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Leader comment: Just the one drink won’t do

It’s a familiar refrain in pubs, kitchens, and living rooms across Scotland. It begins with the demand that one takes a drink – “just the one”. Not only do too many Scots drink too much, we’re also a nation of enthusiastic enablers; encouraging others to overindulge is seen as a measure of ones politeness.

According to a new survey, more than 80 per cent of Scots have been urged by friends to drink, with that “just the one” caveat the most common method of persuasion.

It’s troubling that so many who responded to the survey devised by academics from Stirling University said they feared they would appear boring if they refused a drink. Scotland may have begun addressing its problem with alcohol but we’ve a long way to go if such concerns prevail.

We have never been better educated about the risks of excessive drinking and the introduction of minimum unit pricing shows there is political will. But while many continue to believe the myth that alcohol is a necessary ingredient for every social situation, our unhealthy relationship with the bottle will endure.