It’s 9 o’clock on a Saturday night. In towns across Britain, bars and clubs are filling up with young women eager to make the most of the buy one get one free drink offers and to get as drunk as possible before the night is over.
No longer do we see women sipping demurely on a glass of wine: they are more likely to be dancing on tables by midnight. Welcome to the modern day culture of young women who binge drink.
Alcohol statistics and binge drinking
The number of women in Britain aged 16 to 24 who risk their health through binge drinking increased from 9% in 2000 to 21% in 2012, and the death rate in England and Wales has more than doubled since the 1950s through liver disease caused by excessive alcohol consumption.
In a survey carried out by the University of Manchester, more than a third of 16 – 24 year old women revealed that they had started drinking at the age of 13, and almost a third said that they had been sick or passed out in the last month because of drinking too much alcohol.
These statistics are terrifying, yet they don’t seem to deter young women from the demon drink.
Effects of alcohol abuse
The short-term effects of binge drinking include dizziness, vomiting and even alcohol poisoning. The long-term effects can cause breast cancer, strokes, brain damage, liver disease and death.
With so many negative side-effects associated with binge drinking, why do young women do it?
“It gives people confidence,” said Dr Jim Stevenson, a senior university lecturer. “Women like to relax and have a good time when they go out, and alcohol makes it easier for them to let go and enjoy themselves.”
Women are recommended to drink a maximum of 21 units of alcohol a week. The problem is that people are confused as to what constitutes as one unit.
Recent Government statistics state that binge drinking costs Britain £20 billion a year, with £7.3 billion of this due to alcohol-related crime, and the Daily Telegraph reported that in the last four years, there has been a 53% increase in women being arrested. While the price of alcohol has dropped, consumption has increased.
The price of alcohol
Tory MP Ian Duncan Smith wants to bring in a tax on alcohol to help pay for alcohol related problems, but is this going to solve the problem? Young women drink because it makes them feel good. It gives them confidence.
Increasing the price of alcohol isn’t going to change that. Young women know the risks, but they choose to ignore them in favour of a good night out.
The dangers of alcohol abuse and binge drinking
It’s 3am. Women are drunkenly emerging from clubs, stumbling and dishevelled with make-up smudged around their glazed-over eyes. In this state, they are prime targets for the rapists posing as cab drivers.
If they do make it home safely, they will no doubt wake up tomorrow morning with no recollection of last night’s events and feeling less than their best. Do young women really want to live like this?