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I drink because...

Victoria Derbyshire | 09:38 AM, Thursday, 21 February 2008

..I think it helps me to relax, because I often have a really good time when I've had a few drinks, and because I don't think I have a problem with alcohol. I hate having a hangover especially when it's my turn to get up early with the children. Why do you do drink?


  1. At 10:27 AM on 21 Feb 2008, rick atatastan wrote:

    The lady who was on chatting about how she drinks to excess at home is not alone. There are many people in this situation, but where is the shoulder of her community for her to cry upon?

    There's only one person to blame for the death of British society and they're honouring and errecting statues to her (Dame Thatcher), we are dealing with the sick side-effects of her greed-is-good culture.

    Community needs to be emphasised and funded by taxing nondoms. A tangent, you may think, but it's holistic and you must see the bigger picture and not focus on just one topic.

  2. At 10:34 AM on 21 Feb 2008, Matthew Tipton wrote:

    This is a letter I found that had been written to the Sydney Bulletin in 1903. I copied it down 10 years ago as it rang so true to me. I was coming to the end of a year living in Australia where I had drank a huge amount of alcohol. It hit such a nerve that my drinking levels have never been the same.

    "Dear Bulletin,

    I’m awfully surprised to find myself sober. And, being sober, I take up my pen to write a few lines, hoping they find you as well as I am at present. I want to know a few things. In the first place, why does a man get drunk? There seems no excuse for it. I get drunk because I’m in trouble, and I get drunk because I’ve got out of it. I get drunk because I am sick, or have corns or the toothache, and I got drunk because I am feeling well and grand. I got drunk because I was rejected and I got awfully drunk the night I was accepted. And, mind you, I don’t like to get drunk at all, because I don’t enjoy it much, and suffer hell afterwards. I’m always for better and happier when I’m sober, and tea tastes better than beer. But I get drunk. I get drunk when I feel that I want a drink, and I get drunk when I don’t. I get drunk because I had a row last night and made a fool of myself and it worries me, and when things are fixed up I get drunk to celebrate it. And mind you, I’ve got no craving for drink. I get drunk because I’m frightened about things, and because I don’t give a damn. Because I’m hard up and because I’m flush. And, somehow, I seem to have better luck when I’m drunk. I don’t think the mystery of drunkenness will ever be explained – until all things are explained, and that will be never. A friend says we don’t drink to feel happier, but to feel less miserable. But I don’t feel miserable when I’m straight. Perhaps I’m not perfectly sober right now, after all. I’ll go and get a drink and write again later."

  3. At 10:59 AM on 21 Feb 2008, Arthur C. Grudfuttle wrote:

    Fascinating debate Victoria. I've been listening to all the different reasons people on your show drink alcohol and I think it's quite significant that not one person says they drink because it's cheap. Can't help wondering if that means price has very little to do with peoples' drinking habits, and so, will putting the price up have any effect at all? Grudfuttle.

  4. At 11:07 AM on 21 Feb 2008, Stephen wrote:

    Make those who drink (and smoke) to excess pay for their eventual medical treatment. This will deal with all of those idiots who "don't have a problem" and know better than everyone else. It will also mean an improvement to the health service.

    Answer 4 or more of the below and you are likely to have a problem

    1 - Have you ever decided to stop drinking for a week or so, but only lasted for a couple of days?

    2 - Do you wish people would mind their own business about your drinking-- stop telling you what to do?

    3 - Have you ever switched from one kind of drink to another in the hope that this would keep you from getting drunk?

    4 - Have you had to have an eye-opener upon awakening during the past year?

    Do you need a drink to get started, or to stop shaking? This is a pretty sure sign that you are not drinking "socially."

    5 - Do you envy people who can drink without getting into trouble?

    6 - Have you had problems connected with drinking during the past year?

    7 - Has your drinking caused trouble at home?

    8 - Do you ever try to get "extra" drinks at a party because you do not get enough?

    9 - Do you tell yourself you can stop drinking any time you want to, even though you keep getting drunk when you don't mean to?

    10 - Have you missed days of work or school because of drinking?

    11 - Do you have "blackouts"?

    12 - Have you ever felt that your life would be better if you did not drink?

  5. At 11:17 AM on 21 Feb 2008, Mark wrote:

    I drink because...

    As Andy Fairweather-low's lyric said "the rhythm of the bottle is stronger than the rhythm of life".

    Actually I don't drink anymore. Alcohol dependence is so insidious, it creeps up upon you and plays on all the weaknesses of the human condition.

    I only realised when I had stopped for about a month how good life could be without drink. Giving up is an act of faith - you have to trust that things will eventually be better - and they will.

    Those who are listening to the show and thinking "I should stop", should stop. If I could do it anyone can.


  6. At 12:26 PM on 21 Feb 2008, tom bromham wrote:

    i usd to drink for the same reason i used to take heroin, speed, downers etc. to make myself be the person i'd like to be straight.

  7. At 12:27 PM on 21 Feb 2008, Pete wrote:

    Someone just mentioned about bizarreness of our culture if you look at it form outside. Yes it is, but we cant change our culture overnight. Culture change happens over a period of decades to generations. Look at the "24 hour" drinking thing. I believe one reason we went that way was to achieve a more continental culture and get away from the binge drinking culture. People are complaining that this hasnt been achieved after just one year. A paradigm shift in peoples attitude to drinking (or anything else) will not happen without a catastrophic change. The one big change in culture these days seems to be that we all want quick results. There seems to be no room for the slow gentle change.
    For the record, I drink to: get drunk, celebrate, relax, have something cold, wet and fizzy, to have something warm and bitter, to not have coffee and tea, to raise confidence. Basically, any reason , sometimes to excess, not every day, take it or leave it.

  8. At 12:58 PM on 21 Feb 2008, Ann wrote:

    A couple of years ago my son played in a rugby tournament for the under 16's which they won A couple of the fathers took it upon themselves to line up 16 pints of beer one each for the players and the reserve player. As the boys walked off the pitch after 90 min. of hard play they picked up their pint of beer. My son who is a large popular 14 year old lad walked over to me with his pint. I gently took it off him bent down and tipped it onto the pitch and handed him a bottle of water and a pint of coke. One of the one of the coaching staff noticed came over patted me on the head and told me I had to let go some time. I informed him that if letting go was feeding my 14 year old son alcohol then I would hold on for a few more years. I explained to my son that I did not agree with the serving of beer after a tough game of rugby. First of all it was extremely bad for him and second it was illegal. He agreed and admitted the last thing he wanted to drink was beer.
    Most of the parents present agreed with me but did not have the courage to say or do anything about their boys being given the beer. My son continued to play for the team and socialise with his mates. They are 18 and over now, a group of lovely guys who meet regularly at home and the sports club to watch and play sport and have a few drinks.
    I drink in moderation I object to condoning and encouraging heavy drinking.

  9. At 02:27 PM on 21 Feb 2008, frankthegas wrote:

    I drink because i like the particular drink i have which is mild ale,i am retired drink three points a day witch i don't think is excessive im 74,when i was young i drunk just as much as the young people do today and it has not affected my life As for the Brits drinking more than the frenchand getting drunk,the french drink at home and get drunk which is not reported thestatement by the french man with the sexy voice is all wrong have someone on your show from a french council estate and see if they can afford champaign and wine. You will find they have there alcohol from a supermarket or off licence like every one else who have little money.interview the wright people next victoria Just because the french drink wine doesnt mean they cant get drunk and the culture has nothing to do with it

  10. At 01:57 PM on 22 Feb 2008, darren wrote:

    I drink because i am. Why does anyone use alcohol? Our entire civilisation was founded on pork and beer. A pig in the yard eating scraps and beer brewed in the village. It is 10 years since i took an illegal drug - and while i wonder whether alcohol is the safest method of relaxation - I wonder more about the alternatives...

  11. At 10:12 PM on 23 Feb 2008, John Chambers wrote:

    In reply to Stephen's comment (1107hrs 21/02/07)

    I think every smoker and drinker is getting heartily sick of this disingenuous argument.After paying considerably more tax than the abstemious throughout their lives, they die younger, saving public funds millions in pension payments and are increasingly refused various NHS treatments.

    Meanwhile the abstemious good citizens live on into an impoverished dotage, requiring NHS services the smokers and drinkers didn't live long enough to need.

    Why don't we tax people who participate in contact sports:-they frequently need treatment for injuries.Why not VAT and fat duty on food to curb obesity.Yes that would be considered ridiculous, but when the NHS is spending money on people using much more dangerous and illegal substances but denying treatment to others taking legal ones for conditions not related to their habits, who can say what is ridiculous.

    We've been pounded with propoganda for the past 20 years, we know what the results will be,but if you daren't prohibit alcohol and tobacco outright don't use the health costs as an excuse to pick the pockets of people who may well cost you less over their (shorter) lifecycle.

    Anyway. who'd want to live longer under this government? They'll only steal your house when you can't fend for youself any more.

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