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Byron Shire
August 3, 2021

Alcoholism and denial

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Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning July 28, 2021

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Nolan’s Soapbox

Duncan Shipley-Smith, Byron Bay The sinister suggestion by Nolan in last week’s Echo conflating anti-vaccination supporters with extreme right-wing ideology (XRW)...

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Unnecessary divisions

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Cartoon of the week – 28 July, 2021

We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters is at the discretion of the online and print letters editors.

In terms of the alcohol problem in Byron, the real issue that seems to have fallen between the cracks is the number of young people who are alcoholics. When drinking leads to violence and abuse these are clear indications of this addictive disease. Alcoholism can pass from generation to generation and one of the most obvious symptoms of alcoholism is denial.

Letters saying that unless people can drink after midnight they will go to the beach with bottles of vodka or whatever are just another indication of the serious nature of the disease. Social drinking by its very nature has a limit. Drinking to oblivion is not social drinking.

Growing up with the neverending advertisements that persuade young people that alcohol is cool and drinking is a social must, with no checks and balances, no warnings of the problems caused by alcohol, it’s no wonder there’s an exponentially growing problem.

Australia is right up there with the Russian Federation with an alcohol-addicted population. It’s a tragedy that AA and Al Anon do not push their message in schools, in the media and in the community.

Having spent many years in Al Anon, I believe all young people should be educated about the grim reality of alcoholism. Australians suffer the disease in plague proportions, bringing chaos to families and violence to communities.

Sue Arnold, Ocean Shores


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  1. Perhaps we should be educating our elected representatives about the overwhelming effectiveness of supply reduction measures and effective enforcement? Drinking is a key social construct overwhelmed by an avalanche of industry promotion inculcating and embedding into the young at a very early age, the normalisation and glorification of excessive drinking

  2. One thing that needs to be tackled is the practice (by parents) of giving alcohol to their underage teenagers. If parents assist their own kids to break the law with underage drinking, what message does that send the young people?


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