Preferred Name: Scott
Scott is studying for a tertiary qualification and when he’s completed it, is considering further study. He’s single and lives in a share house with three friends. He describes his ethnic background as ‘Australian’: he was born in Australia, as were his parents.
When Scott was in his early twenties, he went drinking regularly with his friends. He also worked at a nightclub, which he says gave him many opportunities to drink. Soon he was drinking every day of the week. Around this time he stopped attending his university classes and then later deferred his studies. One night after work, he was involved in a fight and was charged with assault. He appeared in court where he was fined and ordered to attend an anger management course. Since then Scott has reduced his alcohol consumption. He’s also resumed his studies and resigned from his nightclub job.
One night after a nightclub shift, he went to get a meal at a nearby restaurant. He’d been drinking and says he was drunk when he left work. While at the restaurant Scott and some other male customers started arguing. They went outside where a fight broke out. Police were called to the scene and arrested all those involved in the fight. Scott and the group of men pressed charges against each other. A few months later, Scott attended a court hearing on charges of assault and was given a Diversion Notice, and the court ordered him to undertake anger management training and pay a fine.
Scott describes the assault charge as a ‘wake-up call’. After being charged, he deferred his studies and went overseas for a few months. On his return he resumed studying and resigned from his job at the nightclub. Since then Scott has reduced his alcohol consumption. He currently drinks about five nights a week with friends and avoids drinking to excess during the week. A consideration in cutting down is the financial cost of heavy drinking. He also says his ‘priorities have shifted’ and he now prioritises his studies and hobbies such as skateboarding.
In the future, Scott plans to finish his degree and either pursue further study or find a job where he can apply the skills and knowledge he’s gained through his course of study. He also plans to start saving for a house. Although he has no plans to stop drinking, Scott says he’d like to ‘spend less on alcohol’.
After getting into a fight while drinking one night, Scott was charged with assault. He says the experience was an ‘eye opener’ and he’s since cut down his drinking.
I pretty much left work and I was drunk. I was by myself and there were guys walking around or whatever. An argument broke out pretty much over nothing at a […] restaurant […] They went outside. I went outside. They pushed me and I punched a guy in the face. He punched me and it went on for a while. Police came, they got footage from the […] restaurant. They pressed charges. I pressed charges. It went to court […and I got a Diversion Notice…] It was so scary getting arrested just because, I mean, if you get an assault charge, you can, you can’t go [overseas] sometimes, or you can’t get a job. So that was an eye opener. That was like the real reason, when I was like, all right, maybe [I should] drink less.
After being charged with assault, Scott (M, 25, studying and working in hospitality, alcohol) was court ordered to complete an anger management course, which prompted him to cut down on drinking.
I think when I probably realised [my drinking] was a problem was when I got into an incident with someone just on the street in the city. I got, like, an assault charge. Like, I had to go to court, which was pretty full on. I’d never been to court before. Like, [I] got arrested and everything […] It was sort of a wake-up call […] I got […] a diversion […] I did anger management and paid a fine. The anger management I thought was interesting […but] I felt like it wasn’t catered for me […] There was a lot of people in there that were in there for like road rage and, I don’t know, I felt like my problem was that I was just drunk and stupid […] I wanted to hear what [the facilitator] had to say but it was sort of irrelevant, I guess […] It was more of an eye-opener […] That was, like, the real reason, when I was, like, all right maybe [I should] drink less.
Changing jobs and resuming study led Scott to cut down his drinking.
I think the big difference is that I’m working in jobs where you are not allowed to drink […] I’m working in cafés now. You’ve got early mornings, early shifts I guess […] I found that I couldn’t drink if I really wanted to work hard at uni as well. It’s like, I could go to the pub or I could do that assignment.
[…In my previous job], I was able to drink on the job, I guess […] And then after work, you finish work at like 5am and […] you’ve slept in until 6pm before the shift, so you’re still wide awake. So you just keep drinking […] There was so many opportunities [to drink…] I think probably, why it’s not as bad now is that I don’t have those opportunities […] If those opportunities presented themselves now, I’d probably still [drink heavily]. So I don’t think I’ve changed maybe, but maybe I’ve just changed my lifestyle. I don’t know if that makes sense. Sort of like I don’t trust myself so I just don’t put myself in those situations.