Booze Britain…

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A rather interesting series of episodes on the binge drinking culture of our fair islands has been screened recently on digital T.V. To me it is just a rerun of all the jobs that I have attended at sometime or another in my career. To my wife, Mrs. Magic, it is a real eye opener. She is astounded at some of the antics that goes on in and around the drinking streets/establishments of our towns and cities. More than once I have had to explain that these are not isolated incidents….this is how it is on the streets (or in da hood!).

Firstly, the prelude to a “good night out”, is to start early at home with some friends. This can include knocking back a bottle each of “Buckfast” (a very potent tonic wine of the Scottish variety), drinking copious amounts of “Lambrini” (wine like lemonade which seems to appeal to women in white shoes and visiable thongs) and/or drinking plenty of spirits. As you would imagine some people are ratarsed before they even leave home!

Not content with getting as much booze down their necks in as short a time as possible, some even devise ways of absorbing the alcohol more quickly. One way is to “snort” the spirits through the nose (leads to faster absorbtion through the mucus membrane and bypasses the liver to a degree), and the other is the “strawpedo” whereby a straw is placed in the bottle and then contents are drunk very quickly leading to a quicker rush. It was interesting to see one lad who had vomitted 5 times already (once before he even left his house!), inhale his drink and then lo and behold he is ill again! 

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What caught my attention in one episode was seeing a police officer actually arresting someone for being “drunk & incapable”! I thought I was seeing things….why cant this happen more often? I had my own preconceived ideas on this but they have now changed since reading “Wasting Police Time” by PC David Copperfield. A must read book! I did get the impression though that the police were trying to palm off some of the drunks onto either taxi drivers (who dont want vomitting passengers) or onto us the ambulance service. At the end of the day they should be charged a fee for going to hospital for a drink related issue or arrested and made to face the consequences of their actions! The drunks not the police.

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Another thing that caught my attention was seeing an ambulance RRV/RFU running people home! Bollocks!! We have been trying for years to rid ourselves of this taxi image and here is someone giving the green light for drunks to think its okay to call an ambulance! Beggars belief!

But what else amazes me is….how much do these people earn that they can go out 3 or 4 times a week and get blitzed? We will see a massive increase in the numbers of chronic alcoholics and acute alcohol poisonings. What we need is zero tolerance for drink related crime….drunks/assaults/criminal damage etc. then maybe people will think twice about what they are doing. We live in hope!!! 

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5 Responses to Booze Britain…

  1. Hello my dear!
    I finally managed to get your blog to come up. I’ve made a link to you so I can drop by again. xx

  2. Didacticogenic craniomyalgia... says:

    I lived/did postgrad in the UK for 2 years, and was amazed by the wonderful emergency services you guys have. I did have a discussion with a fireman once about having people pay for nonsense/malicious/prank calls, but he didn’t agree, saying that would discourage many from calling you guys. I think that the money/resources wasted are doing more harm that charging even a nominal fee; how much of the NHS deficit can be lessened by charging a couple of pounds for alcohol-related EMS calls?

    I grew up in a part of the world where, my God! you’d be worse off in the hands of ‘ambulances’ than if you’d just hopped to the hospital on the leg that wasn’t blown off! That’s why I did training with SJA in Canada/UK, and was/am AMAZED at the EMS services there. I just can’t empathise with those who whine about them.

    Bottom line: people don’t value what they have until it’s not there anymore. By all means, send me any patient you think is misusing the service, and I’ll show him/her some of the results of not having an EMS system with highly trained paramedical staff to help. Seriously. That is my pet peeve…

  3. kingmagic says:

    Its the same for the police. Society has become used to getting their public services free at the point of delivery which is fantastic and the envy of the modern free world. Its just the ones who take the piss and expect others to pick up the pieces for their lack of responsibility.
    A sliding scale of charges for drink related incidents would make people think twice about their actions!
    Just the threat of a fiscal penalty would probaly be enough.

  4. Didacticogenic craniomyalgia... says:

    So why do ‘da powers dat be’ disagree about introducing these charges gradually? I mean, if each person who, in the eyes of the ambulance crew/police, resulted in an ambulance called out for alcohol/drugs-related injury/illness/etc was charged 2 pounds (which is a lot less than a taxi!), that money would do wonders!

    What about introducing a pilot project to see the public’s reaction? From what I’ve heard, the concerns are all theories & possibilities.

  5. Kingmagic says:

    I think that the powers upstairs in ivory towers dont want to be associated with what could be construed as another tax. Which it could turn into by suits at meetings seeing a possible cash cow. (speed cameras spring to mind).

    The NHS should be free at the point of delivery and will only go further in decline if fees are required from drink related customers.
    But we need to somehow educate or make people more responsible for themslves.
    The amount of drink related jobs we, the ambulance service and the police, go to is just crazy.

    If a charge was introduced then it would be a nightmare to police/oversee. There would be an appeals procedure and human rights lawyers would be planning holidays abroad and new cars left right and centre.

    An option for drink related cases is to take them to a holding cell, painted dark green with a sloping floor with a drain in the centre. Here they would be hosed down with freezing water and kicked out in the morning. (This actually takes place in Moscow).

    Ask any ambulance para/tech, A/E nurse, A/E doctor, police officer and they will tell you that drink related incidents account for much of our workload.

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