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Is alcohol an excuse?

  • 19-01-2023 7:17pm
    Registered Users Posts: 119 ✭✭

    For bad behavior? It isn't obviously but a lot of people put drunken antics down to "I had too much". As people say, alcohol doesn't make you do anything but reduces inhibitions.

    I had a family member who was a terrible alcoholic but the best thing was he never acted the maggot and he drank excessively at home, weddings, pubs, clubs, on flights Only got a bit more sociable.



  • Registered Users Posts: 13,722 ✭✭✭✭Potential-Monke

    No. Never. But because drinking is a national pastime, it gets used as an accepted excuse in a lot of situation. If anything, it should garner a worse reaction because the person just did something horrible while drunk, so a horrible person who can't hold their drink, 2 bads, not 1 bad and 1 excuse.

    From my time as a Garda, I reckon 90% of incidents had drink involved. It's a horrible drug but there's no legal alternative that does as good or similar a job at making you forget how horrible life is. It's not until you give up drink that you really see how bad it is. I'm not telling or expecting people to give it up, but I find it hilarious the lengths people will go to to partake.

    I've had plenty of drunken nights, and me as I am now would not have liked drinking me. Same as most when drunk, loud, obnoxious, never wrong, etc. Cocaine actually made me more bearable I reckon, stopped me getting as drunk! And now that I look back, alcoholic drinks just don't taste nice, we just fool ourselves into thinking it does so we can partake in the national pastime.

    But it should never be used as an excuse for anything.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,859 ✭✭✭✭elperello

    It's often presented as an excuse but should be treated as an aggravating factor.

  • Registered Users Posts: 54,287 ✭✭✭✭walshb

    It’s not an exact excuse, but as said, it really affects your cognitive awareness and your judgment, as well as lowers your inhibitions greatly.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,559 ✭✭✭cruais

    Shouldn't be used as an excuse. Your guard drops under the influence. I'm a firm believer that if someone is always aggravated with drink on them, that deep down they're really like that but know its not acceptable when sober

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,622 ✭✭✭growleaves

    Ctrl+F search for "drunk" and "alcohol" in any story about an arrest or trial that you're reading on an Irish news site.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,708 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump

    It has been well established to be the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,559 ✭✭✭cruais


    If something good happens,have a drink to celebrate.

    If something bad happens, have a drink to deal with the shock

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭walterking

    Very easy to just say it's a cause.

    In many cases it's the sign of underlying issues and for the past couple of years I've done some work with St Patrick's hospital and it certainly gave me a totally different perspective.

    Unfortunately the gardai in the main will simply treat someone with alcohol as a criminal and I believe that all gardai should spend a week in secondment to St Patrick's or similar and they may be able to get a different perspective.

    In many cases it's used as a coping medication by people and sometimes as a cry for help.

    Talk to them, don't admonish them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,501 ✭✭✭✭Strumms

    if nothing at all happens, have a drink while you think about making something happen.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,945 ✭✭✭Jequ0n

    I think there are people who genuinely cannot handle alcohol (or other substances), and whose personalities can change dramatically as a result. I think it’s fair enough to grant them the “excuse” the first few times around, but at some stage they need to own it.

    And I am saying this as someone who has frequently used the “I was drunk” excuse just to get out of trouble.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,627 ✭✭✭✭Larbre34

    Its never, ever, ever an excuse.

    If people cannot handle their drink, they should have the enlightenment to leave it alone.

    If they don't, its not the fault of the drink, its their's.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 10,867 Mod ✭✭✭✭igCorcaigh

    Some people react badly to alcohol, it changes their personality and behaviour, to the extent that they need to give it up.

    My brother is a nice fella, but turns into an asshole under the influence. I can drink and get merry, but can be a danger to myself if too drunk. I might fall down.

    So, it all depends.

    But, to your question: I would forgive once or twice, but if it's a pattern then no; own your behaviour and stop blaming the drug.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    In my opinion it IS an excuse, but one that means they have to at least cut back on drinking.

    I've a friend who could be dreadful when drunk - and had absolutely no recollection the next day, and would be shocked at himself. So he cut back.

    Another pal - same story, she was a different person when drunk. So she gave up alcohol.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,508 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble

    It explains things. It doesn't excuse them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,292 ✭✭✭✭

    Absolutely not. Drinking is a free choice. If you choose it then so be it. You are alone responsible for what happens later. No one else.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,205 ✭✭✭AllForIt

    Alcohol has never made me aggressive quite the opposite.

    I read something recently that alcohol brings out and accentuates the real 'you' i.e. if your naturally aggressive it will bring that out or if your more passive it will bring that out too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,130 ✭✭✭✭recode the site

    It’s never an excuse, but addiction to it is a horrible phenomenon. people use it in an attempt to suppress negative emotions, but it tends to backfire in this respect and actually magnify those emotions to the extent a person can lose all control over them, and then drinking is continued to try and dampen down the physical response until a sleep or semi-comatose state sets in followed by being in the horrors next day. On the other hand alcohol can feel to be enhancing a positive mood and so is often involved in celebrations. It dampens down inhibitions, temporarily dampens down residual nervousness, so for a short time the happy drinker is life and soul of the party.

    It’s such a cultural norm that it’s extremely hard to escape in our country, and a recovering alcoholic must be greatly challenged by its omnipresence, and what is the tedium being in the midst of inebriated people.

    When blood alcohol rises abruptly it temporarily shuts off the ability to retain info into memory, leading to the so-called memory black-outs. It’s not only alcoholics are affected by these, but anyone who takes a binge or a glass too many in short sequence, maybe in a rush to down too many rounds towards the end of an evening. A separate issue for long term alcoholics is chronic memory & executive function loss (Korsakoff Syndrome) whether drunk or sober, caused by thiamine deficiency. In some alcoholics thiamine, along with other nutrients, is not properly absorbed from an often poor diet by a disturbed digestive system, and what is absorbed fails to get utilised to protect brain cells.

    It’s a very complex picture overall, and Ireland has a relatively high proportion of people affected by full-blown alcoholism, apart from the sporadic binge drinking in another sizeable cohort.

    Interestingly, I was on an excursion in Brittany in September, and the local guide compared Breton drinking habits versus the French in general. She described Bretons as having the “wild” streak typical of many other Celts, and that they consume in one night what the French in general consume over a week. “We don’t drink more overall than the French, but we drink it in all one go”.

    Only the bereft of reason would want to swap lives with me, unless seriously down in luck. If the envious are rewarded with a life swap they would live with seriously restricted mobility, Want that?

  • Registered Users Posts: 508 ✭✭✭The DayDream

    I don't believe that at all. When people whose personality changes for the worse on alcohol are confronted with what they've done or said, they're typically horrified. I think the lovely person that you see when they're sober is the real person.

    Alcohol is literally a poison. Why anyone would think a poison brings out 'the real you' is beyond me.

    Some people it doesn't make them act like complete arseholes, but contrary to what many 'happy drunks' think, I rarely witness any situation where it improves anyone's personality.

    Both my parents, my grandfather, 3 of my uncles and my auntie on my mother's side, and two of my father's brother's were alcoholics. Most got sober but it killed me father. I didn't escape it either and it is something that plagued me for along time as a binge drinker who really couldn't handle it. I've woken up in jail cells, hospitals, random houses etc. not knowing how I got there.

    People who don't understand it properly think it's just as simple as 'If it doesn't suit you, just don't do it.' Like, wow, why didn't I think of that?

    In AA they say alcohol is 'cunning, baffling and powerful.' and it fkin is. It still baffles me why I persisted drinking when it was the cause of literally every major bit of trouble I ever had in my life. The allure of that buzz you get from the first few is very powerful. Unfortunately when you lose your inhibitions you don't just start talking louder and whatnot, you also lose the ability to control your intake.

    For a person like me one drink triggers a compulsion to drink more and more. A normal drinker doesn't understand it but I would say don't look down on others just because you were born with the ability to have a few and leave it at that. There is huge pressure to drink in social situations, too, and walking through any town, even the supermarket, means you are basically surrounded all times by 'legal drug dealers.' (yes, booze is a drug).

    The cunning bit is when you go off it, it is so easy to forget the horror of your last binge. The headache, dry mouth, diarrhea and nausea isn't even the worst part. The shame, self loathing, regret is crushing. You try to sleep and you can't and when you do you have terrible nightmares.

    So when you still go out and do it again, that shows you how strong the addiction is. My uncle who was off it 15 years just went back on it and got a DUI and assaulted the cops. Pretty sure there's nothing about that that is 'the real him'. It's all booze fkin up your brain.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,273 ✭✭✭xxxxxxl

    If you really want to find out what someone is like talk to them after a skin full.

  • Registered Users Posts: 508 ✭✭✭The DayDream

    Again, complete nonsense IMO. Since kicking booze I've noticed most people are affected by alcohol very similarly. They get louder, sillier, more obstinate, repeat themselves and repeat the same stories, overestimate their ability to dance, their fighting prowess, their wittiness and sexual attractiveness. It doesn't vary that much, even amongst those who would be considered 'happy drunks'. They still get louder and more ridiculous, just not as obnoxious as some others.

    But most people when drunk share those characteristics and it isn't 'what they're really like' at all. Most of them are fairly normal, polite, respectful, even shy people. They didn't show 'what they're really like' when drunk, and their inhibitions aren't some phony mask. Your inhibitions are there to protect you from socially unacceptable or harmful behaviour.

    A fella I know went to a foreign stag years ago and got so drunk he ended up heading back to the hotel and passing out. When he awoke he found out there had been an awful incident. Somehow in the wee hours the groom to be thought it would be great craic to scale the side of a bridge going through the town. His mates were cheering him. Then the fella jumped into the river and drowned. No joke.

    I doubt if either the man who jumped or his mates who thought it was funny are 'really like that.' This man was not suicidal, his friends didn't want him to do something so dangerous. They were inebriated and had lost all sense of what was right and wrong and safe and not.

    You don't find out what people are really like after a skinful. Most of the time the things they say would be hard to make much sense out of, or is just idle pub talk, 'Och, sure look it... Blahblahblah'. You rarely gain major insights into their personality or even hear anything memorable whatsoever.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,273 ✭✭✭xxxxxxl

    That's a very sad situation Really sorry to hear about the death condolences. I meant on simple stuff like politics Religion stuff most avoid.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,009 ✭✭✭✭Grayson

    Yes and no. We all say or do stupid things when we're drunk. It's the level of stupidity that matters. If someone does something harmful, they should say sorry. If they continuously do stuff like that they should stop drinking and possibly see a therapist.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 10,867 Mod ✭✭✭✭igCorcaigh

    You speak the truth @The DayDream.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,310 ✭✭✭SAMTALK

    I know a fella who is as laid back and easy going as you will get but if he drinks whiskey he shows a completely different side which is not nice! Never once sober has he shown any indication of this

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,489 ✭✭✭bb1234567

    This seems outdated. Tbh it's a very old fashioned to use it as an excuse. I think with a lot of recent feminist movements which aimed to reduce rates of sexual assault in party/club/bar environments have caused alcohol being used as an excuse to go out the window and I rarely see it being accepted as justification any longer unless the bad behaviour was minor and forgettable such as losing your temper a bit. But any sexual behaviour or physical aggression definitely no longer brushed off as alcohols fault

  • Registered Users Posts: 258 ✭✭It is a Dunne Deal

    This is the exact truth and really should be the final word in this thread. Happy drunks are people who are just less of a bollocks than others but I found I was a happy drunk until I blacked out then I could be an awful bollocks loud obnoxious repetitive and insulting and I'd wake with the horrendous fear the next day of what I'd said and to whom and genuinely have no memory of it. Thankfully those days are behind me.

    To answer the question posed yes alcohol can be an excuse but it is up to the individual to reduce their consumption or stop altogether if it is causing continuous bad behaviour. Everyone has the occasional fcuk up that I don't think should be judged too harshly but when it becomes a patterns it needs stopping.

  • Registered Users Posts: 272 ✭✭j2

    Not at all, if you tend to get out of control after a few too many then you should stop with the drinking or reign it in. That's not to say I have no sympathy, I don't intend to be aggressive with someone if they messed up after drinking, but no more than I would with other reasons such as going through a tough time and being a jerk behind that. No sense jumping down your someone's throat when they're already having a hard time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,501 ✭✭✭✭Strumms

    Drink I always found a nice relaxant.

    never understood why people get aggressive when drunk,

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,922 ✭✭✭Royale with Cheese

    Alcohol is only an excuse when you and your mates are all 16 and are completely new to it. Once you've been at it a few years and know what to expect after a few drinks then using it as an excuse for your behaviour wears pretty thin.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 34,147 ✭✭✭✭o1s1n
    Master of the Universe

    'Taste' is completely subjective, what 'tastes nice' and 'doesn't taste nice' is influenced by so many factors nobody can make a blanket statement about everyone fooling themselves that alcohol tastes nice.

    People drink alcohol for all kinds of reasons. The range goes all the way from alcoholics drinking hand sanitizer in hospitals to get out of it to people spending 15 euro on a crafted cocktail which tastes delicious.

    I can only imagine the alcohol related horrors you've seeing as your time as a Garda. However, you have to remember, in a role like that, you are seeing absolute worst of it - in reality, hundreds of thousands of people in Ireland drink alcohol on a regular basis without issue.

    I love a good pint. I don't get **** faced, I don't go out clubbing off my face, I don't attack anyone. I do love going to my local with my friends and having a few Guinness, which is completely and utterly harmless.