People drink so much because it’s our culture

People drink so much because it’s our culture,” adds Lawrence. “The sun comes out and you go to a beer garden. It’s what we do. Everything is just an excuse to drink. Life is hard for everybody, so it’s nice to have an escape.” […]
It’s easy to be judgmental about Peters’ situation. You may think: why didn’t he just stop drinking when his doctors warned him? But trauma makes people behave irrationally. Rape survivors become promiscuous, intelligent people ignore medical advice, the children of alcoholics binge-drink. And even if you have never experienced trauma yourself, not drinking in our culture is hard. “My friends are drunk all the time and they’ll be in the club buying me drinks,” Lawrence says. “They don’t realise the severity of my illness because they don’t have to live with it.” Charles gets angry when she sees people being peer-pressured. “People will taunt someone who isn’t drinking,” she says. “It’s like: you’re a weirdo if you don’t drink.” […]
But only a sea-change will transform Britain’s binge-drinking culture. We have the second-highest levels of binge drinking in Europe... with 7.8 million people a year admitting to bingeing on their heaviest drinking day.[…]
In some instances, supermarkets had been selling alcoholic drinks more cheaply than the same quantity of water.

The Guardian, Binge-drink Britain: how one weekend bender can ruin your life

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