Six Drinks Does Not A Binge Drinker Make
There’s a lot of media coverage now about girls and binge drinking, but it’s time to put a little perspective on things.
Because the mass media doesn’t always understand things, and also likes to create attention by, well, creating attention, it’s easy for the general public to be confused.
Fortunately, there is the Bar Blogger to provide the proper perspective.
Are girls really binge drinking? And what exactly IS binge drinking?
The report the media is all referencing counts six cocktails as binge drinking. Well, that’s scary, if a binge is considered six cocktails. If that’s the criteria I – and most of my friends – would be binge drinkers every time we stepped out the door.
That’s the problem with criteria counts – it fails to take reality into account.
For some, six drinks IS binge drinking. For others, six (or more) is just another night on the town.
Binge drinking is not about a particular count of consumed cocktails, it’s about an attitude. It’s a matter of binge drinking vs. social drinking.
Social drinking is going out to have fun, to have drinks with friends or to meet new friends. The cocktail or beer is simply a “tool” to help that happen. You don’t go out to drink, you drink while you are out. Perhaps you have a couple, perhaps a couple more drinks. It’s all dictated by the situation.
Binge drinking is a totally different mentality. Binge drinking is going out – or worse yet, staying home – for the specific reason to get drunk. The mental mission is not social, but near suicidal (well, not actual suicide but it certainly feels like that the next day). This is totally different than drinking for social reasons.
If you’re just looking to get drunk then you are binge drinking. If you’re just looking to go out and have a good time, then you are socially drinking. Huge difference.
Part of the problem is, as pointed out in the CBS Evening News report, peer pressure. And it touched on bottle service in clubs; if you spend $200+ on a bottle of vodka in a club, you’re likely to finish it, regardless of your condition. This is largely an issue of age and maturity; once you’ve hurled a few times from drinking you are pretty much trained to try and avoid it as you grow older.
And what of those six drinks the media cited? Reporters made it sound as if anyone who has six drinks is a binge drinker and needs help.
Maybe for some – and this particular report singles out women – the average is six drinks. But what’s six drinks and who makes them? At home, you make stronger drinks than you get at a bar, particularly a club, that is out to maximize profits.
What about shots? Six shots, well, that’s sure a lot different than six cocktails (if it’s straight bourbon or tequila. Some mixed shots are heavy on sugar and that’s a great way to get a hangover).
Anyone who goes binge drinking does need to be advised. They need to realize live is a marathon, not a sprint.
As for the rest of us, well don’t think we are binge drinking if you see us whopping it up in a bar and happen to order a sixth drink.
We’re just enjoying life.