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  1. 1

    Jon Hunt

    It is true that people in the main don’t think of alcohol as a drug, yet it is, in fact there is really nothing to distinguish it from an illicit drug and in fact, like cigarettes, it is hypocritical that it not be illicit. I have heard it called a “poison” which although humorous is also correct. There are many people in the health profession who would be out of a job were it to be unavailable. And I suppose there would be many people who would be alive today were it to be unavailable.

  2. 2

    Moira Smith

    Oh yes (she said sarcastically, just in case anyone misinterprets my remarks), let’s do everything we can to preserve and prolong every human life while, at the same time, removing every chemical (and some very ancient) means of making such lives more tolerable and even meaningful: eg alcohol tobacco and other mind-altering drugs. Let’s climb past the 7 billion probable current population to reach 9 billion shortly – way past what many regard as the carrying capacity of planet Earth (which I’ve read may actually represent the population just before WWII which could explain the heartless and evil drive to reduce that population, focussing always on the ‘less desirable’ as viewed by the ruling classes of the time ie Fascists and Nazis). Let’s seed our fields with poisons that promote the growth of basic human (and possibly nutritionally substandard – never mind climate-change inducing) food at the expense of the food and the survival of our fellow inhabitants on the earth – some or most of whom actually add to the diversity and viability of life on this planet.

    As for cigarettes, I’ve been smoking them since age 16, I’m nearly 56 now, I’m not dead yet. I’m not saying they’re not ‘lethal’ but in my case the lethality is slow while the advantages have been many and constant. I’m sure in the long run they’re bad for my health but you should know I have a long history of bad health things, more than ten operations (none smoking related), other problems I choose not to share here. Born several generations ago, I could have been dead at birth, or age 1, 2, 3, 4 etc. Look round the old cemeteries if you want to see the truth of this. I was born with jaundice and then got scarlet fever. Cigarettes may kill me in the end but there are many other ends to choose from, different cancers, viruses, bacterial infections, STDs, etc etc. I don’t think many die peaceful in their beds these days. My old grandpa did but I think that was because noone sent him for tests to determine which system of his old body was failing (he was over 80).

    As for alcohol, ditto. Yes, the cause of many personal and family disasters, but the fact that it has the capacity to do so demonstrates that it is a substance that interacts powerfully with the human brain. How do we learn to use it rather than let it abuse us? is the question that springs to mind. I have personal experience with a family affected by alcohol abuse so I do not take this subject lightly at all. Yet, I still choose to drink.

    Let’s be realistic and stop pretending we could all live forever if we stopped smoking and drinking, jogged, took all the vitamins, got into all the spiritual affirmations etc. WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE.

    I liked Todd Harper’s last point, which was:
    ‘Aim to educate and inform, rather than be authoritarian or prescriptive of behaviour.’

    Ultimately we all have to choose how to live our lives, some of our lives are difficult and we need all the help we can get (and we also need advice and support on how to reject that ‘help’). It is nowhere near as simple as obeying advice to ‘stop this’ and ‘don’t do that’.

    I hope some of my fellow Crikey-followers can relate to these views, which I suspect are these days rather non-PC.

  3. 3


    Thankyou !
    Thankyou !!
    Thankyou !!!

    This has been the best message I’ve received in the 27 months since becoming a recovering alcoholic.

    Praise the Lord !!!
    Good work !!
    Don’t stop !

  4. 4

    Jan Dash

    If alcoholic beverages displayed kilojoules perhaps teenage girls would stop drinking

  5. 5

    brendan ford

    I agree with the standard drink data being assessed and advertised more clearly on drinks, but health warnings will have little effect beyond that as alcoholism is inherently genetic and whether young or old if you decide to get drunk you simply do it.

  6. 6

    Jon Hunt

    The problem is, Moira, both of these things are addictive. In other words people in the end do not have a choice in the matter and many die because of this. Not because that is what they want.

  7. 7


    Do parents seriously take the time to see when they are drinking butterbeer? That’s insanity. And besides I doubt many kids will make a connection or notice. They probably think that butterbeer is just melted butter.


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