Walk around any college campus on a Friday or Saturday night and you’re bound to see students engaging in a behavior known as binge drinking. It’s common for people to drink socially, but binge drinking and social drinking is often mistaken for the same thing when really they are very different. Social drinking is done in a casual setting with other people. The point of casual drinking is not to get drunk, but to enjoy the company of other people. Since binge drinking is often done in groups, people tend to mistake it for social drinking. The whole point of binge drinking is to get as drunk as possible. Social drinking is used to mark an occasion, like a wedding or a birthday. Binge drinking marks no occasion at all.
There are numerous risks when it comes to binge drinking. While the long term effects of alcoholism are well documented, the short term risks of binge drinking are just as dangerous. Risks such as unplanned pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and personal injury are all very high when a person is binge drinking. The reason being that alcohol impairs judgment, so a person will make decisions that they normally wouldn’t make, like have unprotected sex for example. People are also more likely to be violent and irrational when they are drunk. Binge drinking and clouded judgment go together like two peas in a pod.
There are long term effects on the nervous system as well. Binge drinkers often have memory impairment, problems with information recall, and in some cases irreversible brain damage. Binge drinking tends to be worse among adolescents in college, particularly those who are recently legal drinkers. Many schools are attempting to combat binge drinking by educating students on how dangerous it can be. They are targeting men in particular because they are at a much higher risk to binge drink than women. The majority of those asked said they binge drink because it’s really fun.
Alcohol is one of the most addictive substances out there. Those who binge drink at an early age are far more likely to continue their unhealthy drinking habits into adulthood. The long term health risks of drinking can substantially shorten a person’s life. If you or someone you know struggles with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, please contact the Alcoholism Treatment Helpline in Edison, NJ as soon as you can. The experienced addiction counselors have the most up to date training when it comes to helping someone reach sobriety.