With alcohol being one of the UK’s most concerning causes of death amongst us there’s a sobering truth that is so often forgotten.
Alcohol is a harmful drug, and eventually, one by one, humanity will be picked off until all that’s left is a frozen skeleton holding up a pint glass, as if to say ‘cheers, mate!’.
The reputation of the fun-loving, boozy Scottish culture is not something that can be so easily outrun – especially when drinking has become a comfort that many people depend on. This national habit is a never-ending ripple that damages our bank accounts and leaves our heads spinning. In Scotland, an average of 22 people die from alcohol-related incidents a week, a study in 2015 found. Even with the success of Dry January coming to an end people still find it difficult not to stumble back into the path of something they have tried so hard to get away from.
Despite that though alcohol can actually steer people in the direction of a good time, or at least result in a funny story to share. It can bring a fruitful outlook on life, and it might just warm a heart or two for the night – giggles and hilarity all around! There’s no shame in having fun and revealing in the joy of it all, because what would life be if we could never let go?
But along with the laughter, everyone better remember the damage that could so easily be done. Families are ruined and torn. Friendships are fried, and people are broken. According to Alcohol Focus Scotland, more than one in four Scots are at “hazardous or harmful” levels when consuming alcohol. This kind of excessive drinking can twist people until they are so far gone and only their loved ones are left to pick up the pieces of someone they used to know.
It’s time to get serious. Conquering ignorance is the only way to help each other. It’s okay to turn down a glass of wine and ask for water instead, or just because the lads are having another round doesn’t mean you have to – know your limits. Acceptance and change are tough roads to travel and for some individuals, moderation can be a struggle, but knowing when to ask for help and when it needs to be given is an invaluable insight in the fight against alcoholism. Ignoring a problem will just make it grow an entirely new set of limbs. Before it’s too late, Scotland – it’s time to sober up.