The Toll of Binge-Drinking

The Toll of Binge-Drinking

It’s 12pm and you’ve just arrived at the bar. It’s late but you still have 2 hours remaining. Time to make the best of it! First thing’s first: everyone needs a shot! You and your group quickly down the drink. Immediately, you realize that you have no drink in hand. What’s the solution? Another drink of course! Within minutes you’ve consumed your next drink. Another one! Now three down. Before you know it, you’re several drinks in. You check the clock and to your amazement, it’s only been 1 hour. The fun continues!

Have you ever been in a similar situation? Congrats! You’ve participated in the act of binge drinking.

Binge drinking is a common practice on college campuses nationwide. Defined by the NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) as attaining a BAC of .08% or more OR by consuming 4-5 drinks within 2 hours, a wide range of issues derive from this excessive consumption of alcohol.

binge-drinking

Fighting, suicide, rape, unprotected sex, and legal issues are only a handful of the issues that result from binge drinking. But let’s consider one of the most important things for students: academics. While those other things are extremely important in their own rights, college is primarily a place designed to provide you an education. Your academics are at risk. According to a study by the Center of Study

Your academics are at risk. According to a study by the Center of Study

According to a study by the Center of Study of Collegiate Mental Health at Penn State University, students that consistently binged also consistently had much lower GPAs. Additionally, according to a study by Northwestern University, a quarter of college undergraduates report negative academic consequences from drinking.

But why?

Well, the research indicates that those who binge-drink tend to skip classes more frequently. Makes sense. If you have a raging time at a party or bar the night before, you’re probably drained for classes the next day, especially if you have morning classes.

But what if you do manage to make it to your classes? Well, the research also suggests that binge drinking has a negative effect on your mood. While I won’t get into the details behind it, alcohol deprives your body of the ability to sleep properly. When you don’t get enough sleep, your mood can suffer as a consequence. Naturally, a poor attitude can easily lead to decreased cognitive abilities and even an unwillingness to study—something that’s pretty important for good grades in college.

college-student-drinking

If those didn’t scare you enough, consider this: alcohol is expensive (especially at bars). Binge drinking will quickly put a hole in your pockets!

Now, the overwhelming majority of articles out there tend to suggest that college students simply not binge-drink. Personally, I find that advice to be plain awful and unrealistic.

College isn’t easy. It’s stressful and exhausting.

Everyone needs an outlet and I think it’s irrational for anyone to try and dissuade students from binge-drinking. My answer: moderation!

While I don’t think it’s realistic to not binge-drink, I will say that a bit of moderation goes a long way. Be more mindful of your health, your cash, and your time (especially your time) and perhaps cut back on the excessive drinking. Even if you still wish to drink with friends, I’d suggest pacing yourself. You don’t need to slam back five drinks in thirty minutes. Take your time and have fun, but do it responsibly!

As usual, thanks for reading. I highly appreciate it! If you enjoyed the article and think someone else could benefit, please be sure to share the article using the buttons on the left-hand side of the page. Also, don’t hesitate to leave a comment. Finally, if you want more details about binge-drinking, be sure to check out the articles below that I referenced. Thanks again and stay positive!


Additional Resources:

https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/CollegeFactSheet/CollegeFactSheet.pdf

https://projectturnabout.org/steps-to-prevent-binge-drinking/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3843305/

http://www.northwestern.edu/alcohol-resources/get-help/help-for-faculty-staff/assets/impactonap.pdf

http://news.psu.edu/story/172329/2009/11/16/study-inverse-relationship-between-alcohol-abuse-and-college-gpa

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1360-0443.2009.02880.x/full