I know I’ve written about this before, but there is a new report out that says that the number of people under the age of thirty admitted to hospital with alcohol related liver conditions has doubled in last 10 years.
This is actually quite terrifying and yet I don’t suppose that most of the young people being treated would consider that they drank excessively or were alcoholics.
I was having a debate with a male friend of mine the other day who thinks I’m over-reacting and that his father said the same about him at the same age, but I really do think that teenagers are drinking way more than we ever drank at their age. I know I’m sounding like a proper parent now, but the drinking culture in the UK is completely different from when I was young – it is also significantly different to virtually everywhere else in the world (apart from maybe deep dark cold places where they drink vodka all day long to get through the day). The new brand of young adult appears to want to drink to get drunk. They pre-lash with shots. Drink shots when they’re out which are far stronger than the beers and the dubonnet and lemonades we used to drink when out clubbing.
They even appear to be taking the pre-lash more seriously. In the States “drunkorexia” is sweeping the colleges (although at least this is with 21+ year olds and not 18 year olds like here) – apparently this is when they starve themselves all day in order to binge drink in the evenings without gaining excess weight – I’m not convinced that it isn’t as much about getting even more pissed. In my day we used to have a big bowl of pasta before a big night out (still do in fact).
This really is a huge worry for our children and they don’t all seem to get it. Am I being overly concerned or has anyone else noticed the change?
If so. What is the answer? Increasing the price won’t do it for a lot of gorgeous young things out there. Maybe we need to start putting photos of liver damage on to the vodka bottles – although what percentage of people stopped buying cigarettes when the scary photos appeared? Not sure that’s much of a deterrent either.
Just wishing they would all hurry up and get jobs so that they can’t drink like that anymore….
Although the global rise of youth unemployment and “Generation Jobless” as The Economist describes them is another matter for concern.