Opinion Columnists

Saturday 16 December 2017

We're all binge drinkers – if you swallow nanny state line

Three pints, according to the latest report, makes you a binge drinke. Photo: Getty Images.
Three pints, according to the latest report, makes you a binge drinke. Photo: Getty Images.
Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer

FOR the love of God, stop! Whatever it is that you are eating, put it down. Bin it. If you are drinking something, pour it away. It it almost certainly poison. Studies are increasingly clear that there is a very good chance that we may die. Of Something. Sometime. Somewhere. The cause may very well be something we ate, or drank, or touched, or smelled, or inhaled.

The report du jour is brought to us by the highly reputable firm, the United Nations, via their subsidiary, the World Health Organisation. They have just published their global overview of alcohol consumption and the ghastly effects it has on life, love and the pursuit of happiness. So how does Ireland do? Badly, naturally, but precisely how badly in league table terms is frankly harder to work out than I had expected, as all the tables seem to be divided into regions and organised alphabetically rather than by consumption for, I am sure, very good reasons.

What I can tell you is that the UK came in at 25th in the list, with 11.6 litres pure alcohol per annum, and we scored higher with 11.9. The really bad news is not in our total consumption, but apparently the way we drink. More than our neighbours in Europe, we binge drink. Now, when I hear a word like that, it conjures up a particular picture. The Binge Eater. The Binge Drinker. Say it out loud, it works better. You can see it now, can't you. The sweaty fetid desperate creature gulping at the bottle of cheap vodka, sucking down harsh hard liquor to dim the clamour of his inner demons.

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