The Gizmodo Guide To Binge Drinking?

Guys I am furious.

This morning I was reading one of my favourite tech blogs Gizmodo when I stumbled across one of their latest posts “How To Drink All Day And Not Pass Out“.

With the opening paragraph of:

Look, drinking all day is not healthy. But what if you and the missus signed up for a nine-hour Mornington Peninsula wine tour and you want to get your money’s worth? Or maybe you’re hitting your bachelor pal’s BBQ, and the action starts at noon. Or, maybe, what the hell, you just want to go all out on a hot summer day. This afternoon bender is probably not a good idea. But here are some tips to make sure you stay awake — and, you know, survive.

Gizmodo then continues on with a hotch potch of various pieces of “advice” on how to “last longer” in prolonged sessions of binge drinking. While some of the advice appears to somewhat sensible i.e. drinking lower alcohol content drinks, this is akin to promoting safe smoking by smoking low tar cigarettes.

Most concerning is that some of the “handy tips and hints” are down right dangerous.

Want to be able to tolerate higher levels of alcohol? Drink more apparently.

This is a tough one to recommend, but it works. Seasoned, well-practiced drinkers can drink more (generally). Alcohol is a toxin and our bodies adapt to metabolize and deal with it. That kind of adaptation takes time and repetition. The more tolerant we are to the toxin, the slower our bodies try to break it down, and thus the slower the rate at which it is absorbed into our bloodstreams.

Guys, alcohol is a toxin no matter how much we drink. The phenomena Gizmodo is talking about is how when placed under long term strain the livers of alcoholics increase production of additional enzyme pathways to help break down faster. It’s not some magical “building up of tolerance” it’s an indicator that you damaging your liver and your body has been forced to find new ways to break down alcohol because it can’t cope with the current levels.

Binge Drinking Has Consequences

Gizmodo may try to glamorize and dress up drinking till the wee small hours but when it comes down to it a pig is still a pig.

Binge drinking has consequences that scope far beyond a hangover or dehydration.

Seems they forgot to mention things like risk taking behaviour, fights, disharmony with family and friends, road accidents, money lost and wasted.

No matter what scientific bullshit spin the guys at Gizmodo have tried to put on an afternoon of drinking the fact is that drinking more than 4 standard drinks in a session is risky.

Risky for your body, risky for your mental health and risky for your personal safety. I urge you to take care of yourself. Don’t fall to peer pressure. There is no shame in looking after your health.

Yours in good health.

Dr George

Guides about drinking safety:

ReachOut Australia On Binge Drinking
Binge Drinking: Social and medical consequences
JAMA: Health and Behavioral Consequences Of Binge Drinking

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