“Is responsible intoxication not cool anymore?”
You’re at a party. There are people milling all around you, in a haze of drink and smoke. You see that girl, staggering in her attempt to stand straight, unable to make sense of what’s happening around her. Ultimately, she drops onto the floor, passed out.
“Boy, is she going to regret those tequila shots come morning.”
There are men, bleary eyed and dancing with comical abandon, cozying up to whichever woman will let them.
At some point during this hedonistic party, someone’s gut submits to the punishing liquid, resulting in the all- too- familiar bout of vomiting.
Why do we need liquid courage to loosen up & have fun?
Have you ever wondered why we voluntarily reach such states of intoxication? There are people like Raj Koothrapalli from The Big Bang Theory, who are positively tongue tied in the presence of a female – until he encounters the miracle liquor can work on his vocal abilities. He is likely socially anxious, and this disorder forces him into using drinks to end his ‘forever-alone’ status.
Studies have shown that the more socially anxious/ depressed you are, the more likely you are to reach for that drink. In fact, alcohol is a fairly unknown cause of depression and its related symptoms.
Binge-drinking: You do a shot, I’ll do one too
You are likely to drink more frequently if your Facebook newsfeed is littered with a gazillion ‘boozy’ updates posted by your “party hard” friends.
When we read about alcohol abuse or misuse, it never occurs to us that perhaps this is prevalent all around us, because binge drinking has become fashionable. Researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia have piloted a study, where they found that you are likely to drink more frequently if your Facebook newsfeed is littered with a gazillion ‘boozy’ updates posted by your “party hard” friends.
This culture of normalized drinking has already been ingrained in most parts of developed countries – add to that the habit of peer liquor consumption increasing on a day-to-day basis, and you have young people (no, I’m not a grandma) indulging in it with greater enthusiasm than ever before. Their drinking habits are largely influenced by an inflated understanding of how much alcohol their peers consume. This is probably what causes us to accept and imbibe drink in the first place.
Wanna get buzzed/in the mood/in a fight?
Our state of alcohol intoxication is greatly influenced by what we expect it to be.
Social acceptance of liquor has come with its own set of expectations. A researcher by the name of Critchlow has stated that our state of alcohol intoxication is greatly influenced by what we expect it to be. For example, if we have been inclined to believe that booze causes aggravation and violence, our drunken selves veer towards anger fuelled bar brawls.
So, while the physical effects of alcohol remain constant, the psychological implications of it are shaped by the cultural attitudes of the society we live in. To put it concisely, we need to rethink why moderate drinking with no consequences doesn’t call for bragging rights – and why it isn’t publicized as much. Is it because responsible intoxication isn’t cool enough?
Being a recent college graduate myself, I have seen my fair share of friends who went from enjoying the occasional drink to needing it every other day – that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are alcoholics and need professional help.
Dubai is, after all, a breeding ground for gluttons of food and drink, because how long is shopping going to keep us amused anyway? All the same, liquor need not provide us with a passport to commit irrational acts, and expect to have it covered up by a simple justification of “I wasn’t myself”, or “it was the drink talking”.
Call me uptight, or a buzzkill, but I have never quite grasped the concept of requiring a Jagerbomb to have a good time.