Showing posts from April, 2014

Drinking cultures compared

During the past 12 years of living in the Alps, I've noticed that alcohol abuse is nearly as pervasive here as it is back in Newport, Rhode Island.

Although the two places are poles apart (different languages, cultures, and histories; one is land-locked and mountainous and the other is flat and by the ocean) the one thing they do share is a transient, holiday, party atmosphere, with alcohol being an intrinsic part of society.

I asked my therapist if alcohol abuse was worse in the mountains than it is in the lowlands, and she said "yes" and she attributed the problem to it being a holiday destination.

So, I took my research to the internet and found that the US scores a little worse than Switzerland in terms of the cost of alcohol abuse. According to a recently published Swiss government study, the cost to society, companies and to the economy of excessive drinking was CHF 4.2 billion ($4.75 billion) or CHF 632 (or $721) per person in 2010. Interestingly, men were respons…