Pubs are not unique to England, but they are perhaps more associated with England than with any other country. England’s history of pubs extends back many centuries. The term pub, short for “public house,” has been associated with centers of hospitality since long before the Roman Invasion of England, but during the Roman Invasion, a great deal of foot traffic made pubs a much more common business between the town sites of England. They were used as rest stops where weary soldiers and civilians could break from their routines for some relaxation and pleasure. Pubs would often consists of inn and brothel services as well as places of alcohol service.
Pub crawls are most associated with the historic pubs of England, but it is a tradition embraced around Europe between many historic pub sites. Pub tours or pub crawls are an old English tradition. Because England has such a rich history of pub culture, as well as a number of historic, old pubs, it has become a tradition to organize nights devoted to pub hopping among groups of people. Typically, this is an informal event arranged among a group of friends for occasions such as birthdays, bachelor parties, graduations and anniversaries. New Zealand residents began a tradition of crawling London pubs in an annual event called the Waitangi Day pub crawl that follows the main section of the transit system.
Though many places around the world have adopted the tradition of the pub crawl, England will always be considered the original site of the pub crawl. This tradition has inspired modern day pub crawls in places like the United States as well, such as the well known SantaCon pub crawl that began in San Francisco. Pub crawlers dress up as Santa Claus and hop the bars of a regional area. In 2012, there were 30,000 participants in the New York City SantaCon – a far cry from the humble pub crawls between friends of Europe. Pub crawling in England emerged from the country’s ancient tradition of providing hospitality and drink to weary travelers, long before the time of Geoffrey Chaucer.
England is experiencing an epidemic of alcoholism. Despite England’s long history with alcohol, as the years pass, alcoholism in England is increasing in severity. It is no longer seen as a harmless cultural facet, but rather a silent killer. Alcoholism is one of the three most deadly lifestyle choices in England, as well as smoking and obesity. Diseases of the liver are responsible for mortality rates in England in ever increasing numbers. Death statistics are including younger and younger alcoholics, those who engage in binge drinking and those who have other bad alcohol abuse habits. In order to fight back against this epidemic, health boards and mental health organizations in England are planning to target alcohol problems using six different angles:
Interventions with alcoholics are an important part of their recovery from alcoholism. Denial is the hallmark of alcoholism, causing alcoholics to avoid facing the truth about their condition. Interventions with a professional interventionist and loved ones serve to gently and lovingly help the alcoholic to admit to their condition and learn about treatment options.
Rehabilitation and addiction treatment are very important to ending the condition of alcoholism, particularly for severe alcoholics. This may come in the form of counseling, outpatient addiction treatment or inpatient addiction treatment. These methods have proven very successful for a great many struggling alcoholics.
The organization of local, grassroots support groups for alcoholics is very important to their ongoing success. This is not a professional level of treatment, but rather an ongoing, informal support system of other alcoholics who can share in their challenges and their glories in their battle for sobriety. This is a great follow up to professional treatment, or it can be a good alternative to professional treatment for those with less severe alcoholism.
Taking counter measures against drunk driving is very important to safe driving. This can include campaigns to inform the public, harsher drunk driving laws and an increased police presence to enforce drunk driving laws. Drunk driving is a universal cause of mortality and should be eliminated at any cost.
Tighter restrictions on the sales of alcohol help reduce alcoholism statistics by making it less available to consumers. This usually involves bringing more government regulation into alcohol sales.
Price increases on alcohol have long proven effective in reducing its sales by eliminating some of the temptation to purchase it.
Anyone who takes an interest in the cultures of other countries knows that residents of England are known to have a drinking problem. England has a very old relationship with alcohol – one that dates back nearly 12,000 years. Not all of England’s alcohol practices are negative, but many of them are certainly determined to be excessive. Many people write off the drinking habits of the English calling it simply a part of their culture, but they are not aware of how out of control the situation has become, and how many deaths are annually attributed to alcohol consumption in England. To set facts straight, here are a number of statistics reflecting the reality of alcohol abuse in England.
Since 1980, alcohol has become over 60-percent more affordable, making it much more accessible to every income bracket.
The number of people who drink more than the recommended daily limit of alcohol in England is close to 10-million.
Alcoholism in England has major ramifications on the healthcare system, as well as on the crime rate and on lost productivity costs. The total estimated loss due to alcoholism is 21-billion pounds per year.
Alcohol related deaths in England rose by nearly 20-percent in 2001 to a staggering nearly 6,500 in 2012.
It is estimated that over 7-million people have no idea that their excessive drinking is doing irreparable damage to their health.
Smoking, obesity and alcohol are considered the three biggest lifestyle risks to English citizens. Alcohol alone accounts for 10-percent of the burden of disease and death within the United Kingdom.
Clearly, England has a long struggle ahead of it as a society to manage its alcohol abuse problems. There are a number of methods being proposed to assist in the treatment of alcohol problems in England, including interventions with alcoholics, rehabilitation and addiction treatment, the organization of local, grassroots support groups for alcoholics, taking counter measures against drunk driving, tighter restrictions on the availability of alcohol and a price increase on alcohol. With the implementation of one or all of these alcoholism reduction methods, England should see positive results in the future.
England has a bit of a world reputation for enjoying their alcohol. All of the United Kingdom is known for their pub and bar culture. In fact, there is perhaps no other culture in the world where it is more acceptable to spend excessive time in a pub or bar. This is not a result of widespread addiction and alcoholism, although those things are certainly present in England’s culture as well. England’s culture of drinking spans many centuries, even millenniums, back, and is present in the modern way they approach alcohol.
Arguably, the people who the British descended from could have been drinking alcohol as long as 12,000 years ago. Unearthed, ancient jugs that were meant for holding beer indicate this to us. Beer made from grains was the alcohol of choice for several millenia, and was associated with excessive binge drinking. In the 1st century AD, the Roman Invasion influenced the English popular culture toward moderation in drinking. Wine was more readily consumed lightly, with a meal, while beer was consumed for the purpose of becoming drunk. These two cultures or schools of thought have remained in England for centuries, however, England is notorious for its celebration of the “beer based thinking,” that alcohol is for binging in order to become very drunk. The weather could also play a factor, according to many mental health experts in England. For much of the year, England is very gray, promoting alcoholism as a means of coping with depression and lack of Vitamin D.
England’s history with alcohol affects the culture of its modern day residents in a number of ways. Drinking is more common and more acceptable in England than in many other regions of the world. This is a long evolved social acceptance and tolerance of drinking. Not only this, but alcoholism and alcohol tolerance can be linked to genetics. The longer alcohol consumption has been passed down genetically, the more genetically predisposed a person is to alcoholism and to alcohol cravings. As you can see, England’s relationship with alcohol has been many years in the making.
England is a country that many travelers across the world come to visit, not just because of England’s rich culture and history, but because of the prominent world standing that England has. Many regions of the world are familiar with English culture because of the far reach that English colonialism has had historically. The sites and experiences one can find in England are of a great deal of interest to many global citizens. There are a number of historic sites to visit in England, but among the most popular are:
The Tower of London. This remarkable historic site, formally known as Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress, has a complex, long-established history with England. Located in London on the River Thames, the tower was originally a castle and dwelling place for royalty in the 11th century. In the 10th century, the tower was converted into a prison which was used for over 800 years. Presently, it is one of England’s most popular tourist attractions and World Heritage Sites.
Westminster Abbey. This large, Gothic church located in Westminster, England is another well-visited tourist site. Its construction began in the 13th century, and since its creation, it has undergone a number of title changes, including church, abbey and cathedral. It is currently known as Royal Peculiar, meaning it is directly responsible to the Sovereign. It has been the site of many royal weddings, funerals and church attendances.
The Canterbury Cathedral. Located in Canterbury, England, this Christian structure is one of the oldest in England and is designated as a World Heritage Site. It was originally founded in the 6th century and was completely rebuilt in the 11th century, then restored after a fire in the 12th century. The Canterbury Cathedral is probably most well known for its role in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales as the pilgrimage site of Thomas Becket’s shrine.
The Roman Baths. In the English city of Bath is a well-preserved Roman bath house that was a place to publicly bathe. The hot springs that feed into the bath house have been used for bathing by British royalty since 836 BC, but during the Roman invasion, a temple and a bathing house complex were built starting in 60 AD. Modern day tourists can view the baths but not get in the water.
The tradition of the English pub dates back as far as Roman taverns. The Romans established taverns and inns along the Roman road network that became an important part of Anglo-Saxon culture. By the year 1,000, they were so common that they had been restricted to one per village, establishing the idea of the pub being the community center of sorts. The term “pub” comes from the original phrase “public house;” a significant beginning to the hospitality industry of England.
The pub became modernized and remained an enduring staple of English culture through the passage of time. Many celebrity and historical figures of England have been known to frequent pubs. They carry a great amount of tradition with them, as well. Their primary purpose is of course to serve “ale” and other alcoholic beverages, but the pub food of England is a long standing tradition of its own, including menu options such as Shepherd’s pie and fish & chips. The atmosphere of an English pub is also a large part of its tradition, boasting patriotic emblems, historic architecture, song and merriment.
The pub scene of England has become a tourism industry of its own. Many visitors to England want to see the country’s most historic pubs or say they have been on an English “pub crawl,” and there are many tour companies that offer pub tours or base their businesses on them solely. Some have argued that the pub tradition of England contributes to the country’s problem of alcoholism and feel the pub tradition should be more heavily moderated. England is among the countries with the worst alcoholism problems in the world, and its residents are increasingly traveling long distances for alcohol treatment center British Columbia, the United States and Australia. For now, however, pub tourism is booming and continuing to bring ever increasing numbers of tourists to the region.