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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Aussies and Alcohol

How do Aboriginal agencies rescue their people from the clutches of alcohol? The North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) have come up with the idea of banning takeaway alcohol in the territory for three days a week and not just for Aborigines but for everyone.

I can see this decision going down like a lead balloon and can hear the argument now, “It’s a free country mate, I have the legal right to drink, so back off and leave me alone”.

Herein lies the problem. Australians love to drink and alcohol plays such an important part in our lives because it’s associated with good times and good mates.

People in Europe don’t drink like we do - you rarely see a drunk Italian, Spaniard, or a Frenchman. It seems we Aussies, our British, American and New Zealand cousins drink for one reason - to get drunk, while the Europeans incorporate their drinking around food.

As parents we worry as our children start drinking at an early age, going to pubs under age, but they are doing exactly the same thing we did when we were kids. We sigh and hope they’ll grow out of it but I don’t think they do. Can you imagine having a dinner party without wine? I don’t think so.
The day comes when we all have to deal with our love affair with alcohol and administer some self discipline. Some find this easier than others.