Shocking news about Scotland’s drinking on the BBC today, in their words:
Scots ‘drink 46 bottles of vodka’
Of course there are caveats on that statement – Scots don’t actually drink 46 bottles of vodka, they drink the equivalent of that amount of alcohol. Not all Scots do the drinking either – after all there are five-year-olds who might have difficulty putting away that much booze, no the people who are being considered responsible for drinking all that alcohol are all over 18.
I must admit that this seems like an oversight by the NHS Scotland, since they are clearly aware that underage drinking (from the age of 13) not only happens, but is a common and regular occurrence, one that has been the focus of campaigns by NHS Scotland in the past.
Back to the vodka. I’m surprised that the BBC didn’t use tequila or sambuca as the equivalent amount of alcohol – after all, we can all recoil in horror at the thought of drinking that much of the patently nasty stuff. But to be fair the BBC do give other equivalents:
537 pints or 130 bottles of wine per person
But hang on – 130 bottles of wine per person equates to 1 large glass a day. Suddenly it doesn’t sound quite so bad. However, the situation with regard to drinking in Scotland is bad, costing around 2.25 billion per year.
And we know why. People don’t drink one large glass of wine a day any more that they drink 46 bottles of vodka in a year. People drink vast quantities on a Friday and Saturday night because it has become synonymous with having a good time. But at least there are indications that the culture of binge drinking might be starting to change, which can’t be a bad thing. Let’s see how economic recession will influence the situation – it may be a case that people can’t afford to binge as often or as hard, or maybe people will just turn to cheaper alternatives for their booze kick – Tennents Super anyone?
[Edit: perhaps Buckfast should more rightly claim the title of “fighting juice”]