Alcoholism in Hungary
The effects of excessive drinking among young people.
Bad influence or just having occasional fun?
1. Introducing the problem
Immoderate drinking and its consequences cause a lot of problem today in Hungary. Approximately every tenth person has problems with alcohol and beside this our society is very forgiving towards this fact. 8000 people die because of drinking every year. Average a Hungarian person drinks 12 liters of clean alcohol yearly, and this is higher and higher in the growing society. This rate is rising among women and among young people as well. Does it have a bad influence on them? Does alcohol ruin youth’s lives in an early age?
Of course alcohol has negative effects. It is very unhealthy; it destroys one’s liver and kills the nerve-cells, but still its biggest side effect is that it makes you addictive. Once you get used to drinking, you can hardly stop it. There are two types of addictiveness; one is when you drink every day, not too much, but you don’t miss even one day. The other type is when you drink occasionally (1 time a week or 2 maybe), but that time you don’t know where to stop, you drink until you are knocked out. Older generations fight with the first type; they need their daily 2 or 3 beers, or shots every day after work for example. The situation is different among younger ones. Secondary school students drink for example every weekend, Friday or Saturday. They can’t be considered as alcoholics in my view, or at least not all of them. They simply want to look like the ‘cool ones’ and drink a lot, but in the end it slaps back. University students are a different category. They drink a lot. They have a lot of freedom, they have loose a timetable, and they don’t have to wake up at 7 o’clock every day, so they can allow themselves to party the day before. Doing this every day, every week, they cannot stop, and according to the definition of alcoholism they are alcoholics. Practically I wouldn’t say this. Of course there are some who really cannot miss a day, who should have stopped months or years earlier and now they are the ‘servants’ of drinking, but I don’t think that a person who likes to party even 2 or 3 times a week should be stigmatized! I know both types, even I like to party more times a week, but I don’t feel the intention for it all the time. Is it bad? I don’t think so. Should people know a limit? Yes, definitely! But let’s take a look at the other side. Society often looks down on people who drink. But why is it such a big problem, if they don’t do anything wrong? Of course there are exceptions, but take a look at an average 20 year old boy or girl. They get together with their friends at home, or at the youth hostel (the place doesn’t really matter), they drink some beer, wine, shots, anything. What comes after it? They go down to a club or disco, dance till they can, maybe hook up with someone (JACKPOT) go home and sleep. Nothing wrong happened, maybe they will have a little hangover next day, their problem. But this they do anything bad for the society? No! They just had a little good time. There are some people who need alcohol to loosen up a little. They are stiff and discomforted without drinking, or simply they don’t have enough self-confidence. They don’t feel that they can dance (alcohol can help sometimes…SOME TIMES), boys don’t dare to talk with girls etc. I think that alcohol is a good thing. Of course you have to know a limit, but we already know that. You can let out your stress, party till you drop, or simply think about a hot summer afternoon. Is there anything better than an ice cold beer? Even great poets in the past used to drink to get creative; just think about the absinthe drinking community Baudelaire, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Oscar Wilde, but even Van Gogh used to drink. They are treasures of art and nobody is thinking about them as drunkards. Alcohol DOES have a good side!
It's a question we've all wondered about, does...
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