Most government and media don’t understand why young people drink so much. Everyone keeps speculating but the reality is they have no idea what it takes for a young person to NOT binge drink. For a young person to shift their established drinking behaviour is a choice they also make subconsciously to accept the following…

1) one by one take away all their friends. If they drank to excess before, then they most likely will have friends that drank at similar levels.

2) you subject them to an endless chorus of peer pressure to drink. Every night. Everytime. Everywhere.

3) you remove any possible career connection possibly made over a couple of lagers on a business trip. The long lunch is now out.

4) subject them to copious snide critisisms by their parents and siblings that still like to drink and find thier change in behaviour confronting.

5) tell them to sit back and watch their collegues build stronger connections with each other at Friday afternoon drinks, which ultimately they will get excluded from.

6) remove one night stands out of the picture which are no longer an ethically valid idea as the other party is invariably drunk.

7) tell them to rebuild their confidence levels from scratch.

8) tell them to go against their national identity.

9) tell them to not drink yet watch older generations continue to behave in exactly the way they are condeming. Double standards.

10) tell them to have to bottle up their emotions and then have to learn a whole new way of expressing themselves.

11) tell them to be conscious 100% of the time.

12) take away their social right of passage

13) take away their ability to dance or sing or meet new people.

This is what you are telling them to do when you ask them to change their drinking behaviour. I think we need more than a TVC, a 2am lockdown and a collection of people handing out red frogs.

What do you think?


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  • I do totally agree with what you are saying. Giving up drinking involves all of those points, however, it ultimately comes down to how the person reacts to the dramatic changes.

    You are an example of this. Even if at first it was super hard, you changed your perspective and embraced the experience in another way. Thats strong willed, so props for that.

    The 2am lockdown encourages more people out on the streets earlier and less wages for the people who work in the establishments.

    I can relate to 3/4 of what youve mentioned, but after a while its not so bad .. actually its not bad at all! If youre barred because you arent drinking just put your put down and put it out there “Yo, just because I’m not drinking doesn’t mean I’m not coming out!” – WORRRRRRD to that!

    I’m really proud of what you’re doing and all the hard work behind it.

    ps Now all you need is a Movember HSM teaM~!

    By InBetweenSeconds
    November 4, 2009
    • Hey Claudia,

      After about 7 months for me, I’m with you – I actually prefer it this way. I prefer the challenges that come up than not having them. There is this wall of perception that people have, I couldn’t dare go without alcohol for this amount of time. But once the cliff has been jumped, the water below is a great place to be!

      Did you want to do a 300 – 500 word guest post some point on your experience, why changing your drinking behaviour has worked for you?



      By hellosundaymorning
      November 5, 2009
      • Sure thing!

        Chat soon Chris.

        By InBetweenSeconds
        November 6, 2009
  • as someone on the opposite side to this binging drinking culture even i don’t understand why young people drink so much. i rarely drink and go out every weekend and have more fun when i dont drink then when i do. from what i can tell i think that people would rather just go along with the majority then make a stand by themselves for themselves. but having said that i don’t really think not drinking excludes you from that much. people just use that as an excuse to justify the behaviour.

    I think that the reasons people drink so much is to do with learned behaviour. it’s like those government ads on tv, whatever drinking behaviour we are exposed to while growing up dictates what we do. so i think we need to change more then just the youth drinking culture, Australia needs a entire drinking culture overhaul.

    By Teddi
    November 5, 2009
    • I totally agree with you Teddi. I think it is something that has intravenously injected itself into our national identity.

      I want to focus on youth culture as that is what I am apart of/have the most influence within.

      What do you think would be some strategies we can use to shift this culture?

      By hellosundaymorning
      November 5, 2009
      • I honestly don’t know. Because it is so ingrained in our culture changing it is like trying to force religion onto someone. but i do think that the current constant barrage of campaigns against it is only making people want to do it more.

        you can’t force people to change a behaviour they think is acceptable. it is a hard one. i might have to get back to you on this one.

        By Teddi
        November 5, 2009
  • Oh Chris,

    Almost made me want to shed a tear! I had given some thought to what you were “missing out on” and what had changed for you since giving up, but I think I now have a greater understanding about how your life has changed.

    I think that there is a distinct difference between binge drinking and having a few drinks. It is really just about stopping after those few. The problem is that it is far too easy and tempting to continue. It then becomes a matter of self control.

    I think young people struggle with limits & restrictions. This then becomes about something greater than oneself. Getting plastered is all about letting go, losing control and being able to behave in a way that is acceptable when you are drunk, but definitely not acceptable when you are not.

    We are forced into this pre fabricated way of living, there are rules and regulations. We have to learn how to be truly independent and work out which rules we are going to follow. Drinking is a release from this I think. A time when the rules no longer apply. The expectations vanish, and personal barriers come down.
    When we are drinking it feels safer. We are all the same drunk and easier to relate to.

    But we are always “all the same”. We don’t have to be drunk to make strong personal connections and there are other ways to de-stress. Losing control through substance abuse will always result in something dysfunctional.
    You are right Chris, we all need to take a good hard look at ourselves in the mirror and change our attitudes and behaviour not only for ourselves, but to demonstrate the benefits to those around us. To inspire others to be the greatest that they can be. It is about self discovery.

    You are asking young people to discover themselves, and that is a scary thought for most!

    By Aisha
    November 5, 2009
  • I agree with your points, however I don’t believe that binge drinking is the problem that results in all the violence at night. Drinking doesn’t MAKE you do things, it removes your inhibition to NOT do that particular thing. It lies in the problem that some people are just egotistical and are keen for a fight when they go out on the town.

    How is it that at a festival like Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany (which i just came back from), do thousands of people drink ridiculous amounts of alcohol, yet there are NO fights (that i saw/heard of). It is simple in the fact that some people in Brisbane are just out to fight, and people they pick in a fight will usually return fire as thats what men do… You wont take a few punches and not try to throw one back….

    I once got in a fight for breaking up a fight and trying to calm down one of the blokes, i went to buy him a beer and he cracked me in the back of the head… naturally i threw back and we both got kicked out of the club.

    Back to the major point though, having a big night out is really fun sometimes, and idiots who bring violence to it just ruin it for anyone involved…even just seeing a fight dulls the night. It is not alcohol’s fault, its violent idiots’ fault.

    By Jack
    November 6, 2009
    • Totally agree with you mate.

      So how do you propose we (or the individuals) have the need to be violent change? What can we do to help them be better people?

      By hellosundaymorning
      November 6, 2009
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