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Binge Drinking Essay

2211 words - 9 pages

Abstract:This paper will discuss 'binge drinking' in University Students, the major influences, both social and personal, on the frequency and quantity of drinking. The point of binge drinking is to become intoxicated, allowing for the 'positive things' to happen. Drinking has negative consequences, such as bad behaviours and Illness' but these are not considered, though they can be dangerous and jeopardize personal health.Alcohol Expectancies and the Theory of Planned Behaviour both explain binge drinking behaviours, together they have shown excellent predictions regarding behaviour.Binge drinking is the consumption of a large amount of alcohol in one session. Wechsler, Dowdall, Davenport and Rimm (1995) state the amount varies for males and females, 5 (or more) standard drinks for males and 4 (or more) standard drinks for females. The standard drink consisting of "a 12 oz beer, a 4 oz glass of wine, a 12 oz cooler, or a 1.25 oz of liquor" (Ham and Hope, 2003) on its own or mixed with a non-alcoholic drink. O'Hare (1997) suggests that a minimum of 6 drinks per week is considered heavy drinking while Baer (2002) states that the current definition of binge drinking has two categories, the amount of alcohol consumed and the negative consequences associated with the consumed alcohol (Ham and Hope, 2003).A major influence on students drinking are their peers, peers that have a positive attitude toward drinking, encourage it and are more likely to consume larger amounts of alcohol and more frequently (Ham and Hope, 2003). The larger social network, the higher the probability of drinking (Ham and Hope, 2003. Johnston and White, 2003), possibly due to higher number of invitations to social outings (parties, celebrations) where alcohol is provided or available.The frequency at which University Students drink is quite alarming, heavy drinkers consume large quantities of alcohol as often as 3 or more times in a 2 week period, others may not drink as frequently but still consume just as much (Ham and Hope, 2003). Certain environments, such as nightclubs or pubs facilitate and even encourage drinking with the variety of alcohol they have available. These environments appear to be similar both here (in Australia) and in America, where most of the research has been carried out (Wechsler, et al. 1994). Universities in Australia and America also have similar drinking trends, male students drink more however, females are catching up with how often and how much they drink (Roche and Watt, 1999). These trends are becoming a major concern in regards to personal health and accidental injury (Wechsler, et al. 1994).Situations where drinking occurs frequently, allows students to 'fit in' with their peer group but the pressure to drink and the inability to refuse alcohol can develop into a drinking problem that a regular drinker may not recognize. The individual believes their drinking will "lead to various positive consequences" (Norman, Bennett and Lewis, 1998)...

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