We won’t stop drinking till we see the sun! Its his 18th birthday, drink up! One last shot! All these phrases have become far too common these days and there are good reasons why. Teenagers across the world are flocking towards bars and drinking joints left, right and centre. It’s the new ‘cool’ per se as per their immature lingo.
And yes, we’re talking about teenage binge drinking if you were still wondering.
What is binge drinking you ask?
Binge drinking is the state wherein an individual drinks a substantial amount of alcohol in a short period of time as if there’s no tomorrow. Capiche? It often involves mixing of different types of alcohol which is harmful in ways more than one.
Binge Drinking – A Normalcy in Teenagers
When was the last time you promised yourself that you won’t drink beyond 2 pegs, but ended up maxed out on your friend’s sofa? This is what binge drinking does to you. In today’s party and social media savvy age, binge drinking has become a norm for adolescents and teenagers; so much so that even school kids have become a part of this.
Whether it is a ‘turning 18’ birthday party of a friend’s sister’s wedding or an end-of-exam celebration or India winning the World Cup; the pressure to drink is immense. Most teenagers run on impulses which inhibits their reasoning and practicality. Whatever resistance remains is taken care of by peer pressure. Today, you won’t find a teenager who isn’t into any form of intoxication; this is what it has come down to.
Binge Drinking After Effects
Not just illegal, but by indulging in binge drinking, teenagers are not only putting their lives under peril but risking the life of others as well. Since the amount of intoxication reaches astronomical levels, there is no semblance of control whatsoever. This is where their ‘high’ self takes over and decision making moves out of the picture. Period!
Some proven after effects:
Vomiting – Vomiting is one of the most common after effects of binge drinking. In hindsight, it is good for you as it removes the alcohol content from your body quickly.
Brain Damage – Yes! You read that right. Binge drinking might cause temporary or permanent brain damage in some cases. How alcohol works is that it kills brain cells irrespective of the intake. In general cases, those cells regenerate quickly; however, binge drinking heavy amounts might slow the regeneration process causing irreparable brain damage.
Anxiety and Depression – Since cognitive thinking and reasoning is nowhere to be seen once you’re high, binge drinking can trigger cases of anxiety and depression.
Alcohol Poisoning – Since a teenage body is not fully developed physically, there’s only so much it can take. Massive amount of alcohol being taken in fairly quick time increases the chances of alcohol poisoning. This is a serious ailment which might take weeks for proper recovery depending on the severity of the condition.
Memory Loss – Again, since the brain cells might get permanently or temporarily damaged, the individual might suffer from memory loss. And we’re not just talking about not remembering what happened last night; but about memories of the past.
Saying ‘No’ Isn’t Half Bad After All
If you’re wondering what to do if you’re out in public and want to avoid binge drinking; here’s what you can do:
- Know when you’ve crossed your limit.
- Don’t be too wary about what others might think.
- Pre-define your alcohol intake and stick to it.
- If you’re worried about being labelled a ‘spoil-sport’, you can imitate drinking using a coloured non-alcoholic mocktail.
- Try and stick to the sober part of your group; the company you keep is all that matters.
- Don’t give in to peer pressure.