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Alcohol and Alcoholism - Binge Drinking

Satisfactory Essays
Binge Drinking

Binge drinking results from a student's submission to peer pressure, the lack of outside control over the student, and the denial that drinking leads to severe consequences. Binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks in a row for men and four or more drinks in a row for women during a two week period (Wechsler). Many students partake in binge drinking to be socially accepted into a group. Other students find it difficult to make the choice to be the sober outsider. Many binge drinkers realize that there is little immediate outside influence to push them away from the alcohol and they abuse their independence.

Most binge drinkers do not consider themselves to be problem drinkers, which adds to the difficulty in solving this college epidemic. They associate binge drinking with a good time, but many are blind to the harm it causes, such as failing grades and unplanned sexual encounters. Binge drinking has become an accepted part of the college experience for many students. Although there are other reasons a student may choose to binge drink, the influence of friends, the lack of outside control and the denial of drinking-related problems are the main forces driving the need to consume alcohol to the point of physical harm.

The desire to be social enhances the willingness to binge drink. Social drinking has become a necessary activity at most weekend college parties. Students seek information about the type of alcoholic beverages available prior to attending a party. Having a few drinks has become synonymous with having a good time. A high tolerance for alcohol gains the respect of peers. Those that throw up after a few drinks are ridiculed, including women. Binge drinking rates are the highest among members of fraternities and sororities, which demonstrates the need to drink to fit in with peers. It is questioned whether Greek life attracts or creates binge drinkers. "Many fraternities and sororities are functional saloons. Fully 86% of men and 80% of women who live in fraternities and sororities are binge drinkers," (Wechsler).

Unfortunately, the vast majority of students are unaware that their need to fit in with friends and inability to make individual decisions causes them to have dangerous drinking habits. Another circumstance that influences college binge drinking is the lack of outside control over the college student. For children, parents exert that control. As older adults, that control may come in the form of a spouse or employer.
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