Binge Drinking

Essay by ju13liaCollege, UndergraduateA+, October 2006

download word file, 5 pages 3.5

"Cupid Week is an annual event at one Northeastern College. As its highlight, brothers of one fraternity take their shyest new member, get him completely wasted, and dress him up as Cupid. Then two brothers hold him up as he stumbles across campus. For every girl that he kisses the fraternity donates one dollar to the American Heart Association. The event draws hundreds of onlookers, both drunk and sober, and is bracketed by drinking parties at fraternities and sororities, in off-campus apartments, and in local bars." (Wechsler3)

Events like Cupid Week are common on college campuses across America. Over the years alcohol binge drinking has integrated itself into all aspects of the college culture for many reasons including traditions, rituals and myths. Binge drinkers are not necessarily alcoholics, although many alcoholics are binge drinkers. The Harvard College Alcohol Study determined that "two in five college students, including freshmen, can be called binge drinkers, consuming five or more drinks in a row for males, four or more for females, at least once in the past two weeks."

(Wechsler11) Students binge drink for a variety of reasons including simply drinking to get drunk, achieving the status associated with drinking and peer pressure and academic stress. Unfortunately the majority of students who participate in binge drinking are unaware of the future consequences they may suffer due to alcohol's effects on the body and brain, and poor decisions made while under the influence.

A great many students who participate in binge drinking experience regular warning signals of the damage that they are doing to their brains in the form of blackouts. "During an alcohol-induced blackout the drinker is conscious but forms no memory of events."(Nuwer159) According to Aaron M. White, PhD, a biological psychologist at Duke University Medical Center, this dangerous condition of...