I think that by now everybody with a television has seen the Go Sober advert by McMillan.
It starts jauntily by saying that man has been drinking since the dawn of time and since the day after he’s been having hangovers. It then goes on to try and persuade people to stop drinking for a whole month and fill the time with something else. Watch it now.
When I first saw it I thought I was in a televised meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and that I was listening to the story of that one person who can’t believe that they have a problem. It was painful to watch.
It’s an advert that appears to be aimed at people with an alcohol problem yet it is aimed at the whole population.
The idea behind Go Sober is that you stop drinking and somehow raise money for McMillan. You can do it in teams and get on a leaderboard on the website that’s dedicated to Go Sober and you can even aim for a place as the top fundraiser.
All well and good you may think but, there is always a but.
McMillan are a charity that provides care and support for people with cancer. They do a fantastic job and need funding as Government funding is in an ever increasing downward spiral.
However, over drinking can cause or enhance the chance of having SEVEN different types of cancer. If you are a regular drinker (and Go Sober presumes you are) then you are risk from or have an enhanced risk from
- breast cancer
- laryngeal (voice box) cancer
- liver cancer
- mouth cancer
- oesophagel (food pipe) cancer
- pharyngeal (upper throat) cancer
- bowel cancer
That is, not to put to fine a point on it, a shit load of cancer.
To put it simply, McMillan want you to raise money for the care you may have to have when/if you succumb to cancer that was caused by your alcohol consumption
“Thinking of taking on Go Sober? Wondering if you’ve got the willpower to see it through? For so many Brits, the prospect of a dry thirty-one day stretch can seem as gruelling as any marathon. Psychologist Sarah Gibson shares a few tips to help you rise to the challenge.”
The above paragraph from the Go Sober website is very telling as is the fact that I could only find a single sentence about getting help if you find out you need it because your drinking is so out of control but the only sign post is to your doctor. Many people with an alcohol problem will only talk to their doctor as a last resort.
I’m sure that McMillan will get a ton of money to go towards their valuable work but hey, do a little bit at least towards alcohol awareness and where to get help. I don’t think that there’s many alcoholics that are sober today because of a fundraising campaign for a cancer charity.
Details of how to contact Alcoholics Anonymous are here.