Binge drinking is a big problem in the UK. BBC reported that
Britain’s binge drinking culture is costing the country £20 billion a year, according to a government report. The study by the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit shows 17 million working days are lost to hangovers and drink-related illness each year.
The annual cost to employers is estimated to be £6.4 billion while the cost to the NHS is in the region of £1.7bn. Billions more are spent clearing up alcohol-related crime and social problems.
In addition, alcohol-related problems are responsible for 22,000 premature deaths each year.
What about in Indonesia?
I have tried to find relevant articles regarding this issue but couldn’t find any. From the surface binge drinking is not a problem in Indonesia. Maybe because, first, most of Indonesians are Moslem and alcohol is not allowed (haram), and its distribution, even its content in food, is tightly (*cough) monitored by the government. Secondly although there are local, cheap brands, most of the alcohol drinks are expensive, and only are available in restaurants or cellars with licenses, which are not many. Most supermarkets only sell beer, if that. If you go outside big cities in Indonesia, alcohol is almost nonexistent. With the exception of several ethnic groups, most Indonesians do not have drinking culture, (although we have traditional alcoholic drink called tuak).
But look at those places famous for youngsters in Jakarta and you’d find out that they gulp Johnnie Walker faster than water. The worrying facts are most of them are barely out of high school (probably they still are, who knows, no one checks their IDs), and in the stage of proving their existence to their groups means everything, so they drink like there is no tomorrow. Hold, on, I must say again, it’s not exclusively for youngsters. People my age do that too! Many times I went to parties, celebrations, grand openings, where people find an excuse to drink more and faster. Directly from the bottles.
Right, ok. It’s their rights to do that. But what annoys me the most, is that not only they’re happy to be drunk, they like to force us to be drunk too! Many occasions where my head was almost cracked opened, my neck was pinned against the wall and I was forced to practically inhale whisky, vodka, or double shot tequila. And it feels like back in high school again, proving that we are the strongest, drinking the most without being drunk. And laugh at who do get drunk. Associating fun with drunk. Oh dear.
The most dangerous thing about binge drinking is because no one ever tells us about it. Since alcohol in Indonesia is nonexistent, we don’t get enough information about the danger of drinking insensibly. Just like sex, youngster, or everyone, has to rely on pieces of information provided in the media, if any. Most of the time, we learn by doing. Worse, we are never told that we could put other people’s lives in danger too. Even though I’m sure there is a law written about drink and driving, I never hear any story about police stopping drivers who are found driving under influences. Where in other countries, like UK for example, the law is strictly applied and we could loose our driving license, go to jail and get fined, if we get caught DUI.
So how much is too much?
Quoted from Alcohol, Know Your Limits:
The NHS recommends that you should not regularly drink more than:
- 3-4 units of alcohol a day for men,
- 2-3 units of alcohol per day for women.
|Beer, ale and stout||Bottle (330ml)||Can (440ml)||Pint|
|Ordinary strength (3.5 – 4%) (John Smith’s, Boddington’s, Guinness)||1.3 units||1.8 units||2.3 units|
|Premium strength (5%)||1.6 units||2.2 units||2.8 units|
|Lager or beer (pint)||2 units+||2.6 units+||3.4 units+|
|Cider||Bottle (330ml)||Can (440ml)||Pint||Litre|
|Ordinary strength (6%)(Dry Blackthorn, Strongbow)||2 units||2.6 units||3.4 units||6 units|
|Strong (9%+)||3 units+||4 units+||5 units+||9 units+|
|Lager||Bottle (330ml)||Can (440ml)||Pint|
|Ordinary strength (3.5 ‘ 4%) (Carling Black Label, Fosters)||1.3 units||1.8 units||2.3 units|
|Premium strength (5%) (Stella Artois, Carlsberg Export, Grolsch, Kronenbourg 1664)||2 units||2.2 units||3 units|
|Super strength (9%+) (Tennent’s Super, Special Brew)||3 units+||4 units+||5 units+|
|Alcopops||1 bottle (275ml)|
|Ordinary strength (5%) (Smirnoff Ice, Bacardi Breezer, WKD, Reef)||1.4 units|
|Shots||Small measure (25ml)||Large measure (35ml)|
|Tequila, Sambuca||1 unit||1.3 units|
|Spirits||Small measure (25ml)||Large measure (35ml)||Small double measure (50ml)||Large double measure (70ml)|
|Gin, rum, vodka & whisky||1 unit||1.4 units||2 units||2.8 units|
|Wine (red or white)||Standard glass (175ml)||Large glass (250ml)||Bottle (750ml)|
|11%||1.9 units||2.8 units||8.3 units|
|12%||2.1 units||3 units||9 units|
|13%||2.3 units||3.3 units||9.8 units|
|14%||2.5 units||3.5 units||10.5 units|
|Fortified wine||Standard measure (50ml )|
|Sherry & port||1 unit|
The best way to keep track of your units is to use the information on this page. Then you can easily keep count and make informed choices when you’re out drinking.
Website like Drinkaware gives hints and tips to enjoy a big night out. So enjoy your night out. Just make sure you are aware of how much you drink.