It's pretty common knowledge that I don't drink. It's also pretty common knowledge that I used to live with someone who was a heavy drinker of the 'binge' type. These things, surprisingly, aren't connected. I was a non-drinker before I met him.
Anyway, insert whatever you want to about life with a problem drinker here. The result is that I have extremely low tolerance for alcohol-related loss of control. Behaviours that are fairly common amongst people who've had a little too much, can trigger me quite badly. Things like losing awareness of the volume of one's voice, or 'accidentally' knocking over glasses on a table while gesticulating. To me, that's the point where I want to remove myself from the presence of anyone who's drinking.
That's a pretty fucking low tolerance. And in the circles I move in these days, it doesn't necessarily (in fact to be truthful, has never) go any further than that. I think, in the last 7 years, I have only seen one person drunk enough to vomit, and I haven't seen a single fight (Courtenay Place doesn't count), nobody has become incontinent, and none of my friends are drunk drivers so loss of license stupidity or vehicle/alcohol accidents are not in my life. I have done this very deliberately. I have no desire to associate with people who use alcohol to excess.
So I know that it's possible to use alcohol responsibly, but I'm still super sensitive to the stages of drunkenness and would rather not have to witness people I love and respect becoming people I pity and don't respect, even if it's only temporary.
My stance on mind altering substances is also common knowledge. One of the things that pisses me off the most about the whole drug policy situation is the huge cultural double standard around alcohol - where people who take drugs are supposedly losers who are a threat to society but drinkers of alcohol are just having a harmless good time.
And today, the news was announced that BZP will be classified as 'too dangerous to allow' in 2 weeks' time.
So tonight, I'm walking down Cuba St, passing groups of students carrying their supplies in boxes (you know those large cardboard ones that contain, I dunno, maybe 24 cans or something?), and thinking "You know, even though I don't like what you do with alcohol, and I look down on drunkenness, I envy you bastards for being able to openly demonstrate your drug use - to go into a shop and buy your substance of choice, discuss it publicly, walk around with armloads of the stuff, even abuse it, and have it be totally fine in the eyes of the law and society."
And then I went into the New World to buy dog food, and every single other person in the queue had a bottle of wine in their basket. All of them. That's how prevalent use of this drug is in our culture.
I actually had to blink back tears. It's unfair.
So yeah, I think I have a problem. Anyone able to shed any light, share some thoughts, help me figure out what, if anything, I can do about this?