That’s Life: Advice by Susan DeAngelis at www.thatslifeadvice.com
Jay from Maryland asks, “Is it okay to binge drink at parties?”
What can happen when you binge drink?
Binge drinking, also known as heavy episodic drinking, is the massive consumption of alcohol in a short amount of time. An average person is said to have binged, when their blood alcohol concentration reads 0.08% or more. For the blood to reach this level males consume 5 or more drinks quickly, a female 4 drinks. This is known as the 5/4 rule. Height, weight, and other factors can alter this rule. Extreme drinking has been defined as the rapid consumption of 10 or more drinks for males and 8 for females.
In the United States, although the legal drinking age is 21, most individuals are likely to binge drink in college. Studies show over half of male college students and 40% of females have participated in binge drinking in the past few weeks. Nearly one-third of freshman in college have experiences with binge drinking before returning home for the holidays. Unfortunately, excessive drinking is not limited to the over 18 crowd. It was been reported that a quarter of high school students have binged in the last month.
Some methods of binge drinking are shots, shooters, chugging, shotguns, funnels, and drinking games. In the United States, two popular games are quarters and pong, where failure to get one of these objects in a glass after bouncing it off a table leads to chugging beer or the consumption of a shot.
A common Canadian drinking game is Wizard Stick. After finishing a beer, the empty is stacked and taped underneath the current one. In New Zealand, Edward Wineyhands and Scrumpy Hands is a drinking game in which a 40 or 80 ounce can is duct taped to the hands and cannot be removed until completely consumed. The Pub Crawl first became popular in the United Kingdom where drinking establishments close by Midnight. Drinking from pub to pub, by the end of the evening, the binge drinker is crawling home. Botellon, passing a big bottle amongst a circle of friends in a public place, is common in Spain.
Regardless of the method, on the average, those who binge drink miss more classes, get lower grades, are sexually irresponsible, have been accidentally injured or date raped, and have or developed health ailments. In addiction, most alcoholics or addicts at one time were binge drinkers.
After binge drinking, a person is likely to
1) Have an argument or altercation
2) Fall or Pass out
3) Vomit, perhaps choke to death
4) Get into an automobile accident or fatality
5) Overdose (Alcohol poisoning)
During a blacked out state, urination on oneself is common. In extreme cases, however, a binge drinker’s bladder can rupture and cause septic blood poisoning.
When asked about his binge drinking experiences The Unknown Drunk replied, “I used to drink hard and fast… If I got drunk fast, I thought everyone would think I was cool. Thinking back, I just looked like a drunken idiot.”
Today, there is a movement in the United States to return the legal drinking age back 18.
“I was legally allowed to drink at 18,” the Unknown Drunk continued. “Maybe that’s why I started drinking heavy by the time I was 12.”