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Binge Drinking Thought, Essay Example

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INTRODUCTION

This paper provides a reaction analysis from a brief report on the consequences of binge drinking.   (Anthony, 2011). The concept of Heavy episodic drinking (HED) has been defined as a significant health problem for young adults today. Research in the paper defined a number of causative factors. The research went on to prove the partner influence hypothesis and that HED is highly influenced by the other partner in the relationship.  The research team used a sample of 208 normal heterosexual couples over a 28 day period.

The article was selected because of the interest in the medical and psychological impact of excessive drinking.

The evidence pointing towards alcoholism as a disease has resulted in a number of prescribed treatment options. The behavioural conditions of alcoholism has added some doubt in the disease theory i.e. the ability of alcoholics to abstain, revert to moderate drinking and then excessive drinking creating a vicious cycle of events. This pointing towards the concept of addiction like drugs. Psychologists and Sociologists both consider that far too great an emphasis is placed upon the plight of the committed alcoholic (individual) as opposed to having a national policy geared more towards the vast majority of people suffering with drinking problems (S.Peele, 1984)

It is the object of ‘dependence’ which is considered to be a psychological state. Similar to drug addicts they seem to be triggered by aspects of stress or social conditions and revert to alcohol as a means of stress reduction. Psychologists have been researching whether there are significant genetic factors that may influence these behavioural patterns.  They have conducted experiments with rats and discovered that the level of response (LR) in alcoholism may be inbred and carried on to future siblings. Similar Children of know alcoholics were found to have higher LR’s than those children from parents with no alcoholic tendencies. (Schukit,  1998).

REACTION TO ARTICLE

Causative Factors

The peak of Heavy Episodic Drinking (HED) tends to occur in the age range of 21-23 years of age. In particular this accounts for a high number of University Students that indulge in what we also term as binge drinking. This has been linked to varying psychological and social problems. With students it may be a way of dealing with causes of stress but equally may be induced by partner influence.  The concept of social conformity, being seen to participate with the crowd. With dating partners it is seen to help the social bonding process and helps in the satisfaction with the relationship.

The use of expectancy theory may be a way of changing your mindset to resolve a drinking problem. This approach has surfaced in order to address a wide range of alcohol problems. This theory is based upon the beliefs that a person holds on the views of life. For example: If I go into a pub I will almost certainly drink beer. Hence looking at certain behavioural patterns you can make course corrections, e.g. don’t go into the Pub! Hence as opposed to making drink the focal point an alternate approach would be to address the object of that desire i.e. stay away from Pubs!  This focuses the brain more on root cause as opposed to the certainty of an event that would take place following a pre-defined course of action. (Management Study Guide, 2013).

Examination of Hypothesis

The Partner Influence Hypothesis statement is well set out and clearly articulated.  The emphasis is based upon romantically involved young couples being able to influence the other partner with regard to HED.  The relationship is the bonding factor and this will determine the changing nature towards acceptance of HED and the need to make changes.  The results are limited by the sample size involved and as such may need to be more geographically dispersed to become more representational of different areas and influences.

Methods and Metrics

The methods were mainly that of Empirical and Qualitative research.  Whilst the sampling questions relied upon truthful answers from the participants there seemed no plan for validity of the data collected. Correct interpretation of statistics was adopted to gain correlations and tabulated results.

Discussion Points

Since 1993 the concept of binge drinking with College students has become a problem in the USA.  Although there has not been a dramatic increase in numbers, the actual intensity of excessive drinking combined with drug abuse has seen a marked increase; this according to the National Centre on Addiction and Substance abuse at Columbia University in New York. This is neither a safe situation nor one that can be tolerated in the Educational establishments in the USA.  In 2005 a study revealed the following alarming statistics – of college school attendance some 49% or 3.8 million students are reported to be involved with binge drinking and / or substance abuse.  Further it has been reported that 1.8 million students are in need of medical assistance for dependency related illness.

Implications for change and remedial action

At the moment there has been no concerted effort to address this problem with remedial action and this is now starting to place students in harm’s way.  There seem a number of possible courses that could be taken.  The first is to educate the students by making them become more aware of their actions and the consequences that this behaviour leads to.  What may on the surface appear harmless are the path to potential drink / drug addiction and ultimately the road to a criminal record.  In addition people are losing their lives because of this abuse and getting severe medical problems at a very young age.  There is a need for Schools to get more involved in ‘shock treatment’ and show the students what the real consequences of drink and drug abuse lead to.  This should involve the police in lectures to classes reminding the students of the legal consequences of their actions. In addition using volunteers who have suffered the consequences of addiction in order to tell their horror stories to the students.  There is also a case for taking students to rehabilitation centres and illustrating the trauma that is created by trying to rehabilitate drink and substance abuse cases.

CONCLUSIONS

The research illustrates the need for improved education and awareness of the students that HED has the potential to ruin their lives and create serious adverse medical conditions.  It also may become a barrier for completion of their studies. This becomes a more serious concern when drugs are entered into the equation.  The combination of both drink and drugs is a lethal combination and ignoring the problem is creating an adverse environment for those genuine students who are keen to educate themselves and wish to develop a career.

What happens outside College hours largely becomes a matter of parental influence and the local police force.  Nevertheless, should the police press charges for drunken unruly behaviour or worse, then the College should have the right to state that the Student was bringing the College into disrepute and bring an expulsion order forward on those grounds. There is no doubt that a tougher stance on this is required by the Education Authorities, the Police or law enforcement agencies and the student’s parents. There is also a strong case for withdrawing any student grants where this type of behaviour has been proven to have caused damage.

References

Anthony, A. M. (2011). Heavy Episodic Drinking Among Dating Partners: A longitudinal Actor-Partner Interdepencence model. Psychology of Addictive behaviours, 1-6.

M.A., S. (1998). Biological, Psychological and Environmental Predictors of the Alcoholism Risk: A Longitudinal Study. Journal of Studies on Alchol Vol 59.

Management Study Guide. (2013, 3 10). Expectancy Theory of Motivation. Retrieved from Management Study Guide: http://www.managementstudyguide.com/expectancy-theory-motivation.htm

S.Peele. (1984). The cultural context of psychological approaches to alcholism. American Psychologist Vol 39, 1337-1351.

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