Gary Reinbach, a 22 year old in the Uk, died earlier this week after being refused a liver transplant because he wouldnt have been able to fulfill the requirements of a “drying out” period in order to undergo the procedure. Reports say that despite his age, it was the worst cirrhosis of the liver they’d ever seen. It has also been claimed that he started drinking at 11 when his parents separated and was binge drinking by the age of 13. Obvious questions need to be asked of how the fuck he managed to drink at 11, and then binge drink at 13. While his problems at home somewhat (somehow) justify his spiral into pre-pubescent alcoholism (sounds ridiculous, because it is) how he managed to get to this stage is the real problem that needs addressing. The Uk has an absurd amount of places, offering disgusting drinks at equally disgusting prices. It also has a massive population (usually fat and white) infinitely keen to get infinitely involved in this kind of geezer/chav/bogan/uncultured culture…
I wrote the following piece (a modified version of something i have previously written) to newspapers who had reported his death.
The tragic death of Gary Reinbach, who at 22, had liver cirrhosis that was so severe doctors had never seen anything like it, is a stark reminder of the danger, addictions and damage excessive consumption of alcohol can cause.
While there are often external or internal and social issues that can lead people to drink, there is rarely anything done about discouraging people to drink on the part of those selling alcohol and those profiting from it.
There’s a lot to be said for the lack of discretion and education from those who are selling the alcohol in the first place. Having worked in bars and clubs in this country, it is more than acceptable (even encouraged) to turn a blind eye to the fact that certain patrons or customers aren’t in need of another drink. Revenue is the bottom line.
Limiting or controlling the opportunities to drink is the key. Off licenses selling beers at six for five pounds (and less) says “drink more, and save money” as well as the fact that there is no discouragement towards drinking anywhere you like, be it on the street, in the park, outside the supermarket or wherever else you please.
People selling alcohol are scarcely responsible for their actions or even worse, are completely unaware of the consequences of irresponsible service and further to this, have very little incentive to care. “Happy hours” – with absurdly cheap prices and an obvious confusion over what an hour actually is, are clearly policies that the law enforcement bodies need to investigate. Putting a time limit on people’s drinking and effectively saying “drink as much as you can in this time, and you will save money” is nothing but an incentive to binge.
We’ve all seen chain after chain of refutable pubs advertise and market their products – in massive-postered, neon-signed glory – in a manner that says nothing more than “you can get wasted here, and it will hardly cost you a thing!” People don’t drink £1.50 double vodka red bulls for the taste.
It’s time that laws in relation to drinking were reviewed. Social, marital, mental, and other problems that people often cite as reasons for using alcohol to “escape” can be left in the hands of the professionals paid and trained to take care of them – problems with youths binge drinking need to be addressed by those paid and trained to supply alcohol.