Several blogs has already been written about this kind of topic – alcohol in Cambodian society and how it impacts, but still I decided to bring it up once again since I’ve already made up my mind, and also the situation is becoming more serious today.
“Be a man!”, “Drink a little!”, “Why did you come here if not to drink?” Sound familiar? These phrases are used by drinkers to persuade people to drink. But this little brings to more. “Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl’s clothes off,” said Raymond Chandler, an American novelist.
I myself is an alcoholic-free, but surely that I have experienced drinking and drunk. There was quite a long time. When I was in high school, once in sister’s birthday party, convinced by my ugly friends (kidding!) my lovely friends to drink beer. I did reject for a few time, but at last I agreed to swallow only a glass of it. However, it was not the last; it was just the beginning. There was no last at all until I was on my beautiful bed; actually, the floor was also beautiful and clean enough for me to sleep since I could not hold on to stand anymore.
I raise this experience not to motivate you to drink alcohol, but to state how bad it was to me.
It ruined my night at that time. I missed the enjoyment of the last time of the party, missed the dance, and missed the last fun of the celebration.
I absolutely regretted about this. Not only at that time. I almost always felt regret and guilty after I woke up from drunk. I felt regret because I found myself uncomfortable, and I thought it was not the right thing to do. I don’t know whether some have the same feeling and thought as me or not or just really enjoy it a lot. “I SHOULD NOT have drunk at all,” I said to myself. From that time on, by self-commitment and mom’s warning I decided to stay away from alcohol and did not involve with it again even once. Asking once, I rejected once. Hundred times, rejected hundred. Even they said anything, I didn’t care. Without this thing in my body, I feel much better. I feel fresh and healthy. Without drinking alcohol, I can enjoy the taste of other beverages instead.
No alcohol, not dead. But drink alcohol can be dead.
Thankfully, I can take it away from my delightful life and I didn’t commit any wrong act to my family and society.
On behalf of Cambodian Youth, as you can see I also used to experience using alcohol, and is it start by myself or peer pressure? I would say both. I don’t want to put all the blame on others. The anecdote above wanted to indicate that we can quit it as long as we are willing to do so though alcohol is addictive, disagree? In fact, alcohol is also a drug; just it is a legal drug.
In Phnom Penh, alcoholic advertising billboards can be seen almost everywhere along the main streets.
Advertisements on medias such as TV, radio, newspapers, etc., and peer pressure encourage Cambodian youth to love beer and wine. Quite a large amount of money was spent on creativity and profession of alcoholic sports in order to attract people. It shows how cool people are when drinking alcohol. Youth are used as a tool in ads to hook youth themselves. The implication is that not only the old people can consume alcohol, but also the young people.
Today, varies beer and wine’s trademarks have been growing rapidly in Cambodia. Why is that? Because this business is make good in this country. Furthermore, Cambodian government chooses alcoholic industry to contribute to increase national’s economy.
A report of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports specified that 91% of young men and 70% of young women have consumed alcohol or used illegal drugs in Cambodia. Thus, isn’t it a large data?
Alcohol is known as the root cause of Cambodian social issues. It creates violence, crime, ethical concern, traffic accident, health problems, and so on. Even aware of these cons, still Cambodian enjoys drinking it and the government allows freely without any restriction.
For instance, one of my friends who is an alcoholic said he knew what is the consequence of it, but still he cannot quit it. Now he drinks almost every weekend. He started it since he was in high school. When I asked why he drink, first he said he didn’t know; then he stated it was good to release stress and increase fun and closeness when gathering friends. Personally, I don’t think alcohol can help to remove stress, but create more stress.
Alcohol can affect human health in a short term and long term. For a short term, it just causes drinkers having low energy and headache, whereas a long term, it often occurs on heavy drinkers which can lead to heart disease, liver disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, psychological disturbances (depression and insomnia), lack of concentration, forgetfulness, and etc.
In the age of studying, youth need a well brain to stay focus in class and remember what they learn. If they consume alcohol, it can damage their brain; then it can affect their study performance.
“Youth is bamboo shoots, they are the future leaders” Cambodian proverb. If the alcohol productions and a number of youth alcoholic are increasing, the potential of young Cambodian people to have health issues is high. Hence, our country will not produce productive human resources, but sick men.
Cambodian government needs to take action in this problem. We cannot keep our country to be a heaven of alcohol. Bob Marley, a singer and songwriter, said, “Herb is the healing of a nation, alcohol is the destruction.” Our country’s economy absolutely can depend on other sectors besides this.
Using young people in alcoholic advertising should be banned. Moreover, it is important to limit the age of the consumers specifically.