Why Do People Binge Drink?

What is binge drinking? Why do people binge drink? What’s the harm in binge drinking?

Generally, the term “binge drinking” means drinking alcoholic beverages heavily over a short period of time, with the primary intention of becoming intoxicated. Binge drinking is common in males, especially during adolescence. Most binge drinkers are unaware of the risks associated with binge drinking. A large number of traffic accidents and violent behaviors are associated with binge drinking. The more often an adolescent binge drinks, starting at a very early age, the likely he is to develop an alcohol use disorder in the future.

So, why do people binge drink? People binge drink for various reasons. There is no standard definition of binge drinking, however, a consumption of approximately 5 standard drinks for men and 4 drinks for women is considered to be a “binge.” The British Medical Association describes binge drinking as a heavy drinking over an evening or similar time span. Most adolescents drink excessively because they feel more grown up, fit in with their peers, and the likelihood of sexual encounters increases.

Another answer to the question “why do people binge drink?” is it is used as a coping mechanism. Some people binge drink as a way to forget their problems and alleviate their emotional stress. Some adolescent girls get involved in binge drinking in order to cope with their emotional problems like peer pressure or a break up from a relationship.

But why do people binge drink despite the harmful effects that accompany it? Some researchers believe that the most effective way to reduce morbidity rates caused by binge drinking is to raise the legal drinking age. Evidence shows that interventions by employers can significantly decrease the level of binge drinking. These interventions may be in the form of lifestyle checks, psychosocial skills training, and peer referral. In the USA, motivational interventions have also contributed in reducing binge drinking.

According to a recent study regarding college drinking by Dr. Henry Wechsler of the Harvard University, binge drinking has reduced significantly over the four years since his earlier study. Contrary to the continuing barrage of newspaper articles claiming that binge drinking among young adults is ever increasing, the instances of binge drinking has actually decreased. Binge drinking has clearly declined among American college students for a number of years. The challenge of correcting the misperceptions about college student drinking is huge, but the most effective way to reduce alcohol abuse is simply by telling the truth and making sure that the right facts are sent across to these young students.

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