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Have You Been Drinking?

Updated: Jul 28, 2021

"This is how we do it

It's Friday night and I feel all right

The party is here on the westside

So I reach for my 40 and I turn it up

Designated driver take the keys to my truck" Montell Jordon

Drinking alcohol is not a covert activity; it's front and center in several areas of our lives. For example, you can watch television programs showing people making moonshine. Of course, the making of moonshine is illegal. But the programs bring to our consciousness that people are willing to risk their -freedom to produce, sell, and consume alcohol in its various forms. The creativity of beer advertisements grab hold of our attention with catchphrases like, "the most interesting man," ... "high life." If those lines are not persuasive enough, there are portrayals of puppies, horses, sex appeal, celebrating victories, and brawn.

When you consume alcohol, it affects all the organs in your body. First, it depresses your central nervous system as it absorbs from your stomach and small intestine into your bloodstream. Second, the alcohol is then broken down by your liver enzymes. Unfortunately, the liver is not equipped to break down large volumes of alcohol. Consequently, the excess alcohol remains in your system. The more you drink, the greater the effect of the alcohol on your body.

The liver cannot metabolize large amounts of alcohol; therefore, the alcohol's impact on the body is intensified. So you get inebriated, and your friends ridicule you for not being able to "hold your liquor." It may not be, you cannot "hold your liquor," but that binge drinking elevates your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). For example, it is likely a man who consumes 5 or more alcoholic beverages within a two-hour window may experience elevated BAC levels of .08% or higher. In contrast, a woman who consumes 4 or more alcoholic drinks in the same two-hour window is likely to experience the same elevated BAC.

Of note, it is not the type of alcoholic beverage that gets you intoxicated. Instead, it's the amount you consume and the beverages alcohol content by volume. Depending on where the beer was brewed, the alcohol content by volume may range from 2.4% to 16%—binge drinking results in acute intoxication. Acute intoxication impacts your BAC, your motor movements, increased suicidal ideations, substance-induced mental disorders, law enforcement problems, slurred speech … may cause alcohol poisoning.

Our attitudes towards drinking seem to have changed over the years. There are copious amounts of advertisements marketing and selling alcohol. Alcohol is available at sporting events, and adults indulge as they enjoy their favorite pastime activities. Thus, creating an association between alcohol, pleasure, and relaxation. Furthermore, alcohol is a hit in popular culture and music. There is also greater accessibility and availability to alcohol. Although drinking alcohol may seem like harmless fun, there are consequences if not used responsibly.

There is no need to moralize or scare people away from drinking alcohol. Moreover, it's difficult to say if the campaign for responsible alcohol consumption is effective because binge drinking remains a concern for high school students, 18 – 24-year-olds, and 25 – 34-year-olds. We make better decisions when we are better informed.

N. B. The contents of this blog post are not prescriptive. The intent is to share information.

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Brown-Rice, K. & Furr, S. (2015). Differences in college greek members' binge drinking behaviors: A dry/wet house comparison. Professional Counselor, (5), 3, 354-364.

American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders 5th edition.

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