Kate Fox a consultant for MCM research whose alcohol industry clients include Bass Taverns, the Brewers and Licensed Retail Association and the Brewers’ Society argues that alcohol consumption is not a problem but cultural attitudes to alcohol are.
The problem is that we Brits believe that alcohol has magical powers – that it causes us to shed our inhibitions and become aggressive, promiscuous, disorderly and even violent. But we are wrong. In high doses, alcohol impairs our reaction times, muscle control, co-ordination, short-term memory, perceptual field, cognitive abilities and ability to speak clearly. But it does not cause us selectively to break specific social rules…
It seems to me that if as the writer states ‘In high doses, alcohol impairs our reaction times, muscle control, co-ordination, short-term memory, perceptual field, cognitive abilities and ability to speak clearly’ then it is in fact highly likely to cause disorder and violence on the part of drinkers…
The long term health problems caused by alcohol are also ignored in the article which concentrates on anthropology rather than medical research.
The writer goes on to argue that public health campaigns which highlight the negative effects of alcohol will only encourage the young and impressionable to drink more. (If this is the case why does the alcohol industry spend millions advertising a positive image for drinking? Perhaps they are missing a trick and should increase sales by telling their customers not to drink at all.)..
How does one change the culture surrounding alcohol? One can begin with the right message. In the words of Bahá’u’lláh
‘It is inadmissible that man, who hath been endowed with reason, should consume that which stealeth it away…’