A glass or two of wine a day appears to remain within tolerance levels for health risks. But there are times when many of us enjoy a good deal more. As we know, alcohol has both stimulant and depressive effects. Sometimes we are in party mood and enjoy letting go of inhibitions. Other times, we just need to relax with a couple of stiff whiskies.
As we live longer, we are more likely to experience the downsides of our drinking patterns. Whereas war or disease might have taken many a moderate to heavy drinker before their time, our lives are now spared to endure alcohol’s associated cancers and cirrhosis of the liver.
The nearer we get to middle age, the more we weigh up the risks. Amongst other drinking-related conditions, liver cancer is the second highest cause of cancer-related deaths, and is growing worldwide. It is usually undetected until it is too late. We take a look at that third glass of wine, and wonder whether we are pushing it.
There is some evidence to suggest that increasing numbers of young people are adopting an abstemious lifestyle. Perhaps this is in reaction to the mindless excesses of the ‘Saturday night out’ seen in recent years. Perhaps it is associated with the austerities of the global financial crisis. Certainly it does not yet indicate a turning point in our prevailing drinking cultures. People continue to drink way too much.
What might form the basis of a lifestyle without much alcohol? We shall have to find ways in which to party and relax without the aid of drink or drugs. We can only do this as we get out more with others.
In an era in which pubs are closing their doors, and people are drinking at home, who out there knows how we can have some fun and feel better about life without too much of a drink?