A 'high' or 'buzz' - euphoria
Relief from anxiety
Permissive - puts you in a mood to do things you would not do sober
Facilitates uncritical social intercourse
Escape from yourself or present situation
Treat symptoms (eg brandy for an unsettled stomach)
Assist onset of sleep
Enhance group solidarity
Pass time without boredom - alcohol destroys the awareness of the passage of time
This latter point is extremely important to Dr Marjot. When combined with the most significant thing about our relationship with alcohol - dose - we can start to unravel the complex mess of social, psychological and clinical signifiers we have constructed around it.
Dr Marjot's book was pressed on me by my local vicar when he discovered I'd sworn off the sauce. I'm rather glad he did, as the contents, to a lay drinker, are revelatory.
|An actual old-fashioned proper book!|
The conclusion Dr Marjot seems to be working towards is that we as a society don't handle alcohol very well at all, and therefore it shouldn't be much surprise when individuals don't either.
It chimes with a theory I am busy developing that we have got the way we acknowledge, celebrate, and stigmatise alcohol use completely wrong. This feeds into a wider discussion about all psychoactive drugs, but I'm going to focus on the legal one for the moment.
I am in touch with Dr Marjot and he is sending me his second book, Addiction: A Kind of Loving, in which he explores more fully his theory about our need to change the language of addiction. Should keep me busy.