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I wouldn't know if this is a big issue or not, but I have noticed that for some time now all alcohol adverts on TV have a 'warning' about drinking responsibly at the bottom right of the screen. So I guess someone thinks it's a problem.

We do have a couple of regular drunks in our village, but no one seems to pay them much attention.
 

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The main problem with alcoholism in Spain atm is the young and underage drinking. When you move over you should mke sure you're not near a botellón area
If you search "botellón" you'll find some threads about drink and young people - and some heated discussion I seem to remember!
 

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Depends on your definition of alcoholism.

Many people whose drinking habits qualify them for that description would be horrified to be so labelled. Therre is a huge difference between the functioning alcoholic and the drunk in the gutter. Both could be decribed correctly as alcoholics since it's the addiction and the level of consumption that are important.

TBH, most of the people I know in the UK and a few Brits I know in Spain drink too much. That doesn't mean they were unable to hold down jobs -on the contrary, most were professionals and high earners - or that they were aggressive, anti-social nuisances. But they couldn't imagine a day where they wouldn't consume more, much more than the sensible limit.

Most of the professional women I worked with kept a bottle of white wine in the fridge and would reach for it the moment they got home from work....'to unwind'.

I think that as a society we are hypocritical about the abuse of alcohol....it's our legal drug of choice and is a hugely profitable industry for both government and producers.

So from my admittedly limited experience I would venture the opinion that British immigrants bring their drinking habits with them to Spain, habits they can afford more easily to indulge because of the relative cheapness of wine and spirits.
 

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Yes - I think alcoholism is a problem in Spain.

I see people in bars drinking aguardiente at 6 in the morning before driving to work. I see people drinking the best part of a litre of win with their lunch in the venta and going back to work driving or operating chainsaws or brushcutters. This appears to be normal behaviour. Sadly the young people also seem to be catching the British habit of bingeing as well.
 

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Depends on your definition of alcoholism.
That's why I found the question difficult to answer.

Youths (and some older people) who go out clubbing once or twice a week, exhibit uninhibited behaviour, and throw up on the street may or may not be alcoholics.
Some would say that in any case they are at the top of a slippery slope to alcohol dependency, but others would say they are not.

The 'village drunks' I mentioned are dependent on alcohol. Some would say that the few guys who sit in the local bar well into the early hours of the morning are also alcohol dependent, but they are usually single and probably lonely, so who knows? And of the fiesta goers who end up plastered, or the Saturday night revellers here who enjoy themselves very loudly and exuberantly, some may be alcohol dependent, but many others will not be.

I also agree that there is considerable hypocrisy about the use of alcohol - in Spain and especially in the UK.
The warnings alone make one think that all drinkers are the next group to be targeted as undesirables and to be taxed highly accordingly.
 

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There's a big difference between alcoholism and binge drinking. Of course both of them exist in Spain. But the guy who drinks aguardiente for breakfast isn't necessarily an alcoholic. It isn't seen as a problem because people have always done that (they do it here too.)

Traditionally, being drunk in public other than on public holidays is considered unmanly, and unforgivable in women. This attitude is still strong amongst the older generation but of course things are changing.

I'm glad there is increasing awareness of alcohol-related problems. No doubt the government will be under attack for trying to regulate drinking behaviour, just as it was for the smoking ban.
 

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There's a big difference between alcoholism and binge drinking. Of course both of them exist in Spain. But the guy who drinks aguardiente for breakfast isn't necessarily an alcoholic. It isn't seen as a problem because people have always done that (they do it here too.)

Traditionally, being drunk in public other than on public holidays is considered unmanly, and unforgivable in women. This attitude is still strong amongst the older generation but of course things are changing.

I'm glad there is increasing awareness of alcohol-related problems. No doubt the government will be under attack for trying to regulate drinking behaviour, just as it was for the smoking ban.
to me, an alcoholic is someone who can't function without alcohol

it is however, quite likely that they would appear to function perfectly 'normally' with alcohol

so the guy (or gal) who starts every day with aguardiente, has copious wine in the middle of the day & finishes the day with some other alcoholic beverage & yet not appear drunk in public or anywhere else is quite possibly/likely an alcoholic - it would become clear only when they try to function without the alcohol
 

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I'm glad there is increasing awareness of alcohol-related problems. No doubt the government will be under attack for trying to regulate drinking behaviour, just as it was for the smoking ban.
I have no problem with any government trying to do something about excessive drinking, when it actually occurs. What I do have a problem with is when governments take advantage of this by using a public health campaign as a means to increase taxes.
 
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I would agree with most of the posts here. There are quite a few local drunks in our village and quite a few Brits in that mix. About ten days ago, around the San Blas Fiesta, I was walking my dogs at around 11pm, bitterly cold wind from North and light snow. I came across a guy on the edge of village lying on the ground. When I approached him, he got up, fell over a few times and staggered off away from the village.

Luckily, I spotted someone driving slowly around looking for someone, three guesses who. Anyway, the guys mate in the car (very drunk too) and I eventually got the drunk into the car and off they went.

The guy was wearing jeans and a shirt, with temperatures around zero, without the windchill, so who knows what the outcome could have been.

Last week, I was walking to the Stanko around 9am and one of the Brits was staggering up the alley toward the Coviran. He absolutely reeked of Brandy and pee. Nine o´clock in the morning!

As for me, I`ve gone the other way. Since being here, my drinking has dropped off considerably. I rarely drink anything other than Covi`s finest own brand beer and then I have at least a few days a week where I simply don`t drink. Having been married to a violent alcoholic many years ago, the illusions around booze have changed for me and I go out of my way to avoid people that drink too much. My best mates wife is sometimes prone to scary outbursts of madness when she`s had too many. We haven´t spoken in almost three months because of the last time she did her thing. 20 years of friendship, potentially, down the pan...

So for me, some peoples inability to control their drinking and their sometime subsequent awful behaviour has impacted my life and continues to destroy relationships.

That`s what I think about alcholism...
Sucks doesn`t it?
 

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I have no problem with any government trying to do something about excessive drinking, when it actually occurs. What I do have a problem with is when governments take advantage of this by using a public health campaign as a means to increase taxes.
I'd rather they tax cigarettes and alcohol (non essential items) than bread, milk, water, electricity (essential items)
 

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{Insert $Coin where value=tuppence}

So for me, some peoples inability to control their drinking and their sometime subsequent awful behaviour has impacted my life and continues to destroy relationships.

That`s what I think about alcholism...
Sucks doesn`t it?
Yep :(
 

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So for me, some peoples inability to control their drinking and their sometime subsequent awful behaviour has impacted my life and continues to destroy relationships.

That`s what I think about alcholism...
Sucks doesn`t it?

I'm the same, alcohol ruined my childhood, my alcoholic father was an embarrassment and a disgrace. I rarely drink and I'm not keen on drink culture, which is actually why I like Spain, altho the Spanish do drink, they dont tend to become lairy or uncontrollable - yes, I'm sure there are exceptions, but in general,they dont let it rule and destroy them.

Jo xxx
 

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I'd rather they tax cigarettes and alcohol (non essential items) than bread, milk, water, electricity (essential items)
So would I. (And I have no problem at all with the concept of paying tax as a means to fund essential services by the way).
What I do not like is hypocrisy.
If a government wants to raise taxes at the expense of alcohol drinkers, why not just come out and say it, rather than slowly building up to it with campaigns to show us how bad alcohol is for us.
 

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I have no problem with any government trying to do something about excessive drinking, when it actually occurs. What I do have a problem with is when governments take advantage of this by using a public health campaign as a means to increase taxes.

I suppose I ought to have a firm view as to what Governments should do...but tbh I'm not sure what I think.

My OH doesn't drink. Period. She is Glaswegian and has seen what alcohol can do to families. When you live with a teetotal person you become more aware of your own drinking.

When I was younger I definitely drank too much. I cut down then my consumption rose as a direct consequence of working for my Union. The alcohol culture amongst trades unionists and politicians of all parties is mindblowing. I have seen the bar at the Grand Hotel Brighton full of drunks -literally full of drunken people in various stages of inebriation - during TUC. Ditto at Party conferences. It's very difficult not to get drawn in.

Getting older saved me. I just couldn't handle the hangovers. Now when I go to the occasional Conference I tend either to find a quiet restaurant and dine alone with a book propped against the cruet or if I go mob-handed I stick to a long drink like Magners (which gets diluted with all the ice in it) so I'm on my first drink while the others are on their fourth glass of wine.

I'm not sure I want the Government prescribing my or anyone's lifestyles. Yes, I know that the NHS spends money and time on treating drink -related diseases...so put up taxes. Alcohol is a luxury anyway and, like cigarettes, certainly isn't something the less well-off should be spending money on.

But I'm not so sure about direct intervention, such as minimum pricing (although taxation would affect price levels) or restricting opening hours.
 

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So would I. (And I have no problem at all with the concept of paying tax as a means to fund essential services by the way).
What I do not like is hypocrisy.
If a government wants to raise taxes at the expense of alcohol drinkers, why not just come out and say it, rather than slowly building up to it with campaigns to show us how bad alcohol is for us.
But does increasing prices actually cut down on alcohol abuse? Evidence from some Scandinavian countries, which have very high taxes on alcohol would indicate not. Why should "sensible" drinkers (like me :)) be penalised because of binge drinkers?

I think cultural change will come from within the peer group, not through government policy. Once it becomes deeply uncool to puke your guts up, things will change.
 

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But does increasing prices actually cut down on alcohol abuse? Evidence from some Scandinavian countries, which have very high taxes on alcohol would indicate not. Why should "sensible" drinkers (like me :)) be penalised because of binge drinkers?
I doubt very much that increasing prices cuts down on abuse. My argument is simply that the perception that it will becomes a 'justifiable reason' for price increases when governments are looking for a way to increase taxes..

I think cultural change will come from within the peer group, not through government policy. Once it becomes deeply uncool to puke your guts up, things will change.
Good point.
(and the one reason I've never been any good at binge drinking. I hate puking my guts up. :) )
 
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