Alcohol Use Disorders (38) Personal experience (3)

10 February, 2024

As a teenager you were very aware of peer pressure (as a social expectation) to drink.

The media played a key role - advertising "Tetley Bitter-men", "Double Diamond - works wonders", Babycham, Advocaat, Martini Rosso... and many of the popular TV series we consumed (pardon the pun).

Getting in the pub AND served was a right of passage.

In the family the harms and risks of alcohol were explained.

Sometimes they were demonstrated at parties, weddings, the aunt, uncle - relative who was notorious for having to much.

Studying literature at school did have a role to play - although less directly.

Although on reflection when there were school assemblies I wonder if 'drink' (Church of England) was mentioned?

Interesting perhaps - the change in daily school routine.

I remember at a birthday party for a fellow class pupil at a social club, the birthday boy was sick all over the table - yes - had been drinking.

Tempered my attitude early on - c.15.

As a nursing asst. and student nurse you realised the other - dark - side. The key being the contradiction that alcohol represents:

• Drink to relax, socialise, be friendly, enjoy yourself;

• Impact of your health, risk of addiction, violence, (brewer's droop was an early lesson - tho not practically);

• IF YOU develop a drink problem - you're on your own and so is your family (there are of course agencies in developed nations - but the funding disparity - like gambling, tobacco...??).

In a 'local' - public house - pub it was known in 1970s for some regulars (invariably men) to down c.12 (more?) pints in a night - even after drinking hours: they were heavy goods vehicle drivers.


I may have posted before - how in 1987-88 I completed a study of alcohol intervention teams. The consultant psychiatrist made the point about use of economic levers to help reduce alcohol consumption.

Scotland have just updated their intervention:

As a student nurse - I was already aware of some of the inorganic molecules that have been found in space - a primordial soup!

The names still remind me of a chemical plant such as the former ICI plant at Widnes / Runcorn, Cheshire, England, e.g.:

This in-turn takes me to the miracle that is the liver - the biological chemical plant - with a potential powerful message in how 'alcohol' is broken down:

Sometimes insight into this can work wonders in terms of motivation for change - the facts - not trying to scare (waste of time)...?

Which brings me to the obvious 'contradiction' in caring for people with a primary / secondary problem with alcohol.

Having a liver function test.

If it's OK that *means* I can carry on!!

I have over the years developed what imho I consider to be potentially therapeutic relationships with people affected by alcohol.

I say potentially as I - with due supervision - have had to withdraw input and discharge them being unwilling to support them in their damaging alcohol consumption and related behaviours.

Alcohol, tobacco - vapes, the 'mental pollution' that can be passed as legitimate 'advertising', fake news ... still calls for a generic model, a universal conceptual framework for personal and global health - across literacies and forms of informatics:


Just to close I saw an item (I will try to find...) on the preponderance of 'smoking' in films 1940s - present day.

Still a problem now.

Of course: advocacy for health requires constant vigilance.

Peter Jones

Community Mental Health Nurse and Researcher

CMHT, Prescott House, Salford NW England, UK

Blogging at "Welcome to the QUAD"

HIFA profile: Peter Jones is a Community Mental Health Nurse with the NHS in NW England and a a part-time tutor at Bolton University. Peter champions a conceptual framework - Hodges' model - that can be used to facilitate personal and group reflection and holistic / integrated care. A bibliography is provided at the blog 'Welcome to the QUAD' ( h2cmuk AT