Over the weekend, we went into Chicago to see the river dyed green. (Apparently it’s a big deal, even though the river already is unnaturally green…?) On the train—at nine-thirty in the morning—we encountered at least one very drunk college kid. As we walked through the city, we saw many others like him, young and old, all in similar stages of inebriation. And, to crown the day, our train back was stopped. By police. Arresting several guys for being drunk and disorderly and throwing up on other passengers. Yep.
So, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, the day that in America anybody who can claim an ounce of Irish blood decides it’s a good time to break out a bottle and drink it all down, I’d like to suggest a few reasons why getting drunk is possibly one of the worst things you could do with your time.
Caveat: I am talking specifically about getting drunk. There’s nothing wrong with alcohol in itself. Some studies even suggest a glass of wine occasionally may provide health benefits. (So does exercising, but whatever.) That being said, if you’re underage, just don’t drink. Okay? Okay.
I know this post is going to be seriously unpopular with most people below 50—and that’s perfectly acceptable. I’m not writing it to be popular. I’m writing it because I want to address a not-so-new phenomenon called Getting Drunk Is So Awesome. Because let’s be honest. It doesn’t just happen on St. Patrick’s Day. For some, it’s every weekend.
This is a departure from my usual posts, but I am genuinely concerned about this moral and cultural issue, and I’m right around the age where a lot of the people I know have the problematic mentality that getting drunk is “fine,” it’s just what “happens,” and that there’s even an “expectation” to do it.
I thought a summary of reasons might work better than an extended discussion, so here they are: five reasons why getting drunk is seriously stupid.
- Memory Loss.
All of those “great times” you had last night partying with your pals? You probably won’t remember them. Might as well have a Coke.
- The Hangover.
And no, a raw egg and a bottle of Worcestershire sauce aren’t going to help. Your boss won’t appreciate it come Monday, either. And neither will you when you get salmonella poisoning.
- Impaired Judgment.
Things you wouldn’t even think of doing sober (drinking and driving, random sex, violent outbursts) suddenly aren’t such a big deal. In goes the alcohol, out goes the judgment.
- Drinking Too Much Alcohol Consistently Will Damage Your Liver.
“Damage” isn’t graphic enough. Your liver will be Shot. Toast. Kaput.
- Drinking Too Often is Incredibly and Dangerously Addictive.
Alcoholism is a serious problem (and a tendency that’s passed on to children), and all of those nights spent at the bar chugging tequila and karaoke-ing to “Stand By Me” are not worth years of dark struggling with demons of your own creation. Think I’m exaggerating? Ask someone who’s been down that path.
Obviously, most of us are aware of the consequences. We probably heard it in school and rolled our eyes. But take it from someone who has seen others make life-altering mistakes: think about these things the next time someone offers you a vodka shot or three off of which to get drunk. Don’t do it. Go for long-term betterment rather than short-term gratification. Our culture is obsessed with alcohol, and we only feed into it.
After all, given the reasons mentioned, why are people excited about getting drunk and destroying their health, quality of life, etc., anyway? Ah, yes… Because it’s cool.
Yeah, it’s super cool to get drunk, and then throw up on other people and get arrested. And those are just the short-term consequences. Mmhmm.