide than we do about alcohol related deaths. I’m not sure but I assume Billy J Smith’s death sounds alcohol related, same with Molly Meldrum and I assume Kerry Anne’s husband but these don’t really get spoken about. 

I listen to the ABC but get annoyed at the fact that when people do “dry July” they talk like they have been told to give up breathing for a month. 

Surely if giving up drink for a month is so dramatic and all consuming, then you have a problem, but we don’t see it that way. It’s almost like now for many people a few drinks a day is the baseline and only when you go over that is it a problem. 

Also while I don’t condone the party drugs getting taken and the issues they are causing I can’t help but feel if all these kids got on the drink instead we would see the same number of deaths maybe more but they would be on the roads or from violence which the media flippantly attributes to the alcohol but them moves on.

I don’t really know what I’m saying here but I just feel like we are banging on so much about losing the war on drugs while seemingly ignoring or excusing a much bigger problem. 

 

 

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I have a massive issue with sugar.  Thank god it’s not grog.  I rarely drink. Would be lucky to drink a case of beer in 12 months and about 2 bottles of wine 

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Sounds like I drink about as much as you Roxii.  I'm a light weight too, and was quite proud of being able to go out with $40, get plastered, and go home with $20.  I learned a while ago that the only time I really drank was for the wrong reasons, usually to do with women (may have been girls back then actually).

It's so accessible, and so accepted.  My daughter and her boyfriend aren't interested at all.  But some of her girlfriends write themselves off.  She finds them kinda funny, but I can tell she finds it a little sad too.  And I get the impression that she thinks they think they need to be like that to be popular.  Yet my daughter is one of the most popular kids at her school with none of that.

If she asked me to get her something to take to a party, I would.  She's sensible enough.  

So, basically it's all just the same as when we were kids!

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I very rarely drink, maybe 6-8 beers a year. (sometimes have a zero beer but don't count that).  Our here it is 'Dry January' and listening to the idiots on the radio, you'd think they are running a marathon a day or something. The other thing is than when it's over, everyone bangs on about how they have to 'make up for it' which seems pointless.

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Alcohol is our gun culture.

Kills more than tobacco or drugs, is addictive, toxic and metabolises to a known carcinogen, puts others at great risk, creates major social and domestic issues and is a dominant catalyst for violence yet we would never entertain the thought of better regulation because it's 'part of our culture'.

I've never quite understood why people would voluntarily drink a known toxin. Probably too drunk to make sensible decisions.

Edited by trinube
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It's such a ingrained part of our culture-something good happens get drunk. Something bad happens get drunk, tough day at work have a drink, great day at work have a drink, meeting new colleagues have a drink, had a baby have a drink, someone died have a drink etc etc

I was recently away for work and kept getting asked to go out for drinks after work and had to keep making excuses as I didn't want to either go out and get drunk and write off training the next morning, or go out and not drink and be that anti social nerd...It's tough....

It's definitely a problem. That being said I genuinely love drinking and getting drunk and can understand why so many people do.

Edited by more
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interesting one this. i go through stages where i dont drink much and others where i do.  i dont really have a thought on it eitherway as I see it as a societal norm. I often wonder the otherway why drugs are not legal as grog is. not saying one is right or wrong but they both mind alter - ones just been taxed to the hills for years.  I say that never having had drugs in my life, not even when standing in a ganja forest and it all around. People are people, some people kill, others knit.  If people do not want to drink that's their choice, if people wish to drink thats also their choice.  It not like smoking where it automatically affects others by being in their face/ stinking but it can affect others ten times worse then smoking ever will through violent behaviour/ self harm etc.

I fully accept it creates havoc in peoples lives and I have seen the damage it can do to people as well, both through family and employment. I've always had a high tolerance and never wanted to punch on or jump of balconies etc, I'd probably not drink if thats what it did to my behaviour but I figure people who lose the plot pissed probably have deep behavioural issue in their dna they are born with that rears it head/ comes out on the drink that they hide in their sober state.  

i know through my adult life, I would suggest from the people I have met it is more normal to drink, then not.  Does it make it right, nup.  Does it make it wrong, nup.  

The weirdest thing about society and drinking..... you can get to point 0.05 behind the wheel of a car ?? Seriously, have two beers then go drive one tonne of steel at speed..........  

 

 

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Hmmm.  Lately, I've been thinking along similar lines myself.  Mostly because I see the amount of alcohol my sons friends put away and wonder how much damage its doing to them.  As a father, you can only hope they see sense before its too late.

Yes I think its an issue in our society. 

Yes, I think we're scared to talk about it.  Just like we're scared to talk about a whole range of issues.  (e.g. mental health,  mens health, loneliness)

Yes, I think as a society that we've lost the ability to actually talk about an issue without it turning into an absolute shitfight of misinformation and personal attacks. (e.g. Party drugs, asylum seekers,  Banks,  Climate Change)

AJ

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20 minutes ago, more said:

I was recently away for work and kept getting asked to go out for drinks after work and had to keep making excuses as I didn't want to either go out and get drunk and write off training the next morning, or go out and not drink and be that anti social nerd...It's tough....

This is what I don't understand.  Why make excuses?  Why is it tough and what makes it anti-social? I used to go to the pub every Friday afternoon with workmates and drank Coke - never bothered anybody.

The MD at work had an alcohol ban for 12 months - medical problem. About 2 months in he realised he could be a non-drinker and it made no difference to how he was perceived or accepted. The biggest issue is this culture bullshit that you have to drink to be 'normal' - normal people shouldn't partake in self harming abuse.

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36 minutes ago, trinube said:

This is what I don't understand.  Why make excuses?  Why is it tough and what makes it anti-social? I used to go to the pub every Friday afternoon with workmates and drank Coke - never bothered anybody.

The MD at work had an alcohol ban for 12 months - medical problem. About 2 months in he realised he could be a non-drinker and it made no difference to how he was perceived or accepted. The biggest issue is this culture bullshit that you have to drink to be 'normal' - normal people shouldn't partake in self harming abuse.

But that’s just it isn’t it, our society dictates and reinforces  that normal people drink. From the advertising in News  and Fairfax right through to cultured society with their bubbly and Sauvignon Blanc. 

I know the athletic community is probably an outlier in terms of societal norms re drinking as they get up the next day, but most of society smashes it with just about every town in Australia having multiple ways to buy it from over a bar, to a bottle shop right through to home made.

Sad thing is it’s easier for kids to buy drugs in 2019 then it is a beer. Not saying either is right but I’d prefer a kid to have a beer then take drugs.

 

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I classify myself as a non drinker but have a couple after each race I complete so twice a year maximum.  I don’t see the need to drink, having worked in construction and FIFO for 98% of my career I have been surrounded by a heavy drinking culture and have seen the damage it can do.  I even sent my current project manager an email approx a year ago and suggested for any future work gatherings we have maybe we could take alcohol off the menu.  I never received a response so I challenged him in person and he brushed me aside.  I told some work colleagues and the response was “no one will turn up if no alcohol is present”.  I asked my site manager after the last function of how much we spent on alcohol for the night, he wouldnt tell me so I looked through the site credit card receipts on the computer, for a function that had approx 50 attendees, we purchased 15 cartons of beer.  All was consumed.  Coincendintley we had three employees fail breath tests the following day.

we have a function this Wednesday to wrap up the project, we have approx 20 employees left, it will be interesting to see how much money is spent on grog.

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2 hours ago, trinube said:

This is what I don't understand.  Why make excuses?  Why is it tough and what makes it anti-social? I used to go to the pub every Friday afternoon with workmates and drank Coke - never bothered anybody.

The MD at work had an alcohol ban for 12 months - medical problem. About 2 months in he realised he could be a non-drinker and it made no difference to how he was perceived or accepted. The biggest issue is this culture bullshit that you have to drink to be 'normal' - normal people shouldn't partake in self harming abuse.

Exactly this.

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I have collected and exchanged 3500 bottles / cans since around mid December from our complex (for the 10c bottles for change).  We are a 56 unit complex but I am collecting only from around 5-7 units currently - I am slightly surprised at how many cartoons are consumed.   A few units are contributing a cartoon every few days. The biggest week was 19 cartons.  And this does not include wine bottles. I look like an alcoholic when I take in between 12 and 19 cartons each week.........

Note......all funds are being used for our unit community gardens and I contribute maybe 30c a week!  🙂

Edited by skel

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as a generalisation, I;d say the older generations are more inclined to be alcohol related and the younger drugs.  I do neither, life is difficult enough without complicating it

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On 02/03/2019 at 11:36 PM, Oompa Loompa said:

But that’s just it isn’t it, our society dictates and reinforces  that normal people drink. From the advertising in News  and Fairfax right through to cultured society with their bubbly and Sauvignon Blanc. 

I know the athletic community is probably an outlier in terms of societal norms re drinking as they get up the next day, but most of society smashes it with just about every town in Australia having multiple ways to buy it from over a bar, to a bottle shop right through to home made.

Sad thing is it’s easier for kids to buy drugs in 2019 then it is a beer. Not saying either is right but I’d prefer a kid to have a beer then take drugs.

 

 

As alcohol and cigarettes kill many more people than drugs? why

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On 02/03/2019 at 11:36 PM, Oompa Loompa said:

But that’s just it isn’t it, our society dictates and reinforces  that normal people drink.

And therein lies the problem with the way society dictates 'normal'.

Let's be frank, the only reason people start to drink, smoke or do drugs is peer pressure. No-one ever wakes up one morning and says "I think I'll become a heroin junkie today". 

It takes resilience to say no to your mates. The funny thing is you only need to say it once, it never gets raised again.

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32 minutes ago, trinube said:

The funny thing is you only need to say it once, it never gets raised again.

We have different mates.

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It can be a funny thing.

In my teens & early 20's I took pride that I could drink a carton, or a 40 oz bottle of bourbon at a party. It was purely a social thing. I only ever drank with mates, and mainly when at parties, nightclubs, or after races. Then in my late 20's I was doing a lot of travelling with work, and living in pubs with guys many would call alcoholics. I got that sick of it I decided to do an engineering degree by correspondence to keep me out of the bars.

Then in my late 30's & 40's I drank now & then, but probably only a couple times a week, and only 2 or 3 beers. Maybe once or twice a month I'd have a six pack. I couldn't imagine drinking half a carton, and never drank unless I was drinking with someone else.

Now in my mid 50's, I've had 2 double scotches (105 proof single malts) with ice, while hosing the gardens on my own, a beer with dinner, and I'm now enjoying a nice glass of Muscat while logged on to work & listening to Mamas & Papas on youtube in the background.

I think I want to be 40 again.

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1 hour ago, trinube said:

 

Let's be frank, the only reason people start to drink, smoke or do drugs is peer pressure. No-one ever wakes up one morning and says "I think I'll become a heroin junkie today". 

 

There had to be one that did, somewhere, some place...lol.

 

Yes, peer pressure is huge.   

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47 minutes ago, Oompa Loompa said:

There had to be one that did, somewhere, some place...lol.

 

Yes, peer pressure is huge.   

Strength comes in many forms. I can't believe people are really that sheep like.

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government is not worried about health issues from alcohol. if as they say 2 standard drinks per day are so risky to health they would ban alcohol.

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30 minutes ago, BarryBevan said:

government is not worried about health issues from alcohol. if as they say 2 standard drinks per day are so risky to health they would ban alcohol.

Based on that smoking would have been banned years ago - yet they continue to watch people die slow painful deaths costing billions because they like the tax revenue.

Governments are soft.  The pill testing debate is a classic example. People are killing themselves but they're too worried about offending someone to make hard decisions. Whack a $20,000 fine onto anyone caught with 2 pills and you'll be amazed how quickly the problem will go away.

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8 hours ago, Ex-Hasbeen said:

n my teens & early 20's I took pride that I could drink a carton, or a 40 oz bottle of bourbon at a party. It was purely a social thing.

My mate were the same, yet I always took pride in being a one put screamer!  Still do.  I guess my wallet was more important to me than my status.  I'm word like that...... still!

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Up front I will say I think alcohol is a problem in society.

Today will be 6 weeks where I've been relatively alcohol free. 9 days free followed by 2 nights where I did have a couple and now 31 days since I've had a beer. I'm looking forward to having 1 or 2 tomorrow night. 

After such a good break why would I start again? Because I love beer, I love the gentle "buzz" that comes after a couple, I love the many flavours that beers come in and sampling them. I don't necessarily love alcohol. If I could take a legal pill (a "drug") that would give me that buzzed feeling I would. I like that feeling, I don't like getting drunk yet often do.

I don't like drinking to excess, I don't like hangovers (the bit where your body is trying to rid itself of the toxins), I don't like it when I allow alcohol to affect my decision making. I don't like that I showed my kids that drinking regularly is "normal". I really don't like that bit.

In the last 3-4 years since craft beers have taken off I have drunk way less. I use to drink maybe 1.5 cases of beer a week. Now I would drink maybe between 3-8 cans per week.

In society it's a complex complex problem and I'm not sure I have any insight in to how best to deal with it, I struggle with keeping myself in check.

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17 hours ago, Bored@work said:

It's a big problem for me.

 

Mine has crept up too.  I'd say 3-4 nights/week I'd drink, with 2-5 drinks/night. Mostly white wine with ice-cubes now, have substituted that for beer.  Need to cut back the number of drinking nights to 2-3.

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4 hours ago, trinube said:

Based on that smoking would have been banned years ago - yet they continue to watch people die slow painful deaths costing billions because they like the tax revenue.

Governments are soft.  The pill testing debate is a classic example. People are killing themselves but they're too worried about offending someone to make hard decisions. Whack a $20,000 fine onto anyone caught with 2 pills and you'll be amazed how quickly the problem will go away.

I do not think that increased deterrents necessarily work, particularly with drugs. Look at the number of people who get caught smuggling drugs in countries with the death penalty or long custodial sentences.

I think that it will not be too long before Australia legalises pot like South Africa, Canada and many US states. Like smoking it would generate great tax revenue and reduce the amount of money going to criminal gangs. As a father with children in their late teens and early 20's I do not know which is worse legal or illegal pot.

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6 minutes ago, Ironnerd said:

As a father with children in their late teens and early 20's I do not know which is worse legal or illegal pot.

Obviously the preference is neither, but given what I have heard about the way the hydro stuff is being grown and the how different it is to the pot of our day, I'd choose legal naturally grown any day. 

I also find it funny that a lot of the "just say no" , "no pill testing" brigade are the ones who laugh when they reflect on the hippy culture of their day and the "dont take the brown acid" stuff at Woodstock and the like. 

SOME kids are going to drink and take drugs, its a fact of life, a rite of passage and/or an act of rebellion, the best we can do is give them knowledge and if they still choose that path, help them get through it safely so they in turn can shake their finger at the next generation. 

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The "pill testing" scenario is a tough one though. Could you imagine the legal shitfight if someone's pills test ok, then they die from a contaminant that wasn't detected.

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59 minutes ago, Ex-Hasbeen said:

The "pill testing" scenario is a tough one though. Could you imagine the legal shitfight if someone's pills test ok, then they die from a contaminant that wasn't detected.

Pill testing wouldn't have saved Anna Wood. The whole thing is a joke. Play stupid games win stupid prizes.

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Pill testing wouldn't have done much in any of the festival drug deaths that I've read about.  The dose seems to be the culprit in most cases.

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2 hours ago, Ex-Hasbeen said:

The "pill testing" scenario is a tough one though. Could you imagine the legal shitfight if someone's pills test ok, then they die from a contaminant that wasn't detected.

Even more so if something was legalised and caused a death. Mind you, I suppose we already do that with alcohol and tobacco.

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6 hours ago, Ironnerd said:

I do not think that increased deterrents necessarily work, particularly with drugs. Look at the number of people who get caught smuggling drugs in countries with the death penalty or long custodial sentences.

I agree that deterrents don't work when people don't think they'll be caught. Realistically, the people getting done for trafficking aren't that smart and are probably so desperate they'll take the chance. 

Where deterrents are more likely to work is against people like suppliers at festivals. They know there's a decent chance they'll get caught - lots of police, drug dogs etc - but if they get caught now they get a slap on the wrist and the risk/reward ratio still works in their favour. Make the fine crazy high and the risk/reward swings the other way.

Most people will concede they speed when driving or will risk driving when they've had a couple of drinks. Do you think they'd still do it if the fine was $10,000 and immediate loss of license? When penalties are acceptable, there is no deterrent.

Edited by trinube

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12 minutes ago, trinube said:

I agree that deterrents don't work when people don't think they'll be caught. Realistically, the people getting done for trafficking aren't that smart and are probably so desperate they'll take the chance. 

Where deterrents are more likely to work is against people like suppliers at festivals. They know there' a decent chance they'll get caught - lots of police, drug dogs etc - but if they get caught now they get a slap on the wrist and the risk/reward ratio still works in their favour. Make the fine crazy high and the risk/reward swings the other way.

Most people will concede they speed when driving or will risk driving when they've had a couple of drinks. Do you think they'd still do it if the fine was $10,000 and immediate loss of license? When penalties are acceptable, there is no deterrent.

You would just end up with hundreds of millions/billions more of unpaid fines being chased by state penalty agencies like SPER in QLD when they have absolutely no chance of recovering the vats majority of it..

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Alcohol is a massive cultural problem when it is tied to toxic sporting masculine cultures like footy and life saving etc. It may be different one generation down but seeing grown men do an ocean swim then start smashing schooners at 9am on a Sunday isn;t a good look for anyone. Nor is your footy hero asleep in a puddle of his own spew and urine at 10 O'clock on a sunday night, or giving the missus a clip when she says youve had enough.

NRL would be out of the headlines if alcohol was a banned substance. Poor decisions are a certainty when excessive alcohol is involved. 

I havent had a drink since December 2009 when I passed out on the front steps in front of my 10 and 8 year old after a long lunch and afternoon for a significant birthday. Bottomless glass at lunch always filled by the waiter, pub afterwards and more on the bus home. Wake up call. Hope I have set an example for my kids. I don't need to be pissed to be having fun at a party, most of the blokes stand in the corner talking to their beers while I dance with their wives. My eldest drinks pretty responsibly, she does not have an iron stomach so doesn;t go too hard and my 16 year old has never touched a drop and doesn;t sound keen to (not into schoolies this year, doesn;t drink or take drugs at parties).

Good on you if you can drink and keep control. I couldn't and am better off without it. A lot of people don;t know it, or know it and don;t have a reason to change their behaviour.

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2 hours ago, pieman said:

You would just end up with hundreds of millions/billions more of unpaid fines being chased by state penalty agencies like SPER in QLD when they have absolutely no chance of recovering the vats majority of it..

I'm sure if some thought was put into it a suitable penalty could be found. Confiscation of property, garnishment, detention orders.

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23 minutes ago, trinube said:

I'm sure if some thought was put into it a suitable penalty could be found. Confiscation of property, garnishment, detention orders.

Yeah just make the fine able to be recouped under the proceeds of crime laws.

most of the dodgy dealers cant help but show off their ill gotten gains with flashy cars, boats etc. 

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Visit any hospital ER, talk to a couple of Ambulance Officers, Police officers, Fireman, social workers etc & you will quickly find out how much of a problem alcohol is

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On 02/03/2019 at 9:51 PM, trinube said:

This is what I don't understand.  Why make excuses?  Why is it tough and what makes it anti-social? I used to go to the pub every Friday afternoon with workmates and drank Coke - never bothered anybody.

The MD at work had an alcohol ban for 12 months - medical problem. About 2 months in he realised he could be a non-drinker and it made no difference to how he was perceived or accepted. The biggest issue is this culture bullshit that you have to drink to be 'normal' - normal people shouldn't partake in self harming abuse.

I drank a bit when I was 18. Would go out with my older brother and his friends. My dad drunk, so did my brother. Its what you did (yet mum and my older sister didn't). Hanging out with him made me cool. I only did that for about 6 months, then I settled down. I was pregnant at 19 - not due to alcohol. Dumb!! I was happy about it though. Married the guy. We were together for 5 years before we split. 

Dazz and I used to have a few shots, then go out, when we first got together. I soon realised alcohol made me sleepy... or maybe it was just after 8pm 🤣, but alcohol was the connection I made,  so I stopped drinking.

My SIL bought me a drink at my 30th. I drank half, to be polite, but since then haven't touched a drop. I think now it's more about looking after my body,  (yet I still eat sugar, so figure that one out.)

I duuno. I'm kinda proud of not being a drinker, or a smoker, or a coffee drinker.  It kind of makes me who I am. I guess it's the image I portray now.  A kid at school saw me eating a donut the other day and nearly fell over.  She thought all I ate was salad 🤣🤣 because I always have salad for lunch and eat it while I am on playground duty. 

Anyway, back to the being normal thing, I pride myself on NOT being normal, so this works in my favour.

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The government makes too much money from cigarettes, alcohol and gambling to come down really hard on any of them.

I don't drink but would have had 3 or 4 bourbons last year. Even growing up, I would prefer to enjoy my home grown, than drink.

Yes, pot is illegal, but at least people don't bash each other after they've had a few. Although now, with all the chemicals that are added, it can't be good for you.

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1 hour ago, Cranky said:

My dad drunk, so did my brother. Its what you did (yet mum and my older sister didn't).

I guess it's no secret by now that I'm a sworn non-drinker. Neither of my parents drank. My dad's father was (apparently) a world class drunk. He used to come home nightly and beat the sh!t out of my dad when he was about 12 or 13. Dad ran away from home at 14 and never saw his parents again. Never got an education and basically never spoke of his childhood - he was damaged goods from it. No-one in my family - not even my mother - ever met dad's parents. 

I'm sure he's not the only kid to have his life screwed by alcohol but when I look at my kids I'm totally cool with not drinking - whether I'm labelled as 'normal' or not. The thought of some drunk prick beating my teenage son sends shivers down my spine.

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Even when I did drink occasionally, I never drank at home by myself. The Mrs doesnt drink so it never really seemed like something to do. 

Also dont really like pub/ club culture and dont gamble either so apart from the odd meal we dont really go to those sorts of establishments either, so my kids dont really get exposed to it much at all. 

I remember when my son was about 7 we where up at Robertson getting some pies and there was a big sign saying "Robertson Pub", my son said "Whats a Pub?" 

 

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4 minutes ago, roxii said:

Even when I did drink occasionally, I never drank at home by myself. The Mrs doesnt drink so it never really seemed like something to do. 

My Mrs will have a wine if someone brings it over but she made a decision when the kids were young to not drink in front of them. We also try not to swear in front of them - sometimes that's a lot harder than it sounds :)

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1 minute ago, trinube said:

We also try not to swear in front of them - sometimes that's a lot harder than it sounds :)

:lol: 

Us too (even though we swear like wharfies in my workplace) 

Ironically the only time my kids (17 and 12) have heard me use the F bomb was at some cyclists  :lol: 

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1 minute ago, roxii said:

:lol: 

Us too (even though we swear like wharfies in my workplace) 

Ironically the only time my kids (17 and 12) have heard me use the F bomb was at some cyclists  :lol: 

In the car, fcuking near impossible not to slip up sometimes! :lol:

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My wife drinks in front of our daughter. I think it's a good thing for her to see that you can enjoy a drink. I don't think it's cool for her to watch her old man have drink after drink until I pass out.

 

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Considering my youth and pride at the BnS attendances up until around 25, my wife still comments that after 15+ years she has never seen me drunk.  I also don't think I've ever had a night in that time either where I had any concerns about being okay to drive home, just pretty much reached a point in my life where drinking just really did not matter that much anymore

I have one ongoing situation at work dealing with a guy who got into a shoving match with a workmate's wife at a private function.  His response is "I always do stuff like that when I drink, you can't blame me".  He's been getting counselling for the last few months about it to avoid the situation getting any worse at work and he still can't figure out he has a problem.  Bloody good worker that was in line to get the next team leader role, but the situation has lost respect with all of his workmates so doubt we can put him up at this stage

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