Saturday, June 18, 2016

Time for a Temperance Movement » John C. Wright's Journal

Time for a Temperance Movement » John C. Wright's Journal

In the course of my career, I have responded to the hospital to investigate a report of sexual assault hundreds of times. Here is the down and dirty bottom line regarding 90%+ of reported adult sexual assaults: It’s the alcohol. Period. Full stop.

Of all of those hundreds of reported sexual assaults that I have responded to over the years, I can count the number of substantiated incidents of what Whoopi Goldberg so inartfully once termed “rape- rape” on both hands without taking off my shoes. I’m talking about the full on stranger rapes, the “Jack the Ripper drags a helpless woman into an alley” type of scenario that pops in most peoples’ minds when they hear the word “rape.”

Section wide, we probably average less than ten of those “nightmare” rapes a year in a city of 300,000 people. The rest of them, the overwhelming rest of them, are acquaintance rapes. And alcohol is at the bottom of the vast majority of those.

People who are removed from the social scene of young adults today can’t really comprehend how out of control alcohol abuse is among college students and other young people looking to party. I went to a “party school” myself and there was a lot of drinking in the mid- nineties. Thursday night was the big party night and I had a lot of classes on Friday mornings that were mostly empty.

But these kids today don’t want to just drink to get buzzed and have a good time. They drink with the goal of a black out. It starts with the “pregame.” Prior to going out to hit the bars with your fraternity bros or sorority sisters, you meet at someone’s house and have a couple of drinks there before you even leave. The idea is that you get a little buzzed before you leave, so you won’t spend as much money on overpriced drinks at the bars.

Of course, it doesn’t actually work out that way. They have two beers at home and then three, five, seven more at the bars. Plus the two shots that somebody bought them.

So by last call, they’ve had anywhere from five to God only knows how many drinks in about a four hour period. In a 115 pound sorority sister, that’s a hell of a lot of alcohol.

Oh, and did I mention how many of them are on medications that are contraindicated for alcohol? Given our pill-popping culture in general, I’ll just round up and say that all of them are. Especially mood altering medications and most especially Ambien.

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