Dangers of Blackout Drinking
Alcohol: the most legal addictive substance in the United States. Each year, hundreds of thousands of lives are lost either to alcohol-related accidents or disease. Beyond that, lives, families, and communities are ruined due to the consequences of alcohol abuse. Yet somehow, we continue to blindly believe that alcohol is safe and we are above the dangers.
While some are satisfied with only having a drink or two at parties and gatherings and are committed to safe alternatives to drunk driving, there are others who…aren’t. Some people drink themselves into oblivion; they are the embodiment of the “go big or go home” mentality. This type of mentality can easily spiral into dangerous territory- “blackout” drinking.
There is nothing fun or safe about blackout drinking. In fact, drinking to the point of no longer having control of yourself or being aware of your surroundings puts yourself and everyone around you in danger. Beyond the obvious threats of drunk driving fatalities or alcohol poisoning, there are a number of other dangers we often don’t consider when we throw caution to the wind and decide to drink to the point of blacking out.
Risk of Sexual Assault
While it would be great to live in a world where people were respectful of other’s rights to govern their own bodies, but unfortunately we do not. Blackout drinking leaves one vulnerable to the advances of people with nefarious intents. Being too drunk to comprehend what’s happening or make the conscious decision to consent or decline sex is an automatic no- some people just don’t listen to it.
And while we often focus on women as victims of sexual assault and rape, it occurs among men, too- everyone should be vigilant and attentive for signs of unwanted advances or opportunistic predators. The best way to do so is to stay away from blackout drinking and assure you have trustworthy friends around with your best interest at heart.
Lowered Inhibitions Lead to Dangerous Stunts
Many people who drink do because alcohol lowered inhibitions; it makes it easier to relax and enjoy oneself. For some, alcohol makes it easier to do thing they would never consider doing otherwise, like getting on stage for some karaoke or talking to the gorgeous stranger at the end of the bar.
Lowered inhibitions aren’t always a good thing, though. Sometimes it leads us to do things we very much should not: like the woman who decided petting a tiger in a zoo sounded like the best way to end her Halloween. Getting blackout drunk can lead to such senselessness as deciding going swimming is a great idea- even when you don’t know how to swim. Would you normally consider yourself a master street racer? No? Well, blackout drunk you might.
Lack of inhibitions can also escalate situations much faster and farther than we ever intended them to go. Simple arguments can become violent, deadly encounters with you unable to control the outcome. The legal consequences (or physical, if you’re on the wrong end of these things) may change your life forever.
Consequences of Your Drinking Aren’t Limited to You
While you may think how much you drink is your own business, that’s not necessary true. As stated before, poor decisions made under the influence impacts everyone around you- sometimes including strangers you’ve never spoken to. We know how tragic car accidents caused by drinking can be- that feeling of senseless lost only increases when innocent lives are dragged into the cross-hairs of a poor decision.
We’ve all read or seen these types of news stories; some of us may have been touched by a similar tragedy ourselves. In either case, it’s important to think twice before you go out for a night of revelry and binge drinking.