Saturday, January 2, 2010

This Is Fun?!?

In 1983, I essentially stopped drinking alcoholic beverages altogether after just being a light drinker since coming of age after I became a committed Christian the year before. In 1985, I cemented that decision by joining a Christian denomination that discourages its members from imbibing alcohol. My initial choice to only drink lightly, if at all, came from two sources: one, physically drinking alcohol did not agree with me and two, I have alcohol abuse history in my immediate family. It seemed foolish to me to fool with a substance--a drug--that had brought grief already into my family. I say all this to introduce the question about what "fun" is--is it really fun to get so intoxicated with ETOH (as we medical folk call it) that you sicken yourself? Put yourself at risk in so many ways? Asking the question even more bluntly, what exactly is "fun" about drinking so much that you vomit, drinking so much that you are insensible to your actions, drinking so much that you are defenseless, drinking so much that you are poisoned, drinking so much that you are physically ill the next morning, drinking so much that you don't remember what you did, drinking so much that you could die (from ETOH's suppressive effects on the nervous system, from air way obstruction and choking, from freezing to death, from trauma...)

The initial thinking behind this post was the perfect law enforcement and EMS hell that I heard from my scanner starting at 0001 January 1, 2010. However, this piece from The Sun in Great Britain re enforced my thoughts. (Hat tip to Vermont Loon Watch for this) It wasn't just the morons shooting guns in the air, and the fighting females that had the police running from pillar to post, it was people who had indulged way to excess. Because the recipe for instant a**hole--a**holes who might think it fun to take a swing at an EMT/paramedic--involves the simple addition of ETOH, EMS calls that are received as unconscious party also require a police response. Also assault calls, overdose calls, and just plain "investigate the need for an ambulance"calls. People were found unconscious all over the place, lying out in our cold weather (in the teens at that time) or even more terrifying, at the wheel of a vehicle. For the first time that I can remember, our EMS service had a queue for ambulances, something that usually only happens to KCPD. In the Sun piece linked above, in the video, the reporter talks about how the National Health Service in England is evaluating the concept of making people pay something for the care they receive when they are intoxicated. Of course, as it stands now, people are billed for these trips in the ambulance and their ER care in America.

But this is not mainly a political post nor a post on EMS abuse. This is more of a "inquiring mind" post. I just don't understand what is fun about getting so drunk that you are sick--and bragging about it the next day. I do understand altering your mind with drugs, I understand what drives that, the allure of that, and even can see how that could be a good thing in moderation. But "stupid sick drunk"? No comprende! Je ne compris pas! I do not understand!

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