Millennial Alcohol Abuse: London

Drunk man
(Photo by g-stockstudio/

Millennial is an identity given to a broadly and vaguely defined group of people. There are two wings of “Millennial”: Generation Y (people born between 1981 and 1991) and Generation Z (born between 1991 and 2001). I fall into the Generation Z category.

In the 1981 to 1999 age bracket, it is all too common to see individuals gripping the bottle Friday night after their work or study week has ended and they are ready to “let loose”. You can witness thousands of instances of this simply by looking on social media only to see alcohol and alcohol-influenced millennials in the masses.

Now, there isn’t anything wrong with having a drink every once in a while—however, 2.5 million people reported drinking over 14 units, which is the recommended weekly consumption (by the UK Chief Medical Officers’ guideline), on their heaviest drinking days.

Going above your recommended weekly alcohol consumption causes:

  • Loss of life
  • Liver damage
  • Immune system failure
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Higher risk of cancer

What is commonplace amongst young adults my age is to go to a club, pub or social gathering (house party, etc.) and drink as much as humanly possible. The result? Loss of routine motor function, analytical thinking, and control.

The phrase most often associated with actions done after the above state is achieved is, “I was so drunk, that wasn’t even me.” Allowing them to use that as an excuse for irrational behavior and detrimental actions. Things you would never do sober become all too easy due to the false sense of “confidence” (which I will cover more in depth another time).

Higher-income individuals are more prone to drinking in excess due to their ability to afford larger amounts of alcohol. In 2016, 44% of lower-income individuals admitted to drinking in the last week whereas that figure is 77% amongst high-income individuals.

The more you can afford, the more you get. Alcohol is not excluded from this. High-end parties, bottle service at the club, liquor-packed house parties, all have one thing in common—they are expensive. I could dive into the effect of alcohol on your bank account but that is irrelevant compared to the physical toll it takes.

It may seem all fun and games but I have seen horrifying proof of where that mentality leads. A person very close to me, from a young age, was a constant abuser of alcohol. He did it for the same reasons as anyone, to “let loose”. I was 14 when I met him —when he had finally achieved sobriety, after 50 years of abuse. His eyes were filled with tears when he met us for the first time. He was finally accepted back into our lives after getting clean.

However, the damage to his body was done. Despite becoming clean, his body was damaged past the point of recovery. Almost a decade later he is now chained to an oxygen tank, his skin, pale and tinted yellow. He is not even 70 years old yet.

My advice, to anyone suffering from alcohol abuse, or a loved one experiencing the effects of another’s abuse, is to get help sooner rather than later. I would never want your family to have to experience what mine has.




Devin was born and raised in East Baton Rouge, Louisiana where drug and alcohol abuse was a normal occurrence in families especially after Hurricane Katrina left hundreds of families homeless with easy access to drugs and alcohol to “relieve their pain.“ He was introduced to drugs at a young age and has now been drug-free for over 6 years.