Drinking and the attitudes towards the consumption of alcohol vary across culture. Over the years, human beings invented various ways of brewing alcohol and distilling spirits and drinking has been an integral part of almost every culture. In Tamil culture, more recently, prohibition of alcohol has been politicized, owing to the effects of drinking in the society.
A couple of decade back, the casual question one might shoot would’ve been expressed in the does-anyone-drink attitude. But it might look practically absurd even to think that way. Perhaps the question might be ‘Hey! Is there anyone who doesn’t drink?’ Post liberalization, in the economic point of view, the consuming capacity of alcoholic beverages, become more rampant than ever. Social drinking which was a part of the culture of the wealthy elite, penetrated through the other economic classes, during this period.
The meaning of celebration and enjoyment were redefined. And the new way of celebration had alcohol consumption as an irreplaceable phenomenon. It’s odd to through a party, today without serving alcoholic beverages. The liquor drinking phenomenon has penetrated almost all economic classes and all age groups. In the familial environment, consuming alcohol is slowly being recognized and been viewed as normal.
Alcoholism amid youngsters is one of the serious problems, which deserves to be considered as a serious national problem. It’s said that peer pressure influences and promotes drinking among youths. However, while we probe into the reasons behind this peer pressure phenomenon, we realize the spectrum is actually larger than we think.
For eons, consuming alcohol has been justified and glamorized. Alcoholism is preached as one of the best ways of either escaping or overcoming stress. Needless to say, alcoholism works exactly the opposite way. Umpteen scientific findings which disapprove alcoholism have failed to divert or decrease the consumption. The influence of cinema needs to be mentioned at this juncture, in glamorizing and promoting smoking and drinking.
Amid the youth the major factor influencing them to indulge in drinking, in my view, is the misinterpreted association of drinking with manliness. Influenced by several factors, they are made to believe, drinking is a ‘style status’ and ‘drinking makes you a real man’. This naturally is a trap for many adolescents, for they might already be in an ‘identity crisis’ owing to their age. Hearing most of the personal experiences, we might understand that, social drinking is the initial phase of liquor consumption. What begins as consumption due to circumstantial compulsion- slowly, over time- ends up in finding a situation for drinking? What began as a fun filled group activity soon reduces to a private matter!
Alcoholism enters inside an individual like a thief! Beware!