Sunday, 30 December 2007

'The telltale signs of overindulgence...'

The following are some of the twenty questions compiled by Robert V Seliger at John Hopkins University Hospital, Baltimore, to decide whether patients are alcoholic. The complete list is printed in today's Sunday Times, alongside an article investigating the government's latest figures on what it considers 'hazardous drinking.' A recent study, according to journalist Matt Rudd, defined 'harmful drinking as 50 or more units a week and was more common in poorer areas. But the greyer area of "hazardous drinking"- 22-50 units for men and 15-35 units for women- is where the leafier, pinot noirish parts of the country come in.' And it is just these people- 'middle-aged, middle-class drinkers drinking at home'- that the Minister of State for Public Health, Dawn Primarolo, has chosen to target in a new anti-drinking campaign intended to save billions for the NHS.

To investigate the practical effects of these new targets, the writer goes on a Morgan Spurlock-type mission over the space of four weeks: 'drinking at the upper range of 45 units a week to find out what (if anything) happened to my liver, my heart and various other organs.'

'It was a great surprise,' he writes, 'to find how easy it is to neck more than double the government maximum. One fairly tame weekend, a few glasses of midweek wine and a pub quiz and, bang, I'm a hazardous drinker. Without a single hangover.'

The results are rather surprising. 'Four weeks of what I think is civilised drinking did have an effect on my liver function. But none of the laboratory results was even close to being a problem... Having diligently measured my alcohol consumption over a month, I can now confirm that I must have been drinking not far off 40 units a week for the past 15 years. Yet, after only a few weeks off the sauce, my internal organs were fighting fit.'

Now have a look at the John Hopkins survey. Just as the government seems to want to turn us all into 'hazardous drinkers', so too, it seems, psychiatry wants as many of us as possible to believe we are 'in all likelihood an alcoholic.' Not that this develop should surprise us; it was in 1946 that the founding father of the Tavistock Institute for Human Relations, Major John Rawlings Reese, called for the creation of 'psychological shock troops' who, in the words of Jim Keith, 'would fan out... to engineer the future direction of society.' And since that time, the Institute has sought to apply what it describes as 'dynamic psychiatry' to as large a section of the population as possible. Is this 'survey' another manifestation of that dream? Come back on Tuesday morning and tell me how many of these questions do not apply to you.

Do you drink because you are shy with other people?

Have you ever felt remorse after drinking?

Do you find yourself in bad company or in a bad environment when drinking?

Do you drink alone?

Have you ever had a complete loss of memory as a result of drinking?

Do you drink to build up your self-confidence?

These are a small selection of the 20 questions asked. The smallprint advises that: 'If you have answered YES to three or more, you are in all likelihood an alcoholic.'

To which, what can I add, except: Happy Gregorian, everybody... Cheers!

'Sometimes I see
how the Brave New World arrives
And I see how it thrives
In the ashes of our lives...'


Anonymous said...

Do some research into the 12 step programs (particularly Alcoholics Anonymous) and the "treatment" (read: brainwashing) industry, including the the Rockefeller and Riverside Church influence in its founding.

Here is a good place to start. If they weren't gov't-approved, I am certain the major ones would be universally considered a cult. They seem to be ensnaring an ever larger portion of the population and few, once involved ever completely shake their effects.

Atlantean Times said...

I love that little poem...

I wrote a poem once it was called

"I cant stop thinking about Nazi's & Jews"

The last words were

"I cant see the difference can you"

It is mostly unrepeatable and not nearly as eloquent..

Do you have more poems if so I would love to read them..

Kind Regards Gavin