By: ATSI Admin
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Do Hangovers Affect Drinking Behavior?
While most people associate binge drinking with college students, it’s something all ages and backgrounds do. Often associated with alcoholism, binge drinking is, at the very least, a common precursor to developing the disease.
According to the NIH, binge drinking is characterized by having more than three drinks at one time for women, and four drinks for men. Individuals who binge drink may experience blackouts, memory lapses and a hangover the next day, with side effects including headache, nausea and vomiting. Binge drinking also leads to impaired judgement and poor decisions often made while under the influence, which can result in run-ins with the law, drunk driving, unsafe sex and alcohol poisoning.
Hangovers Don’t Deter Drinking
Even with all the potential consequences and unpleasant side effects of binge drinking, those who do it tend to keep doing it. Various studies have recently been conducted on binge drinking, with some surprising results.
- One study, conducted by researchers at Brown University, found that the threat of a hangover simply doesn’t deter people from binge drinking. The researchers write, “Even when the drinkers were acutely suffering a hangover, it didn’t seem to affect their conscious drinking intentions.” Some of these researchers now believe clinicians shouldn’t waste their time using hangovers as a way to dissuade problem drinkers from using alcohol.
- Another study, by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, found that when alcohol is made more available, more people are likely to drink heavily. They also found that “off-license” purchases of liquor are most closely linked with family violence and child abuse, and that the heaviest drinkers tend to buy their alcohol during late evening hours.
- Researchers at the Boston Medical Center and University of Texas at Austin concluded that the odds of its subjects dying during the 20 years of their study doubled for those who engaged in binge drinking.
Putting an End to Binging
In today’s society, alcohol is a pastime in itself and many accept that hangovers are inevitable. We also generally tend to accept binge drinkers as fun, social people who you want around you at a party. Since April is Alcohol Awareness Month, let’s take this opportunity to encourage friends and loved ones to examine their drinking habits. Instead of viewing alcohol as a social tool or way to self-medicate our cares away, let’s put the focus on responsible drinking and the encouragement of professional help if moderation is too difficult to bear.