All These Years Later And We're Still Binge Drinking

(Getty Images/Dulin)

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Between keeping up with the news and following Boston sports, I don’t find much time for TV dramas. 

But lately, I’ve been catching up on “Mad Men,” the cable TV series about the New York City advertising world in the 1960s.

The first thing you notice is the smoking--everyone is constantly lighting up, indoors and outdoors, first thing in the morning and at bedtime, pregnant women included.

The next thing you notice is the drinking--hard liquor, in the office and out, mass quantities at all hours of the day…and yes, pregnant women included.

Those smoking habits have gone the way of pay phones and glazed crullers. But the drinking habits of the “Mad Men” era are still with us, and they’re taking a heavy toll.

Check out the sordid story of former New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, an alleged serial abuser whose behavior was, according to his battered girlfriends, fueled by insane alcohol consumption. He would “almost always drink two bottles of wine in a night, then bring a bottle of Scotch into the bedroom. He would get absolutely plastered five nights out of seven,” one of them claims.

That is some gruesome binge drinking, and Schneiderman is far from an exception. According to the Centers for Disease Control about a quarter of adult men admit to binge drinking an average of eight drinks at a time five times a month.

This is mind-boggling excess. We all pay for the results--violence, traffic accidents, higher cancer rates, etc.

And it makes you wonder: is this really the best we can do as a culture, living--and dying--like we haven’t learned a thing in the past half a century?

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. Listen to his previous podcasts on iHeartRadio. 

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Keller @ Large

Keller @ Large

Jon Keller is a WBZ TV & Radio political analyst. Read more

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