Thursday, April 06, 2006

Top of the Alcopops

It's well known that we Scots like a wee dram once in a while. But this?
Every young Aberdonian surveyed on drinking habits said they had suffered memory loss, a study has found. And the research of Scotland's alcohol culture found almost half of the city's 18 to 35-year-olds had experienced the problem in the last week.
Surely the correct answer to the survey question has to be "I can't remember". Ahem. It seems that Aberdonians really do drink to forget.

It's quite a small study, 300 people in four cities, but I'm actually inclined to believe that it's probably fairly accurate. These days, I rarely drink. But when I used to go out into Aberdeen town centre regularly, most of us wouldn't have considered it a proper night out if we could remember everything that'd happened. Binge drinking in Aberdeen is pretty much compulsory if you're on a big night out. A big night out, I should add, probably happens at least once a week for most Aberdonians in the 18 -35 age group.

Aberdeen's problem is partly down to the black gold (Aberdeen was the oil capital of Europe, now rebranded the energy capital of the same). There's lots of money sloshing about up here and the two week on/two week off crowd tend to really go for it when they're onshore.

The long winter nights also have an affect. We get around seven hours of daylight in late December so many people working 9-5 go to work in the dark and go home again in the dark too. The seasonal blues can be temporarily assuaged through the liberal application of intoxicating beverages. There's also "small town" syndrome.

Aberdeen, population 215,000 or so, does have a fair few things to do other than getting drunk but it's not comparable to a larger city. So, it doesn't really surprise me that Aberdeen has a major problem with alcohol consumption.

It's enough to turn a man to drink, so it is. Ahem, again.

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