Can we stop giving alcohol as gifts?

Can we stop giving alcohol as gifts? Alcohol is not a present. It is poison!

Please!?

So, this popped up as a Facebook memory.

We were staying at a hotel in London, they messed up our luggage. We had been out sightseeing all day and took the donuts home for supper.

When we arrived home we found the champagne in our room as an apology, a freebie, a gift.

Do not get me wrong, at the time I loved this gift and I duly drank the lot, even though I had already had a skinful all day.

But now I must stop and think about it.

We know our country’s problem with alcohol is on the rise. In England, it is estimated there are 602, 391 dependent drinkers and 82% are not receiving any treatment.

Alcohol causes over 60 medical conditions, many of which are serious cancers and in 2019/20 976,425 hospital admissions were due to alcohol (Alcohol Change UK).

Alcohol is causing problems in relationships, families, in public health and it is draining our services. It is a serious problem and yet here is it being handed over as a gift, an apology, and “here, have one on us!”

And, this is with no idea of who we are or how we live with alcohol. There is an assumption that we would want alcohol. Do not get me wrong at the time I dam well did. What a treat it was.

But towards the end, on one of my many attempts to stop I could never have turned down the lovely, fancy, expensive, free bottle of champagne. I would have thought, why the hell not? I’ll start again tomorrow, and I would have seen this as way too good an opportunity to pass by. I would have allowed this to derail me, yet again and who knows when

I would have managed to get back on track. I fully recognise this would have been an excuse, but one that I would have taken. The temptation and the freebie would have been way too much to pass by

Let’s take account for those with an alcohol dependency. Alone in the capital city, a fancy treat handed to them, no one around to ever know. And here is a bottle of your finest champagne delivered to your room. It is reckless and dangerous.

Would we offer a free packet of cigarettes? What about a bag of our finest class A drugs? Just a thought.

And now I do not drink alcohol. So, you want to apologise for your mess-up, but only on your terms? Can I swap it? What about a meal? A trip to the spa? Or is it just easier, lazier to hand over the bottle and hope that appeases people?

Alchol is no gift. It is a posion, it causes harm and devastation across lives.

Please think about the next time you are buying a gift. You do not know that person’s circumstances. You do not know how they are struggling. You do not know how they may be trying to improve themselves and become a healthier, better version of themselves. We just do not know, but we do know alcohol is a poison.

Let’s truly say thank you and mean it.

Gillian

P.S. Our next alcohol-free challenge starts on 29th July. Be sure to sign up to reserve your spot!

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