The world’s relationship with alcohol is changing

And we should help it accelerate

The times are changing, and people around the world are drinking less for the first time in a decade. From 2014 to 2015, global alcohol consumption dropped by 0.7%, and for the first time ever, Australia’s young people consider alcohol and other drugs to be the most important issue in the country.

This is perhaps because the conversation is shifting. It feels like a monthly phenomenon that we read, for example, Kristi Coulter’s powerful personal story on Medium, or come across a viral Instagram profile that subtly points out how high-risk drinking cultures are perpetuated. But it’s a cultural tug of war. I can’t recall a time I’ve ever gone through my Snapchat or Instagram feeds and haven’t seen an image of someone holding a wine glass with the caption, “I need a bucket of this” — or a video of the classic “shots!” chant by a group of #lads at some bar I hope I’m never made to visit. And so, we push on at the glacial pace of progress.

The problems with these social norms are manifold, but underlying it all is a culture that has branded this as standard and convinced everyone that you need a drink. Scratch that, you deserve a drink.

This needs to change. The fact of the matter is our society is geared towards helping you drink, but if you want to change then you are made to feel not only alone, but pitted against society at large. To make things more difficult, the conversation is genuinely complex to balance. As well-meaning as they are, cultural critiques can accidentally reinforce harmful stigma around alcohol use and forget to allow that it’s okay to throw your hand up for some help. We can forget that even the people promoting these cultures wouldn’t mind a change of scenery.

We know we can make these sorts of positive changes. I am excited to live in a world that has seen such a rapid change with regards to mental health. There’s still some progress to be made, but the taboo around this conversation has been decimated.

Now it’s alcohol’s time in the spotlight.

We have noticed, with a fair amount of enthusiasm, that the conversation is also shifting in other terms. On the physiological side, the new science of addiction is finally, but rapidly, coming out of what has been an intellectual ice-age governed by disempowerment and ideology. In the coming weeks we will be exploring the problems with contemporary language around addiction. And, despite being a step in the right direction, we will also be setting out the argument for why addiction is not a disease.

Hello Sunday Morning is a movement towards a better drinking culture. What started as a simple idea six years ago, when our fearless leader Chris Raine blogged about taking a year off booze, is now a rapidly growing movement and a diverse online community of ~100,000 people, each with their own goals.

We have come to Medium because we’ve found that, over the past six years, we’ve gained access to some incredible people, stories and ideas that don’t fit quite right with our on-site blog. So stay tuned, and we hope you’ll join in changing the conversation with us.

Hello Sunday Morning is a movement towards a better drinking culture. Our vision is a world where drinking is an individual choice, not a cultural expectation. How do you feel about your relationship with alcohol?
Download Daybreak, for iOS or Android to change your drinking habits today. Alternatively, join our online community of over 100,000 like-minded individuals.
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