Tuesday 20 December 2011

Drinking Is Highly Contagious

"We know what you're doing Dick. The old ridiculous-headline-to-drive-traffic routine, eh?"

Err, not really, no.

New study finds binge drinking as contagious as the common cold

Do couples influence each other's drinking habits? Over a 28 day time frame, researchers were able to predict one partner’s binge drinking based the other partner’s binge drinking.

This study offers a unique explanation for why young adults are binge drinking: Because they are involved in a drinking partnership that promotes binge drinking.

This research shows your partner can influence your binge drinking — a finding that has important implications for assessment, prevention, and treatment.
See what they did there? You see, you always thought that you were harming no-one else but yourself if you chug a bottle of Pinot Grigio by the neck, when in fact you are brazenly inflicting your habit on your loved one. Or, say, you're a hazardous-drinking CAMRA pong-slobberer, your irresponsible habit is a danger to those around you.

“In some respect this is a cautionary piece of research. Pick your friends and lovers carefully because they influence you more than you think.”
One might even call it 'passive drinking', or something. I dunno.

This is a marvellous concept for extrapolating elsewhere, isn't it? Treated your lover to a box of chocolates on Valentine's Day? You're infecting them with the obesity bug. Hopeless romantic who likes to take your wife out for a rich, slap-up nosebag on a weekend? You artery-clogging bastard!

A bona fide danger to society, you are, and no mistake, to be avoided and denormalised at all costs.

Of course, the same applies almost everywhere. If you don't want to end up as a raisin-lipped, wizened old finger-wagging bore, don't listen to the type of shrill, interfering curtain-twitchers who produce pompous, nosy, rent-seeking, pre-determined policy-based junk like above.


Carl Minns said...

Well, if drinking is this easy to catch there really is no point in cutting my consumption :)

Rex Mundi, Smoker Extraordinaire said...

This just in! One can get drunk just by reading a blogpost about drinking. Mr. Puddlecote, you will save me a bundle! Thanks.

Manu said...

Let me guess - would the preferred solution to this 'problem' possibly be minimum alcohol pricing...?

George Speller said...

My wife drives me to drink!

Anonymous said...


Just as long as she also drives you home.

Gary K.

selsey.steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
selsey.steve said...

So, an 'intensive' study of 208 university students in their early twenties found that they liked to go on the piss.
Well, colour me fucking stupid. I thought that being a student and going on the piss with your equally drink-sodden squeeze ended when I left university (over 30 years ago) and sobriety reigned supreme over every campus in the land.
Lead author of this assault on common sense is one Aislin Mushquash. Is this someone whose belief system has anything to say about alcohol consumption?

Anonymous said...

Oh, dear Richard,another literary
piece poisoned with mention of the
Hop and Corduroy Coven,the malt hobbits,middle England yeast samplers,Bonnington look alikes,
fell trespassers and evening overall wearers.Yes our Merry England ,Ale and hearty heroes
who look away when passing the old standing in wind swept doorways.
The "I'm all right Jack" brigade,
not a Tommy Atkins to be seen.
Need I spell out who we speak of.

Laurel and Hary Fan

Anonymous said...

Well it looks like the prime funders of many of the banstarbators, which would be our Department of Health, has decided to "stop pussyfooting" and just attack everyone about everything judging by comments in this article recording the award of a £1 million PR contract :-


"The Department of Health announced that from January, its entire public relations work on public health would be handled by Matthew Freud's communication agency ....

The contract was awarded after a formal tendering process. The DoH said the single campaign would increase efficiency, by streamlining all communications: "Too often the department has held separate conversations with the same people, one day talking to them about their diet, the next about their alcohol consumption without recognising the linked behaviours."

Sheila Mitchell, the Department's Head of Marketing, added that: "Freud Communications delivered a really exciting pitch. They have some big ideas that we believe will not only promote good health but will really change people's behaviour".

Oh good !

Mark Wadsworth said...

That last comment by Anon 21.39 is a classic of the kind :-)

"our Department of Health, has decided to "stop pussyfooting" and just attack everyone about everything"

Yes, well why not? Saves a lot a time if they can just declare everything to be bad for us and just ban everything overnight.

Anonymous said...


"they can just declare everything to be bad for us"

The operative word in your entirely correct statement is 'us', it'll still be Ok for our 'betters' to consume whatever they wish, wherever they wish, at our expense (have a look at how much is spent on in-house hospitality as well as junkets in the DOH and NHS)

Why? because they are much more intelligent and able to judge what is a reasonable amount of whatever they wish to consume, whilst you and I are unruly, braindead children. I was going to include that they work so hard dreaming up novel new things to ban, but now it appears they're too busy, so they've farmed it out to one of their mates for a million (wonder who is lining up a job for when they retire from public service).Thanks anonymous for cheering me up even more than I was already.

Anonymous said...


I noticed that too.

So - students are more likely to go for a drink, if their mates are going for a drink - Duh!

(I wonder if the researchers are just lashing out at all those others who wouldn't invite them out for a drink whilst they were at university, because they were sad, judgmental, officious, prigs)

I really want a job there doing research at the Department of The Bleeding Obvious.

Anonymous said...

We ought not to forget that 'binge drinking' has been re-defined. Any male who drinks in excess of three pints (or equivalent) in a session is a 'binge drinker'. By drinking with your friends, rather than alone, you encourage them to become 'binge drinkers' (as defined). Of course, it could be the other way round - 'binge drinkers' (as defined) easily make friends.

Anonymous said...

Errm, well this isn’t rocket science, is it? I could – for half the money – have told these “researchers” that I, a very occasional drinker, and my other half, a regular moderate drinker, will very likely “binge drink” together if we go to a wedding, or a party within walking distance of our home, or have friends over to our house, or to some other social event where we can get a taxi (or a lift!) home.

That doesn’t exactly make it contagious, does it? It simply means that those are the only opportunities available to both of us these days to have - together - more than a carefully-measured one or two (or none), whether for reasons of driving home, work the next day, or just because the event in question (such as going to the theatre or the cinema) simply isn’t a “booze-related” occasion.

Angry Exile said...

Ah, yes. The thought process behind this bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Sir George Godber, before he came up with the secondhand smoke menace.

First Worldwide Conference Calls for Action on Many Fronts Against Cigarettes - 1967

"The smoker" chooses for his own gratification to introduce into his own personal micro-environment the agent that will do him harm.

What we are trying to do is to persuade him that that voluntary act is not only a long term threat to his future, but also an inducement to others to adopt the same folly.

We are in fact asking for an almost infinite number of acts at self-abnegation so that a dirty and dangerous habit can be eliminated from our society."

Sir George E, Godber, M.D.,
Chief Medical Officer,
British Ministry of Health
Page 8

You can see why they are no longer allowed at these conferences, their representatives had the cheek to take notes.


Lyn said...

We could ask the obvious - if drinking is contagious then how come very few, if any, of the partners of alcoholics are not also alcoholics?

I have found that very often one person over indulging in anything puts the other off!

The exception, often, is with those in the mid teens to early 20's, but most soon grow out of over indulgence.

Oh darn it, I am being stupid again! The powers that be don't have the ability to add common sense into their equations; of course, for them, if one binge drinker is associated with another binge drinker (or smoker or over eater, etc) then the first must, of course, encourage the second and if this happens once, it must happen every time! Doh!

Anonymous said...

a good tip is mix tobacco seeds in with red or white wine.

beats the tobacco ban too

Mark Wadsworth said...

Dick, re your comment at mine, excellent point.

If smoking ban means more people drink at home in company of wife, friends, children, then they are more likely to infect people with secondary alcoholism, not to mention second hand smoking.

lyn said...

The reason is because they are much more intelligent and able to judge what is a reasonable amount of whatever they wish to consume, whilst you and I are unruly, braindead children. I was going to include that they work so hard dreaming up novel new things to ban, although beans on toast and monster munch seem ok, but now it appears they\'re too busy, so they have farmed it out to one of their mates for a million (wonder who is lining up a job for when they retire from public service).Thanks steve for cheering me up even more than I was already.

fao thick muddledup said...

You must try and pay attention, i realise you and angry bloggers dont read posts properly and the theme of being angry means it dosent matter what the thread is about as long as the chip on the shoulder gets posted.

its like watching a load of nutters speaking in tongues so i joined in and kept the theme running.

anyway here you are:

lyn 4:01 thats me on about beans and monster munch

Anon 14:27 tobacco seeds in wine for gods sake.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Well done, Anon. I envy your incredibly exciting life.