Tuesday, 02 Sep, 2008 Offbeat
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In Alcoholic Culture If You Don't Drink, You're Treated like Criminal

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The 64-year-old broadcaster, Derryn Hinch, a former alcoholic, or how his dubbed himself "professional drunk", says he will never drink again, though in the alcohol culture he will be treated like a "criminal".

In 2006 Hinch almost died from blood poisoning and in 2007 doctors said he had advanced cirrhosis that developed due to a lifetime of boozing. Last year he underwent surgery on removing a liver tumor. Afterwards Hinch said that binge drinking is probably the worst issue of the society.

"I don't drink now, never will again. If I get a titanium liver, I still won't drink again. A couple of years ago I was so pissed I had advanced cirrhosis of the liver - not had, have - I was on the list for a transplant which, lucky for me, I now do not need. After decades of drinking ... effectively I was a professional drunk, never missed a day from alcohol, didn't have hangovers, had the constitution of an ox and always turned up for work," Hinch told an Alcohol Related Brain Injury Australian Services (ARBIAS) forum which took place in Melbourne today.

He also stated that the alcohol culture turned non-drinkers into enemy, continuously criticizing them.

"I've had friends who've gone to pubs and I'll say "I'll have a lemon squash, they'll say "why, you're a girl!", a female says "I'm not drinking". Are you pregnant, is there something we should know about? The non-drinkers are (treated like) a criminal - that's something that has to be done over," Hinch said.

The general manager of Alcohol Related Brain Injury Australian Services, John Eyre, that alcohol abuse leads to mental health problems, which remained unnoticed for way too long. He mentioned that the Federal Government had already started to deal with these problems.

"The previous government was strongly focused on illicit drugs and didn't want to know about alcohol. This Government appears to be very interested in tackling the problems around alcohol," Mr Eyre said.

Source: News.com.au

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