Drugs and Alcohol

Raphael - Interview 30

Age at interview: 24

Brief outline: When Raphael was younger he and his friends would go out to get drunk three or four times a week. Now he spends more time with his fiancée than in the pub. Raphael smokes cannabis but says that he will stop using it when he and his fiancée decide to start a family.

Background: Raphael is a full-time public sector worker, and is getting married soon. Ethnic background: White.

Audio & video

Raphael started drinking beer when he was fifteen, taking his dad’s strong beer from the fridge and drinking in the park with his friends. As a teenager, he didn’t know his limits, and would often mix his drinks, getting him lot more drunk. He still mixes his drinks, but says that he can handle it now. He drinks on weekends, and occasionally a couple of beers during the week watching a football match with friends. Sometimes he gets drunk on spirits at parties, and describes himself as “a happy drunk”. He thinks that it is easier to socialise when drinking alcohol, though one might say something when drunk that offends someone.
Raphael says that he has never really put himself at risk while being drunk, though he says that when he was younger, he fell over on a bicycle. He says that he would never drive after drinking alcohol.
When he was younger he drank a lot, three or four nights during the week getting totally drunk. Now he has a lot more responsibility and has matured, with a fiancée and a mortgage. He spends more of his free time with his fiancée than with the friends he drank a lot with. When he was younger, he would sometimes phone in sick for work, and sleep in after late night drinking. Now he realises that he needs to go into work and keep a steady job, and that it is more important than having a drink. He finds drinking relaxing and has a glass of wine with a meal, and drinks while watching the football.
Raphael smokes cannabis three or four times a week. He says that he would give up alcohol, or cigarettes, before he would give up cannabis. His fiancée smokes cigarettes, but not cannabis, though she doesn’t mind him doing it. He says that he will stop smoking cannabis when he and his fiancée decide to start a family.
He thinks that cannabis should be legalised, and that alcohol is a lot worse for people's health. When he was younger, he was offered other drugs in clubs – acid, ketamine and ecstasy. He tried ecstasy, but didn’t really enjoy it.



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