Binge Drinking is Ruining a Good Time

by DavalosMcCormack on June 8, 2010

The annual San Francisco Union Street Fair was held last weekend. There were the usual art,  jewelery, food booths, and cool T-shirts and baby clothes with funny comments.  We always enjoy the bands on the stages and the festive feel on the street. But there is one thing that always stands out, and it’s not good.

Right in the middle of Union Street is a huge fenced-in area.  It kind of looks like a corral for animals and in fact at the end of the day the people in that area sometimes act more like animals than people.  The corral I’m speaking of is the Beer Garden, except there isn’t a garden, just some astro-turf on the ground, some beefy security guards at the entrance, and an area to stand and drink beer.  Sure, there are some high tables where you can put your beer down if you like, but there are a lot of  people that don’t seem to put their beer or wine down anywhere except down their throats.

The area is cordoned off because in the past the revelers would walk down the  street and create havoc so in the past few years the Festival promoters have created a fenced in area to keep them from moving through the crowd and drinking at the same time.  Usually the late morning will find a few people having a beer or two, but later in the afternoon people have continued to  drink way past their thirstiest.  Past the “responsible drinking” time, past the “boy are you tipsy” time, past the “falling down drunk” time  and in the evening, past the “I don’t care what I do” time.  It’s Binge Time on Union Street.

College Students are not the only ones who Binge!

A few months ago we were having breakfast in a restaurant and found ourselves sitting next to a woman in her early 20’s who was with her visiting parents. They asked her about boyfriends, noting that there were a lot of young, good looking men walking by. The daughter said “Yeah, but they’re still living like they were in college.  They could be 30 years old and  never grew out of  living the frat life!”

That pretty much sums up a lot of what goes on in many cities around the U.S. People graduate college. But while they leave some aspects of that life behind them – the studying, the learning – they take other aspects with them, things like immature drinking habits.  You don’t have to be a college grad to be a binge drinker either.

There’s a great site called Hello Sunday Morning and it says that binge drinking has a number of root causes, none of which ultimately have anything to do with having a good time, they are instead a search for:

  • Confidence – the ability, and the excuse, to do whatever we want
  • Emotional buffering and state change – The ability, and the excuse, to deal with whatever we need to
  • Identity – the ability, and the excuse, to be whoever we want to be

I suppose the big question is, do we think that the only way to have a good time is to be drunk?

Hello Sunday Morning presents the idea that just because you like to drink or that you have indulged too much in the past doesn’t mean you are destined to be a drunk.  Actually, Hello Sunday Morning invites people to consider giving up alcohol for a while or just re-consider how you use it. A  number of people at HSM share their stories and insights about their experiences.  It could be a first step for someone who has had enough, and wants to have a good time…one that they can actually remember.  Check it out!

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