When people think about alcohol addiction, they often have an image of someone sitting on a park bench swigging from a cheap bottle of alcohol in a brown paper bag. However, alcohol addiction does not affect one particular type of person. Many professionals can suffer from an alcohol problem but still manage to hold on to their jobs and maintain some degree of functionality. For all intents and purposes, they look just like everyone else, and to the outside world, they have it all.
Alcoholics do not have to drink alcohol as soon as they get up every morning, nor do they have to be falling down drunk throughout the day. Those with an alcohol problem could be those who are drinking excessively every night after work. Some do not even realise they have a problem because they have never tried to quit or cut down on the amount they drink.
Binge drinking is another issue that can lead to alcohol addiction. This practice of drinking to get drunk is quite common here in the UK, especially with the younger generation. Binge drinking has been linked to anti-social behaviour, violence, car accidents, sexual assault, domestic abuse, and suicide.
Binge drinking is commonly associated with those under the age of twenty-five, and despite the negative consequences, it is often encouraged. Those who are most often linked with binge drinkers are young adults, military personnel, and students.
Binge drinking is a regular occurrence for most students, and the annual ‘Suicide Sunday’ party held by students at the University of Cambridge was certainly one to remember this year (2016). Students have been accused of causing mayhem across the entire weekend while celebrating exams coming to an end.
The annual party saw hundreds of half-naked students taking to the River Cam on boats, from which they were drinking and diving into the water. Families watched on in shock at the rowdy antics. Teams raced each other on punts along the river while tourists struggled to enjoy their river tours. Many of the students were frolicking in just their underwear by the time the race had finished, with most of them intoxicated.
Sarah Humphries, who was trying to enjoy a day out with her family, said, “It was awful, there was a huge group of students messing around in the middle of the river, so it was almost impossible to punt past them. We had hired a punt to go along the Backs with our children, but it was quite frightening as the students were really intimidating.”
She added that her family struggled to punt past the students as they were dive bombing from their own punts into the water and were being very rowdy. She did not want her young children witnessing drunken behaviour like this, especially with so many of the students dressed in only their underwear. She said that they tried to get away as fast as they could.
This is not the first incident of binge drinking and rowdy parties by Cambridge students this year. The ‘Caesarian Sunday’ party held on Jesus Green in the city centre earlier this year saw paramedics called to attend to a student who was badly burned when his costume caught fire.
Drinking is a culture within many colleges and universities around the UK, and unfortunately, many of the students are inexperienced. Social anxiety and peer pressure often lead to binge drinking, which can be very dangerous. Alcohol poisoning is a major problem among young drinkers who are unable to recognise when they have had too much to drink.
For some, it is bravado and the desire to impress their peers. Nevertheless, there are many significant consequences to drinking heavily. Binge drinking causes a number of mental and physical health problems, and there is also the added risk of accidents and injuries. Many young people are hospitalised every week due to alcohol-related incidents.
Another major problem associated with binge drinking is sexual assault. These types of crimes are often carried out by those who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Some rapists will spike the drink of unsuspecting victims before sexually assaulting them when they are under the influence of the drugs.
Violent behaviour also commonly occurs among those who have been binge drinking. There is a tendency for those who are drunk to become paranoid, aggressive, and violent when they are drunk, and this can lead to arguments and physical fights.
Binge drinkers also risk developing an alcohol addiction. When individuals drink heavily, their body begins to develop a tolerance to the effects of the alcohol. This means that each time this person drinks, it may take him/her longer to feel drunk. They will, therefore, drink more and more until their body begins to crave alcohol. At this point, the person is no longer in control of his or her actions and will seek to satisfy the cravings when these hit.
Alcohol addiction is a devastating illness that requires professional treatment, including a range of therapies and counselling sessions. Nonetheless, it is an illness that can be overcome with the right help and support.
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