Why is drinking in right now?

I could run and run and run with this topic, but I’m going to spare everyone. Kind of. I’ve always been curious as to why so many people binge drink. A few weeks ago, a slightly older, single friend of mine told me he’s been having some difficulty meeting new girls and taking them on dates lately. I asked him why, and he then told me that he has stopped drinking. To me, this didn’t sound like a big deal, and certainly something that shouldn’t hinder his opportunities with women. But then I realized that the world of Tinder encompasses around alcohol. When you’re feeling warm and tingly inside, it’s a lot easier to open up and even make the first move. No wonder he’s having problems. My friend has had a rocky relationship with liquor in the past, so I was very supportive and happy to hear that he was taking a step back. I didn’t realize it was going to affect his romantic pursuits so heavily.

I am much happier with an iced coffee and some comfortable couches at our local coffee shop, talking for hours, than I would be dressed up in stiff clothes sitting awkwardly on a bar stool. I just assumed everyone else was like that also. However, I’m quite confused as to why the binge drinking rates have spiked throughout the past 20 years, and especially in women. When did drinking become something that always overlaps the main event? Why do all of my friends “pregame” before concerts, football events, or in the middle of the day? I think a lot of it has to do with social anxiety. When you’re buzzed or even drunk, it’s a lot easier to become friends with the people around you. On top of that, you think “Everyone else is drinking, it’d be weird if I didn’t” and you tag along. A glass or two of wine with dinner is one thing. Drinking alcohol because you enjoy the taste and are doing it responsibly is one thing. Why pay $70 for a concert when you won’t even remember it the next day?

What sparked this entire epiphany inside me came after I read this article. And then from that article, came this one. From the comments section of that article, came the book recommendation: Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank To Forget by Sarah Hepola. I finished the book a few days ago and was very glad I read it. I don’t know any recovering alcoholics personally, so I feel like I learned a lot getting to know her perspective and how she feels about drinking now (I highly recommend this book). Alcohol is a heavy and controversial topic, I know…but hear me out on this one. I’m not against alcohol as a whole. I’m just against binge drinking. Not only women, but millennials as a whole need to turn this boat around. Drinking is in, it’s fun, it’s popular. But I promise you this ship will sail, and you will want to be on the island surrounded by healthy livers when it does.

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