Interviewees in this article gave up alcohol only when they'd suffered serious consequences from drinking, and they're the tip of the iceberg, given that an estimated five per cent of Kiwi drinkers aged 16 and older experience alcohol abuse or dependence in a 12-month period. No longer is the topic of sobriety hushed, though, with more people like LIbby Robertson, who wrote a book called How to Unmess Your Life, prepared to inspire the sober-curious.
Read the full story here: Hitting rock bottom: Ex-boozers on Dry July and beyond
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Drinking alcohol in excess is the biggest waste of time. When I gave up I had so much time on my hands. The only advice I can think of if you are going to give up is don't be too hard on yourself when you fail and drink again, just keep trying.
- Mark M
The drinking culture in our country is shameful.
- Brian H
Everybody do what works for you.
- Rawiri F
I long ago ceased drinking except for, say, a single glass of champagne at a birthday etc. I just don't like alcohol or the company of drunks.
- Marcus A
Alcohol is the truest scourge on society. Worse than meth. Worse than cigarettes. Alcohol destroys lives every day in this country and around the world.
Every weekend hospitals and police cells are overflowing with alcohol-related cases.
Imagine the money we'd save as a country if drinking wasn't the cornerstone of every social event we had. Imagine how much better our mental health would be if we weren't anxious because of our own addiction or anxious because of another person's addiction.
My great-grandfather, grandfather, father and brothers were/are all chronic alcoholics. Just like me. My earliest childhood memories are of alcohol-related domestic arguments and physical fighting between my parents.
If it were up to me there'd be no advertising. No sponsorship. The legal age would be 20. There would be no supermarket sales. There would be much tougher licensing laws. And a huge increase in addiction services across the country.
Dry July is not for everyone. But it's something.
- Mig B
I enjoy a drink and am able to drink in moderation without any effort. For this, I am grateful. I can imagine the damage alcohol would cause if I was not able to do this, so congratulations and much respect to anyone who can't and has managed to walk away.
I really wish we could all just live and let live in this area without judging - either way, drinker or non-drinker. It's the behaviour we should be focused on.
- John M
I found the comments around how anti-drinking PR only targets reducing binge drinking and how there is very low acknowledgement in NZ of the links between alcohol and cancers rather interesting but scary. I couldn't help but be influenced by a documentary a few years ago that pointed out the obvious, that alcohol is poison. That single insight influences me to drink a lot less than I think I otherwise might.
- Jared C
If you want to, drink responsibly while you can still afford to. The Government has just imposed the largest alcohol excise tax in 30 years.
- Chris O
I enjoy drinking. Each to their own.
- Kahu K
Ernest Hemingway: "I drink to make other people more interesting."
F Scott Fitzgerald: "Here's to alcohol, the rose-coloured glasses of life."
- Grahame S