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What Causes Binge DrinkingBinge Drinking is an intriguing phenomenon that many college students take part in all across the country. The issue of binge drinking has been a problem on college campuses for decades. Binge drinking has many horrible effects, but the problem starts with the causes for it. If the causes could be controlled then the issue would not get out of hand.
Many college students give different causes for their drinking problems, and experts on the subject have their explanations as well. The problem is, while growing through adolescence anything can become an excuse for drinking, such as its Thursday the day before Friday, we need to drink or, its the last Wednesday of the semester, lets get some beer. Binge drinking has different definitions but many would agree that Binge drinking has been defined as drinking more than 4-5 drinks in a row in one sitting.
A drink is defined as a 12 ounce can or bottle of beer, a wine cooler, a four ounce glass of wine, or a shot of liquor (Rhodes 1). Others believe that men who consume 5-6 drinks and women who consume 4-5 drinks are also considered Binge Drinkers. Personally I do not think that sex matters, if someone is consuming multiple drinks to become highly intoxicated they should be considered a Binge Drinker.One article that covers the results of a national survey states that Adolescents levels of alcohol and drug use have been found to be strongly associated with peers use. However, other studies have shown that a students drinking was more strongly influenced by how much he or she thought close friends drank than by perceptions of the extent of use by students in general(Results 2).
This is a statement that I can agree with because growing up I have watched many young people become greatly influenced by their friends. Now a days the phrase peer pressure concentrates on pressure from a direct group of friends rather than a students peers as a whole. Another reason the article gives for the cause of Binge Drinking is that Students who perceive that more drinking occurs than actually does provide themselves with an excuse for drinking more because everyone is doing it (Results 2). Everyone knows that most youngsters want what every other kid has, this idea relates in the same way. If everyone is doing it, then not only does it give the child an excuse to do it, but it also makes the child want to do it more.
Many professionals believe that binge drinking is directly related to the environment that the child is in. One article states that Binge drinking, or the partying lifestyle of young people, may be related to an environment that appears to support heavy drinkingK Another factor that may add to the college setting as a high-risk environment for binge drinking is that youths on college campuses are targets of heavy marketing of alcoholic beverages. Beer companies are especially active in promoting to college students (Prevention 1). Environment is definitely a big contributor to the cause of binge drinking because once a child is living away from home it is a great deal easier to drink without the worry of parents.Another study was done on binge drinking by a man named Robert Ackerman. Ackerman believes that Students enter college with the idea that once they get there, drinking is what they are supposed to do(Message 2).
This idea that students get is probably because besides schoolwork the other main thing related to college life is partying. One of Ackermans other ideas is very interesting, he believes that binge drinking is a reflection of American drinking practices in general. For decades Americans drank heavily on the weekend and then went to work(Message 2). Although it is true that Americans tend to be heavy drinkers sometimes, I dont believe that binge drinking takes after these drinking practices of the past.One statement Ackerman makes that I do believe is true is that binge drinking has to do with how much a student is involved in social organizations, other than Greek, such as church, community projects, family, and other groupsK It is not unusual to find a high degree of isolation and even depression among problem drinkers(Message 3).
The more a student is involved in extracurricular activities the better off he or she is. If a student is occupied with things such as sports then they will have less time to participate in binge drinking and other harmful activities. Depression is also a huge factor to why students binge drink. Last weekend at a party, a girl I know was talking to me about how she was depressed because her father had just been diagnosed with cancer. Later that night she came back to me screaming that she needed more alcohol because she couldnt cope with her fathers illness.
It is my belief that things such depression and insecurity are some of greatest factors that lead to binge drinking.Almost anything can become a cause for binge drinking. There are things that directly lead to drinking problems such as depression but most of the causes for it are just any old excuse. If I had to decide on main causes for binge drinking they would be depression and simple excuses that give students a reason to drink. People that are depressed usually have thoughts of giving up on life, so by drinking they are just easing their pain. Most of the binge drinking that goes on in college is because students feel that they are supposed to drink, its a college tradition in a way. This is why students will use any excuse they can to drink.
Works CitedAnxiety and Binge Drinking. 30 Oct. 2000. <http://www.stuaffairs.
rhodes.edu/couns/bgdrink.html.>Houser, Regan. Message in a Bottle.
30 Oct. 2000. <http://www.iup.edu/puboff/iupmag/backissues/win99/message.html.
>Prevention Primer: Binge Drinking. 30 Oct.2000. <http://www.drugs.indiana.
edu/publications/ncadi/primer/binge.html.>Wechsler, Henry and Kuo, Meichun. College Students Define Binge Drinking and Estimate Its Prevalence: Results of a National Survey. EBSCO Publishing 29 Oct.