Drunks in the street

Drunk guy at Sacapulas

One of the more disturbing things about a couple of the places we've been recently is seeing drunks just laying unconscious on the sidewalk, or even sprawling out into the street. There seems to be no custom of getting them off the street, or having the police come and bundle them off to a detox center. They just collapse and sleep it off right there in front of everybody. One place where we used the internet we regularly had to step over a drunk to walk in the front door. Of course this is ugly. We know that this level drunkenness happens everywhere, but it seems like our custom at home is that it's hidden inside somewhere, or if not the police make sure that it's removed quickly from public view. Sometimes it's so extreme here that we wonder whether it's some kind of an art form. Just how drunk can you get before you have to collapse and start drinking?

This pattern of alcoholism also reminds us of the devastation of alcohol among the indigenous peoples of Alaska and northwest Canada. And these people are from the very same stock. I know that many people have theorized that there's an alcoholism gene that makes native American peoples particularly susceptible to the destruction of alcohol. Perhaps that's what's going on. It certainly is ugly and distressing.