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Byron Shire
March 2, 2021

Binge culture needs research

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There has been much hand-wringing and chatter recently about alcohol-fuelled violence, presumed to be directly associated with excessive drinking, and what we, as a society, should do about it. One opinion is that alcohol should be made more expensive or more difficult to obtain, and another suggests that closing the pubs earlier is the solution. But neither of these ‘solutions’ actually addresses the real problem, which is why a certain group of people feel driven to indulge in this self-defeating and destructive behaviour.

It is a pretty well established fact that since the beginning of recorded history human beings have liked getting stoned, altering their day-to-day reality by means of various intoxicants. In truth, it is such a common phenomenon that it may be considered an integral part of natural human behaviour, and the only parameter that shifts it from being simply a normal harmless social activity to a malign blight on the community is the scale of consumption and, most importantly, the attitude with which it is undertaken.

Whereas in previous times a couple of drunks in a pub might have a disagreement, have a little scrap outside, then shake hands and go back inside to share another drink together, nowadays it seems that many drunks have murder on their pissed-up minds and go all out to inflict as much physical damage as they possibly can on their unfortunate foe, often with disastrous results.

Why should this be so? And why aren’t sociologists trying to find out? The problem is NOT the availability of alcohol or other drugs; they have always been around. It is the desperate motivation that drives this misanthropic behaviour that should be investigated and addressed.


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  1. The problem is how the “drunks” are treated these days – the main cause of the problem is agressive bouncers and police on a power trip – i have witnessed it first hand almost every weekend i go out! Tipsy people being treated like criminals for having a couple beers.

    as you said in the old days the drunks would go outside, have a punch up, go back inside and have a drink together and laugh at how pointless the biffo was.

    Now days you have a little wobble on the dancefloor (not even a fight) and 5 bouncers pounce on you – pin you to the ground, and kick you out the venue – with no hope of getting back in, or any other venue.

    So what happens? you have an intoxicated person on the streets who feels hard done by for being kicked out while having fun. justifibly this person is annoyed – surely the only reason for going to a pub is to have a few beers and a good time – so why get kicked out for doing just that?

    Anyway now we have heaps of drunk annoyed people on the streets who can’t get into any other venues cause they are “drunk”!

    If you have enough drunk, annoyed people on the streets of course you will have trouble!

    Stop treating the revellers like criminals and they will stop acting like criminals. Stop punishing people for going to a pub and partaking in the only activity that the establishment exists for – to drink and socialise.

    And 12pm lock out – what a stupid idea – lets put all the drunk people on the street together who don’t feel like going home just yet – with not enough taxis to take them home anyway – what you think is gonna happen? – you guessed it – more annoyed drunk people with nothing to do!

    Alcohol is not the problem – venues and cops need to relax and let people carry on and have fun! then the problem stops! i’ve also seen this first hand – i was at beerfest in Germany – 100’s of thousands of people, from many different countries , all getting very drunk with no violence – why? cause you’re not being treated like a criminal – no-one cuts you off so you don’t get angry? there is no reason too…same as snow towns, music festivals etc – let people have fun and that emotion will prevail!!

    locking out everyone and punishing everyone is not a way to sort out the idiots!

    Oh and please don;’t make booze more expensive – you’ll just have more annoyed drunk people haha!


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