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alcohol

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INTRO

Taking a look at alcohol, its effects and what it does for us. (Take what you need from below).

FACTS

- Alcohol abuse costs the country £20 billion per year.
- There is a cost of £6.1bn to employers through lost work time etc.
- 17 million work days are lost each year due to alcohol.
- 1 in 5 women binge drink, 4 in 10 blokes binge drink.
- The amount that 16 year-olds drink is twice that of 10 years ago.

CLICK HERE for a PDF with some facts

WHY DO PEOPLE DRINK?

Here are some reasons people give explaining why they drink:

- They want to
- They want to get drunk
- Cos it's cool and a laugh
- Cos work or school is so boring
- Cos they are bored
- Cos their life feels meaningless
- Because their mates drink
- Because it gives them more confidence
- Because everyone else does
- Because there's nothing else to do, nowhere else to go
- They feel empty without drinking and it helps them escape their loneliness

Can you think of any other reasons?

VIDEO CLIP

Record something from TV about police fighting crime, or soaps where alcohol impacts a situation. There are loads to choose from!!

Alternatively, in the movie '10 Things I Hate About You', there is a party scene where Kat - one of the sisters in the movie (Julia Styles) - gets completely wasted and does some mad stuff in front of the other party goers, dancing on a table and so on.. Just check it for language etc.

A SKETCH

Two mates chatting about last night

Gem - Hiya, Em, you're looking rough mate. What happened to you last night?

Em - Uhhh, what, sorry..

Gem - At the party last night, where did you go? One minute you were there, next minute you'd gone upstairs with some bloke.. Where d'ya go?

Em - Erm, I, I , can't remember, when did that happen?

Gem - Yeh, it was just after you were dancing round the room with a bottle of wine singing 'Hit me baby one more time'

Em - You what? I can't remember that..

Gem - Can't remember it. I'm not surprised mind, you were off your face..

Em - I remember trying to get off with John.. oh man, what was I thinking?

Gem - You tried to get off with John? He looks like a dog.

Em - Yeh, I, I know but like after a few shots he kind of looked better..

Gem - You must've been wasted..

Em - I remember that, then the next thing I remember is walking downstairs and throwing up outside..

Gem - Who did you go upstairs with? I didn't recognise him..

Em - I, I don't know mate.. did I, you know.. do anything?

Gem - I dunno.. did you?

Em - I, I can't remember..

POINT - Think before you drink!

STORY 1

When I was younger and involved with some football hooligans we went clubbing one night. At the club I was headbutted and punched but didn't back off. Later I went and challenged the person who did this and he couldn't remember it. In fact, he kissed me (disturbingly!) and said, 'You crack me up mate you do..' Later he got annoyed with me again and we exchanged words before I left the club. On the way out, I passed by a couple of older lads who asked me what had happened. I explained the situation. They told me they were going to stab him and went off, returning later. I got out of there..

STORY 2

Another time I went to a pub with a friend. We walked back to his house at the end of an alcohol filled night in the near pitch black. On the way back we stopped on a bridge overlooking a canal with the water flowing about 12 foot below the bridge. The canal was only about 6 foot wide. The canal bridge had a metal fence to stop people falling in.

Just to chill we leaned onto the metal barriers. Except that the metal barriers weren't there. Some work was being done on the barriers and they had been replaced with tape. My mate leaned on the tape thinking it was a metal barrier and fell forward down into the canal 12 foot below. As he did he grabbed me to try and stop himself falling and I fell forward too.

Down under the water I went thinking 'this could be the end' not knowing how deep the water was or anything. Amazingly I resurfaced and so did my mate and we swum downstream and climbed out onto the bank very wet and funnily enough, highly amused. Only the next day when I went back and looked did I realise how fortunate we had been not to have been killed or injured.

Replace these with a story from your life.. or someone's story or testimony.

WORDS OF YOUNG PEOPLE

One 16 year-old young person recently said to me recently, 'I go into town with my mates drinking in the pubs but sometimes I think we forget there are older blokes out there much harder than us and we need to be careful..'

Another young person told me how he had slept with a friend's girlfriend because he'd been drinking. He didn't even enjoy himself at all. For the next few weeks he felt very low and received all kinds of abusive calls and texts from the girl, her boyfriend and mates.

SO IS THERE ANOTHER WAY?

It's so hard when you're at school and college etc. You feel left out if you don't go or get invited to a party. You feel kind of dumb if you don't drink like other people claim to.

But the truth is you don't need to drink to enjoy yourself. My thinking is that by not drinking you're the tough one, the one who has got the character, the strength. If you do go out you don't have to drink. You know what, I have a right laugh sometimes watching mates who are drunk when I'm sober. It's like being in a different world. What's better is that I don't wake up with a hangover!

THE POINT

Think about the things that can happen when you drink too much. It can be real good fun drinking and it's kind of cool being with your mates but watch out. We're not here to tell you not to drink but to watch your drink.

As Christians, we believe that drinking is about personal preference but believe that God can help you in any situation. I can speak personally that my life as a Christian isn't on the same planet as when I used to go out drinking every week. When I did, I felt empty and lonely inside. When I became a Christian I found I didn't really want to drink much any more cos everything else I did was so much better.

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