Drinking Games

Dangers of Drinking Games

Drinking games are a common sight in colleges and bars.  But, there is a relatively new drinking game making its way across social media that has authorities concerned.  Neknomination is a game where someone is recorded drinking large amounts of alcohol and then nominates a friend or acquaintance to out-do them.  The video is then posted on various social media sites.  Authorities have linked five deaths with this game, and are concerned that the game is still gaining popularity among teens and young adults.

3 Things Binge Drinking Does

Binge drinking is when you consume large amounts of alcohol in short time periods.  Nearly all drinking games tend to encourage binge drinking.  There are bars who host beer pong tournaments where drinking is not a requirement of playing, but at private parties, drinking as part of the game is often expected and encouraged.

When you drink large amounts of alcohol in a short time period here is what happens inside your body:

  1. Your liver becomes impaired, leading to a spike in estrogen production.  Your liver is one organ that processes alcohol in your system.  It also processes estrogen.  When the liver becomes impaired because it must deal with large amounts of alcohol it cannot process estrogen as well as it should, leading to a spike in estrogen entering your blood stream.  This can cause moodiness, PMS symptoms in women, allergies, skin discoloration, and other symptoms.
  2. Reduce your response to insulin.  When you drink in excess your liver must stop producing glucose in order to process the alcohol.  This can lead to hypoglycaemia, or low blood sugar.  This drop in blood sugar can be life threatening and lead to the onset of diabetes.
  3. Disrupts normal brain function.  Excessive drinking interferes with your brain’s ability to produce the amino acids necessary for serotonin production.  Serotonin does many things, but one thing it does is helps your brain relax while you are sleeping.  This is why you often wake up tired after excessive drinking the night before.  While you think you slept, your brain was racing all the while.

There are some competing definitions for binge drinking, but it is generally accepted that 5 alcoholic drinks for men, or 4 alcoholic drinks for women, in a short time period would constitute binge drinking.  If you find yourself in a situation where heavy drinking is being encouraged, you should decide before you begin drinking how many drinks you intend to have during the evening.  Secondly, you should make sure you have a safe ride home.

People who are drinking alcohol tend to lose their inhibitions, and take more risks than they otherwise would.  By having a plan in place for how much you will drink, and how you will get home safely, you increase your odds of having an enjoyable evening without facing criminal charges or health concerns the next day.

It is okay to play games with your friends while drinking, but engaging in drinking games that jeopardizes your ability to make good decisions, and that can kill you is reckless.  If you find yourself in a situation where you are being pressured to participate in drinking games, consider removing yourself from the situation, or substituting the alcohol with water, or other liquid.  Remember, however, that consuming any large quantity of any liquid is potentially dangerous.  People have died from drinking large amounts of water.