Yes, it’s true. We all beat the Americans and now we are officially the world’s biggest drinkers. Hurrah! Although, livers all across Europe will now be seeking counselling at some point in the near future.
The World Health Organisation led a report with the European Commission to ascertain the truth, and it emerged that people in Europe drink more alcohol per day than in any other region of the world. On average, Europeans drink the alcohol content equivalent to three glasses of wine per day every day.
This means that Europe is almost double the worldwide average, but the question is which part of Europe has the biggest drinkers? Unsurprisingly, Eastern Europe won out in this case as they clearly haven’t recovered from those long drinking hours of the Soviet Union yet. On average, they drink 14.5 litres of pure alcohol per adult ever year, compared to Western Europe’s relatively pitiful 12.4 litres. The Nordic countries and southern Europe finished far behind.
But for many people this won’t be much of a shock because it’s well-known that countries like Britain do have very high rates of binge drinking, which also makes Britain a nation encompassing some of the world’s biggest drinkers. It’s ingrained in our culture, it’s celebrated publicly. Where public drunkenness was once a source of embarrassment, now it’s a rite of passage for people everywhere; especially amongst young people.
What does all this tell us, though, and what can it mean for the future?
What it tells us now is that when the government whines, moans, and complains about the number of drinkers, it does genuinely have a point. So can any of us honestly complain when they decide to increase the price of alcohol? My answer is absolutely not, because if the people can’t be trusted to drink responsibly then surely it’s the government’s duty to step in? The whole reason we have a government and the reason we don’t live in tiny village communities is because people need leading.
Ok, some may say that it’s up to the individual as to how much they drink. But I completely disagree with that due to the very nature of alcohol itself. Unlike things like marijuana and other legal highs, which make people fairly docile, alcohol creates rage and violence which infringes on innocent people.
Should innocent people be punished because people can’t drink responsibly? Should innocent people be forced to stay inside their homes for fear of being attacked or assaulted by some drunk lunatic? No, they shouldn’t.
As for the future, I think this is pretty clear for all to see. The future will ultimately mean a renewed assault on the price of alcohol and more stringent penalties for those people who are arrested for offenses relating to public drunkenness. There will be a whole spectrum of opinions relating to this, but if the history of politics has taught us anything then it’s that the will of the people rarely matters unless it comes with overwhelming support.
But what of the results? My personal belief is that no matter what the government does, this continent of the world’s biggest drinkers will continue to drink, booze, and generally humiliate themselves before waking up in a pile of their own vomit.