Now pay attention, this will be on the final. Binge drinking is defined as “the consumption of an excessive amount of alcohol in a short period of time”. This is an activity well known on any college campus. Students will attend a party, drink as much as they can as quickly as possible and recent studies show it happens quite frequently. Approximately two of every five college students of all ages—more than 40 percent— report engaging in binge drinking at least once in a 2 week period. It is no secret that college students drink a lot, and society tends to shrug it off as “just part of the experience”. But there may come a time when you realize this isn’t a habit you will out-grow. Consider the 6 signs your college binge drinking is not “just a phase”.
- You Drink More than Your Peers
Sure it’s fun to be the life of the party, and some students like to take advantage of any social event. The problem here is when you make it a point to out-drink everyone on every occasion. And if you find yourself attending more parties than your peers to drink more frequently, that’s also a pretty good indicator.
- You Binge Drink Alone
Have you ever won a beer-pong tournament- against yourself? You may want to think about an early retirement from your professional drinking career. Binge drinking can easily develop into a serious drinking problem, especially if you find yourself doing it alone. Needing to get intoxicated quickly and on your own shows a lack of ability to deal with life. It can be due to stress from school work, social anxiety, or serious personal issues that attribute to your drinking problem.
- Blacking Out
One minute you were chugging drinks with a study group, the next you’re waking up on your dorm roof with sharpie tattoos an hour late to class. Some may think that’s another side-effect of college partying, but really if this type of black-out binge is reoccurring than it is a serious sign that you are avoiding the true nature of your drinking.
- Getting the Shakes
Detoxing is not just for drugs. If you binge drink long enough you will develop a physical dependency on alcohol. Not everyone even realizes this is what the shakes are. I remember for me I thought my shakes were from anxiety. It ended up being some of the early signs of tremors- a physical symptom of withdrawal from alcohol. If you’re getting the shakes this could be a warning.
- Emotional Confusion
If a student is binge drinking often enough, and he is finding it hard to manage his emotions and mood swings, this is another sign of suffering from alcohol dependency. Once someone has lost the ability to truly relate their feelings to their actions, and finds themselves more emotional confused, especially when not drinking, they might have moved even further into alcohol dependency.
- Loss of Focus
Not being able to concentrate on school work or needing to drink in order to get through your daily schedule is a more obvious sign that you are progressing out of “a phase” and into active alcohol addiction. If you have to take a flask to a lecture to tolerate the professor, and continue drinking through the day just to keep focused, you should definitely consider treatment.
This is just a short list of red flags for anyone out there who is pursuing an education and spends more time in the party scene than they do in the study hall. Binge drinking is not safe as it is, there are many deaths and illnesses in college students attributed to people who go to parties, or even just a night with the frat house and overindulge in alcohol. It is important to know the disease of alcoholism is not “just a phase” so keep close attention to how binge drinking is affecting your life, and do your best to stay ahead of the learning curve.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135