The Twelve Pubs – had enough yet?


I’ve been meaning to have a wee rant re the whole “Twelve Pubs” thing.

I know many young (and not so young) people who are about to go on this new-and-not-so-noble tradition of mass alcohol poisoning with a view to consuming at least one unit of alcohol per pub (X12) in a few short hours.

We don’t want this Santa near our kids…


This far exceeds the recommended 3-4 (for men) and 2-3 (for women) daily limit.



Publicans are bracing themselves, taxi drivers and emergency staff are wary and weary, and let’s not forget the families at home living in dread of what’s coming in the door later, covered in vomit, or worse.

bab5e9f7-d92b-49b9-8eb7-fceded20bddaEvery December I spend several sessions helping people of all ages to plan how to survive this ritual; whether or not to lie, how to dispose of unwanted booze, how to survive their “friends'” derision if they choose not to drink themselves into a stupor. And I’m willing to bet I’m not the only therapist who has this experience. I’ve spent many more sessions helping people deal with the fallout of making poor decisions while out of their minds on their “12 pub crawl”. Their mental health is suffering. As is the mental health of some of the people with whom they had contact while under the influence.

Some of that contact was abusive.

This week I was at a gig where the musician regaled the audience with stories of his alcoholic parent (cue raucous, knowing laughter) and his own pub ‘crawl’ experiences (hilarious – the, quote, ‘idiotic’ things he said and did and how he hurt people..). And I’m still left wondering –  what part was meant to be funny? Did the grown children of alcoholics in the audience feel the chill that I did while witnessing this behaviour being not only minimised, but celebrated?

This just popped up on my Twitter feed: Happy12Pubs(??!)

#Lovely #JustSayin

And honestly, this saddens me. It’s no longer fun the way we drink in this country. I have no issue with alcohol itself, it’s our attitude to it is what needs…work. So please have a little think before you mock someone for being a ‘lightweight’ or not ‘keeping up’. If you’re on the receiving end please know that it’s OK to not join in on the Twelve Pubs binge, it’s OK to say “I’ve enough now lads thanks”. It really is.

I’ve certainly had enough. Have you?



Sally O'Reilly Counselling & Psychotherapy



ps: I posted a version of this last year – so I guess some things haven’t changed – not yet anyway!




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