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Glasgow locals share their first drinking experiences with BBC show Addictions

By Abbie Meehan

Social commentator Darren McGarvey visited his native Glasgow with new BBC Scotland show Addictions, as he explores Scotland's relationship with different addictive substances and behaviours.

During the first episode of the three-part series, Darren returns to Glasgow to speak to some locals on the streets of the city to find out their history with alcohol.

Speaking to various individuals, Darren asked the all-important question: "What's your earliest drinking memory?"

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A young woman laughed awkwardly at this question and said: "Oh, I was like 14 or something, in a park somewhere with my friends."

Two men were next to be scrutinised, as one replied: "Getting sick in a field!", as he laughed with his pal.

A single man was next, in a switch of location in Edinburgh, as he said: "Falling asleep on a bench outside somewhere."

A mother and daughter duo on Buchanan Street were next, as the mum said: "Drinking a form of spirit, in a car-park, maybe?"

An older man looked disappointed as he recalled: "Cider, at 14-years-old, getting sick."

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The daughter feigned shock as mum fondly remembered her first swally. (BBC)

Another Edinburgh-based woman then added: "Far too young, but I probably tried alcohol for the first time at like nine-years-old!"

Another man replied with, "Twelve", and Darren pushed for more, asking: "What did you do?"

He then smiled and said: "I got smashed mate!"

Darren went back to the male duo, and asked: "What's your worst drinking experience?"

The same guy replied: "Telling someone that I loved them, on the third date! And it was my manager as well.

"This was only two weeks ago or something, so that makes it so much worse."

Darren is searching for the answers to addiction. (BBC)

Most of the interviewees were grinning as they recalled their stories of underage drinking, but Darren was on a journey to explore exactly why alcohol abuse is so deeply engrained into Scottish culture.

For Orwell Prize-winner McGarvey, the series is very much a personal mission to foster greater understanding, given his own history with addiction.

“Addiction is one of the biggest issues that we face, and given my level of experience, personally and also in the community, I recognise I’m in a position to shine a light on it in a way that hasn’t been done yet.”

You can catch up with the first episode of Darren McGarvey's Addictions on BBC iPlayer now, and the next instalment will be available on Tuesday, May 17 at 10pm on BBC Scotland.

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