As we enter adulthood, our taste-buds mature and so do our attitudes towards food and drink. Most us of by this age will actually start liking things we didn’t as children, like certain fruit and vegetables (the dreaded Brussel sprout) , and even some of us are starting to like the obscure foods that our grandparents enjoy, like corned beef or liver. But the most prominent aspects of our transition into adulthood is our relationship with alcohol. Aside from the social ‘night-out’ type of drinking, alcohol and adulthood go hand in hand.
At 22, I’m now entering a time where I want to know more about the alcohol I’m drinking, for example wine. When at dinner or in the supermarket, I find my self there for a long time scanning through the regions, tastes and price of the vast array of wines that the shop offers. Throughout our lives, a lot of us have experienced our parents having alcohol at dinner, sometimes offering us a watered down version of it to make us feel included with the family, and this is exactly why alcohol is so important in our social lives; wanting to feel included in the conversation. Alcohol, (in the right hands) is at the centre of all things social, we drink to celebrate, we drink to commiserate, and drink for drinking’s sake. It’s also a legal way to release our inhibitions slightly and help us to relax more. However, having that one too many makes me think about how and why alcohol completely accepted in society when it can cause such damage as well as it positive aspects.
There has been many a debate over the extent to which alcohol is dangerous. Not only is alcohol legal, it’s also a large part of our social lives. As it falls under the category of food and drink, alcohol is deemed as harmless and a normal part of our lives. But where can we draw the line between the dangers and positive outcomes? Could we consider being drunk dangerous? And to whom? The drunk one, or others? And what is a harmless level of drunkenness when it could effect your abilities the following day. Obviously alcohol is (in my opinion) in relative, if abused it is harmful to both the drinker and the public. But used by those with a comfortable and healthy attitude relationship with alcohol, should not be prohibited. Just because one has the capacity to do ill with alcohol, does not mean all will follow suit.
With the mixture of ups and downs that alcohol exhibits itself in people, the motto of most supermarkets and bars “Drink responsibly” is a very under-rated saying. Alcohol has been used in various ways to form friendships, but also in a form of peer pressure; to feel accepted. Alcohol can be a slippery slope when in the hands of irresponsible people, but harboured well, alcohol is great! And getting drunk doesn’t always mean that you are in harms way, just the imminent headache and pukey feeling the next day.