Dean Martin once quipped that he feels sorry for those who don’t drink because, “when they wake up in the morning, that’s the best they are going to feel all day.”
This past Monday, The New York City Department of Health released what is being described in the press as a “disturbing” report on the state of alcohol consumption in the City. The report, Health Consequences of Alcohol Use in New York City says that 1/10 of all hospitalizations in the city, around 100,000 each year, are caused by alcohol. Drinking also prompted 78,000 visits to ERs. This latter number has doubled between 2003-2009.
The areas with the highest numbers for drunken sots stumbling into ERs are as follows: Greenwich Village, SoHo, Gramercy and Murray Hill, North and West Queens, Greenpoint and Southern Brooklyn.
Of course no NYCDH report would be complete without hand wringing over the kids. They report the shocking statistic that “…. more than one in four New Yorkers under 21 report recent alcohol use. More than half [their emphasis] of these young drinkers report binge drinking during the previous month, and 10% report heavy drinking.”
Godfrey Daniel! Underage drinking is common? Also, regular drinking among underage college students has risen from 45% in 2005 to 57% in 2008. Horrors. People tend to forget that the legal drinking age in New York used to be 18 until the early 1980s.
Then they get to the absurd notion of binge drinking. According to the report, binge drinking is consuming five or more drinks on one occasion in a 30-day span. Kill me now. That means if you go out for an evening and have five beers you’re binge drinking. “Whoa. Slow it down Skeezix, your on your way to a flop house on the Bowery.” (Oh right, that doesn’t exist anymore).
Probably the most disturbing aspect of the report which they totally miss is that so many people in NYC can’t hold their liquor. Their stats say that 56% of those surveyed drink beer while only 25% drink wine and liquor. Which leaves 19% unaccounted for. My best guess is these are the sterno bums.
Beer is sending these lightweights to the ER? That’s a travesty. I can see it happening with liquor, but beer? It’s one thing to wind up there after a drunken bar brawl, but apparently most of these cheap dates wind up there due to their own inability to hold their beer.
The NYCDH’s report is just one more whine in a long line of attempts by Health Commissioner/City Nanny, Thomas Farley to take the fun out of life. He hates salt. He hates sodas and he hates smokes. It was only a matter of time before he got around to alcohol. This strunz actually said that second-hand smoke outdoors was the exactly the same as indoor second-hand smoke. He said this in his campaign to ban smoking in public parks because he didn’t want children seeing people smoking. Jesus H. Christ in a chicken basket.
Willie Nelson wrote, “There’s more old drunks than there are old doctors, so I guess we better have another round.”