Sunday, March 15, 2009

Authoritarianism, Binge Drinking and the French ...

BBC Global News podcast
GlobalNews: 11 Mar 09 AM Africa IMF/Madoff plea/Afghanistan heroin/France binge drinking
Duration: 26mins
refers to a binge drinking problem that has developed in France, mostly among the young I gather. There are open bars in France, like all-you-can-eat specials here in the US.

Looking at this from the out side and from across the ocean and with only the BBC blurb to guide me, it appears that the French reaction to alcohol abuse is much like that of the US. The authorities see a problem (real or perceived doesn't matter), legislate making an activity or organization illegal and as a result, drive a real problem under ground and/or create a new hidden problem. Here, I thought the French understood 'life, the universe and everything' better than we did. Or at least I thought they thought they did. Oh well, at least one of us was wrong.

The BBC broadcast didn't indicate if there are any ideas why the French youngsters are indulging in binge drinking in a country with a reputation for more responsible use of alcohol than most.

I however, am interested in the causes. Binge drinking is being reported as a big problem here in the US and now as a new problem in France. Binge drinking always existed. Is it really increasing, that is increasing at a higher rate than the population and is it really a new problem among the young in France. If so and if I were an 'authority' I would look into what factors may contribute to this development. Driving another problem underground seems self destructive, not that the most expensive, self destructive approach is not humankind's usual choice.

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