Binge-drinking is arguably one of the most interesting phenomena that college and university students are frequently eager to participate. The subject of binge-drinking has become a great challenge in college and university campuses for many decades. Binge-drinking is related with numerous adverse effects, but the actual challenge originates from its causes. Most students offer various reasons as to why they have developed drinking complications some of which are refuted or supported by experts and academicians. If institutions of higher getting to know and the society can control the causing agents of binge-drinking, the phenomenon wouldn’t escalate. The primary challenge in controlling binge drinking is that young people have numerous excuses to engage in alcohol drinking consumption ranging from birthdays, parties, and certain days of the week allocated special events.
Binge drinking has numerous definitions, but most scholars agree that it occurs when an individual consumes more than four to five servings of an alcoholic drink consecutively in a single sitting. An alcoholic drink is described as 12 ounces of wine cooler, beer, a shot of liquor, or four ounces of wine (LaBrie, Hummer, and Pedersen 393-395). Some scholars and experts espouse that males who consume five to six alcoholic beverages, as well as females who take four to five drinks should be regarded as binge drinkers. Nonetheless, sex should not be a determinant of whether an individual has consumed multiple drinks that have the potential to make them intoxicated. Any person who consumes alcoholic drinks to the point of intoxication should be regarded as a binge drinker. Among students and adolescents, the high incidence of alcohol and drug consumption is attributed to peer pressure.
Alternatively, evidence from other studies has suggested that the prevalence of drinking among college and university students was significantly influenced by the perception that a student has with regard to the consumption of alcohol among peers rather than the extent of use among students (Powell 2-4). This is a logical argument since it has been observed that when young people are developing, they are significantly influenced by their peers and friends. In this contemporary era, the phrase “peer pressure” denotes influence that comes from direct friends rather than being attributed to peers in general. Another factor associated with the vice of binge drinking is the fact that most students have a perception that the prevalence of alcohol consumption is higher than what happens. This serves as an excuse for their indulging in binge drinking because they argue that every student is engaged in it (LaBrie, Hummer, and Pedersen 396-398). It is common psychology that all young people desire what their peers have in their possession. The assumption is that if everyone is participating in binge drinking, it is not only an excuse for more young people, but a reason to over indulge in it.
Most scholars and academicians perceive that binge drinking is directly correlated to the environment in which students reside. Several scholars have argued that the partying lifestyle and cases of binge drinking are associated with environments that seem to encourage and facilitate heavy drinking. Another reason that predisposes college settings to high incidences of binge drinking is that young people in campuses are prime targets of a wide range of marketing campaigns involving alcoholic drinks. Alcoholic beverage companies are very active in marketing their products and brands to young people (Lorant 616-620). This implies that the environment is a significant contributor to binge drinking because when students leave their parents’ house, they are less supervised and hence it is easy for them to engage in risky behavior. Various scholars have argued that most college and university students join institutions of higher learning with the perception that they are supposed to engage in binge drinking (LaBrie, Hummer, and Pedersen 397-398).
The notions that students have is that apart from engaging in schoolwork while in school, they should also participate in other common activities in higher institutions of learning such as binge drinking so that they feel like part of their new environments. Various scholars have also argued that binge drinking is a reflection of the American culture in relation to alcohol consumption. For several decades, Americans have been consuming significant amounts of alcohol during the weekends and report to work on Monday. Despite being true that Americans’ are often heavy consumers of alcohol, it is rare that the culture of binge drinking developed from the traditional American drinking practices. However, binge drinking should be perceived as a yardstick of measure that is used to determine the extent students’ involvement in social organizations within their learning institution. These are conventional social organizations such as family, church, and community projects, but closely knit social groupings in college. Researchers argue that it is very rare to observe cases of depression and isolation among binge drinkers in college and the university (Renner 158-160). This implies that the more students participate in extracurricular activities that are common in their learning institutions, the better their physical and emotional health. This is often used as an excuse for engaging in binge drinking.
Moreover, when students are preoccupied with activities such as music and sports, they are left with relatively little time to participate vices such as binge drinking. Depression is also cited as a significant factor that is associated with binge drinking among university and college students. Some of the reasons that lead students into depression include pressure or problems experienced at the family level. This stress leads to depression, which culminates in binge drinking as a way to relieve anxiety (LaBrie, Hummer, and Pedersen 396). Most young individuals find it hard to cope with societal pressures and expectations since they do not have the time or ability to satisfy everything that is required of them. In this regard, issues such as insecurity and depression are some of the most significant factors that have an impact on binge drinking.
Several reasons have been cited as an excuse why students engage in binge drinking, but they are only ways of trying to justify participating in the vice. However, if the primary causes of binge drinking were to be objectively identified, it would be depression since all the other factors are just simple excuses used by students to engage in the excessive consumption of alcohol. Most students who suffer from depression due to different causes often have a feeling of giving up in life, which leads them to binge drinking to drown their pain and sorrows. Usually, most students who engage in binge drinking in college and the university are driven by a perception that this is what they are required to do in higher learning institutions. It is perceived as a modern culture that all students joining higher education institutions should participate to be included in the social organizations of their new environments. This explains why most college students are willing to use any excuse to engage in binge drinking.
LaBrie, Joseph W., Justin F. Hummer, and Eric R. Pedersen. “Reasons for drinking in the college student context: The differential role and risk of the social motivator.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs 68.3 (2007): 393-398. Print.
Lorant, Vincent, et al. “Alcohol drinking among college students: college responsibility for personal troubles.” BMC public health 13.1 (2013): 615-635. Print.
Powell, Lisa M., et al. “Binge drinking and violence among college students: sensitivity to correlation in the unobservables.” ImpacTeen Research Paper Series 20.1 (2002): 1-24. Print.
Renner, Philomena, et al. “Days out of Role in University Students: The Association of Demographics, Binge Drinking, and Psychological Risk Factors.” Australian Journal of Psychology 67.3 (2015): 157-165. Print.