James Bond declared "severe" alcoholic by public health standards
We are both shaken and stirred
MOVIES James Bond
It turns out James Bond might not exactly be the sexy, suave Secret Service idol he's made out to be. In fact, he's just been declared a "severe" alcoholic who apparently should have been receiving professional help.
According to The Telegraph, public health researchers at the University of Otago in New Zealand analyzed 24 Bond films and concluded that there is "strong and consistent evidence" that 007 suffered from chronic alcohol consumption disorder, at the "severe" end of the spectrum. That's right—all those martinis were actually red flags.
The analysis found that our beloved Bond sipped a drink 109 times, or an average of 4.5 times in each film. Surely there are other films and characters that see much more drinking, but, lest we forget, Bond is a professional on the job.
His most notable binge was on a plane during 2008's 'Quantum of Solace,' when the character, played by Daniel Craig, appeared to consume a record 24 units of alcohol. For reference, the recommended maximum amount of alcohol for an entire week is 14 units, according to Drink Aware. That amount on the plane would have left Bond with a potentially fatal blood alcohol level, the researchers noted.
They also found that Bond's "risky" behaviour, including fights, high-speed driving, and extreme physical efforts, were often triggered by drinking and performed under the influence of alcohol.
Using the 'Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders' as reference (a manual currently used by mental health professionals), researchers discovered that Bond's cinematic behaviour fitted at least six, and possibly nine, of the 11 criteria of Alcohol Use Disorder. That's what lands him on the "severe" end of the spectrum.
To really suck the life out of the series, the study was also very critical of Bond's employer, MI6, who apparently need to "redefine Bond’s job to reduce his stress levels."
It was also suggested that there be "more field support and a stronger team approach" so that Bond's duties wouldn't weigh so heavily on his shoulders. Adding a team could either be a really cool idea (think 'The Avengers'), or it could completely remove the drama and render the entire story useless.
Lead author of the study Professor Nick Wilson said if Bond was a real person, he should have been advised to seek out professional help, particularly from his employer. "To start with, M should no longer offer Bond drinks in workplace settings." If Bond was a real person, it seems he'd be a lot less entertaining to watch, and he probably wouldn't be a pop culture sensation spanning generations.
Could you imagine him going to an AA meeting? "The name's Bond, James Bond...and I'm an alcoholic."
This is exactly why the world of fiction exists.
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