Unexpected Risks of Getting Drunk at Special Events

Getting Drunk at Special Events

Getting Drunk at Special Events

Both the immediate and long-term negative physical and psychological effects of alcohol bring harm to the user no matter where the alcohol is used. Consuming alcohol at special events, however, can bring unexpected risks that drinkers may not be prepared for.

Falling Down Drunk

Campaigns to discourage drunk driving have brought attention to the strong, and sometimes difficult to perceive, motor skill impairment alcohol creates. Even without getting into a car, the risk of physical injury is increased by drinking. A 2006 study published in the journal Academic Emergency Medicine found that college students who drank to the point of feeling nauseated or wobbly on their feet on one or more occasions every week were twice as likely to need medical treatment due to falling from a high place.

Special events are often held in places with features like balconies, stairs, and platforms that put people at potentially dangerous heights. Unfamiliarity with the physical surroundings at special events can add even greater opportunity for alcohol-impaired individuals to injure themselves.

Better Judgment Suppressed

Part of the reason that people attend events like concerts and sports contests is for the excitement. For those who are drunk, strong emotions and impulses can get out of control. A 2013 study in the journal Addictive Behaviors described the results of a study of alcohol’s tendency to suppress inhibition. It showed that the impairment of impulse control caused by alcohol was more difficult to adjust to and lasted longer than the impairment of motor skills.

Special events may hold many chances to follow impulses into risky situations. Some challenge, insult, or opportunity may appear irresistible to a person who is drunk and would know to ignore it when sober.

Criminal Victimization

A person who is drunk makes a more attractive victim to any criminals operating in or around event areas. A pickpocket sees reduced personal awareness. A con man sees impaired judgment. A mugger sees someone less prepared to fend off an attack.

Being drunk creates a frightening vulnerability to sexual assault. According to a 2009 study published in the Journal of American College Health, 80 percent of sexual assaults of female college students were perpetrated against victims who had been drinking. The circumstances of special events, such as crowds of people, unfamiliar surroundings, and possibly widespread drunkenness, can elevate this risk further. Of course, this kind of alcohol-enabled attack may even come from someone attending the event with the victim.

A Recovery Event

Addiction to alcohol can make it difficult to keep the drinking at home. If you or someone you know has a drinking problem, call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to learn about treatment options. We are here to help.

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