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How Drinking Games Culture can lead to Alcoholism

While it might not be obvious to the general public, there is an entire culture of drinking games players and participants that stretches to all corners of the globe. In fact, some people take these games so seriously that entire federations and sporting regulation bodies have sprung up in order to help organize and manage them. This includes near professional level drinking games like beer pong and quarters. However, many regular players develop alcohol dependencies and even outright alcoholism as a result of the constant excessive drinking required in this pseudo sport.

With many amateur and professional level drinking games, the players are dedicated sportsmen that must physically condition themselves to be able to drink excessive amounts of alcohol in very short periods during competitions. This physical conditioning involves allowing the body to become accustomed to large quantities of beer and liquor so that the player may drink far more than an average, unconditioned person. However, this physical conditioning is really the process of tolerance – a necessary precursor to dependence and alcoholism.

Unfortunately, competitive drinking games culture often depends on peer pressure between participants in order to keep the games going. Players are strongly encouraged to drink as much as they can as quickly as they can, and those who are not able to perform up to the needed standards to procure a win are often mocked or even excluded from future games.

The primary point of most drinking games is to consume a large amount of alcohol as part of a reward – or punishment – during the course of play. In some cases this can include consuming entire glasses of beer or shots of hard liquor in rapid succession. Players who do so place themselves at risk of alcohol poisoning and black outs – major warning signs that alcoholism could be a threat.

Because tolerance to alcohol – or any mind altering substance for that matter – develops with continued use, regular participants in drinking or beer games are likely to progress rapidly from one stage of addiction to the next. However, even if the problem is pointed out to them or the person has self-recognized the issue, the only real and lasting solution is to stop drinking altogether. This can be a difficult decision for someone who has been a part of the drinking games culture.

Ultimately, the real danger with this type of lifestyle isn’t necessarily alcoholism, but rather the risk of significant injury or death as a result of drunk driving, violence, accidents or other mishaps as a result of the inherent higher Blood Alcohol Level or BAC associated with playing drinking games.  Madeline Vann reported for ABC News on a recent study on binge drinking and drinking games culture;

“The researchers found that playing drinking games, having a personal history of binge drinking, attending a party with many other intoxicated people, and attending a themed event all predicted higher blood alcohol levels.” (1)

Breaking through to people caught up in this culture can be difficult because others involved in their support aren’t likely to be supportive. If you or someone you love is struggling with growing alcoholism as a result of the drinking games culture and lifestyle, taking action now could literally save your life. Don’t wait – call the number at the top of your screen now.

(1) Vann, Madeline College Drinking Games Lead to Higher Blood Alcohol Levels ABC News 03/23/2012
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Healthday/story?id=4509956&page=1#.T7GB7OuO2CI
Accessed 05/10/2012

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