The age old traditional image of what it is to be a ‘real man’ often involves a smoky bar without a woman in sight, where men can go to drink beer, chain smoke, and talk about sport. We see this image in our favorite nostalgic movies (yes, I’m looking at you Gremlins) as well as in commercials, and other forms of advertising. What we rarely see in this image though is those same manly men rolling around on the floor drunk: and that’s because real men don’t get wasted.
The Statistics Surrounding Binge Drinking
Drinking might well be a rite of passage, with the first drink you have when you come of age being an official ‘big deal’ but there is nothing sensible or mature about getting to the point where you don’t have any control of your faculties, And yet binge drinking rates continue to rise, particularly amongst young men, with the Center for Disease control suggesting that the prevalence of binge drinking among men is twice as high as the prevalence of binge drinking among women and that more than half of the alcohol consumed within the United States is consumed during binge drinking sessions.
That doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with enjoying a drink or two now and again: in fact, several large scientific studies have been conducted that have concluded that occasional moderate drinking is actually good for our health in certain circumstances. But those circumstances never involve standing on your head in a bar, or drinking so much you throw up in your neighbor’s pool.
The Just Say No Concept, Revisited
One of the biggest life skills every man should develop is having the confidence to say no, without feeling the need to justify or explain your decisions: this is particularly true when it comes to our national drinking culture, where peer pressure to have just one more is so ingrained. Men, and particularly men in their 20s, consider it a badge of honor that they have reached dangerous levels of inebriation, or that they have don’t something whilst drunk that they don’t remember in the morning. If you struggle to say no without justification then practice your own one-liner and use it liberally: the more you say no to people, the faster they will realize that you can’t and won’t be influenced by their needs over your own. Many men who do not develop this skill have a fear of being considered less manly but, in reality, having confidence in your own convictions and not giving a damn about the opinions of others if they are going to damage your health and wellbeing is one of the most manly traits of all!
A Matter of Health
Of course the main reason why binge drinking, or repeated episodes of blackout drunkenness are best avoided is because they are simply no good for your health. Drinking to excess can lead to problems with your liver, your heart, and can even lead to an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer, such as: mouth, throat, liver or breast cancer. Individuals who binge drink regularly are more likely to suffer from health problems such as high blood pressure, increased risk of stroke, and an irregular heart beat. Drinking too much can also cause your immune system to become considerably weakened, leaving you more susceptible to suffering from contagious disease, and more susceptible to infection. What’s more, because of the changes that alcohol can cause to your brain you are putting yourself at increased risk of suffering emotional and mental health problems if you drink to excess. You will be more prone to suffering from depression, anxiety, and sudden changes in mood. There is certainly nothing funny about the health problems that accompany excessive alcohol consumption, and it is one of the biggest causes of death within the United States right now. One thing we do know for sure is that there’s nothing manly about starring an early death in the face, simply because you didn’t say not to having one more drink.