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Fear Appeals and Binge Drinking

Binge drinking refers to the excessive consumption of alcohol with the aim of getting drunk over a limited time. This form of alcohol abuse is mostly associated with young people. That is adolescents and young adults. It is considered as a form of having fun mostly during the festive season. Binge drinking is also commonly linked to the male sex as compared to the female sex (Marlatt and Witkiewitz, 2002).

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Given the adverse consequences of binge drinking, it is quite obvious that many people who engage in it do not know what they are getting themselves into. Apart from social harm, binge drinking also creates a lot of economic problems. Binge drinking can be extremely harmful to an individual’s health as well as his social life. Excessive drinking causes health problems such as liver cirrhosis, throat and mouth cancer among others. It also leads to social crimes such as prostitution and robbery with violence which is considered to be morally wrong in the society. Teenage pregnancies are also a common problem associated with binge drinking among teenage girls. These girls later give birth to underweight babies or babies with various disorders. In some extreme cases, binge drinking can lead to suicide.

It is difficult to get people to stop drinking since this is a form of having fun embraced by many globally. However, all hope is not lost for binge drinkers. This is because experts have come up with measures to reduce their amount of alcohol consumption.

A brief intervention is one action that has been taken to help binge drinkers. This takes a short time mostly lasting up to thirty minutes (Jessop and Wade, 2008). It is aimed at motivating people in order to get them to reduce the amount of alcohol that they consume. In brief intervention, materials such as pamphlets and books are used in the discussions that take place.

Motivational interviewing is a form of brief intervention that is highly effective in changing the risky behavior associated with binge drinking. In this form of interview, a counselor engages his client in one on one discussion pointing out the benefits of drinking wisely (Collin, 2006). The counselor also discusses the importance of self respect and how it boosts one’s self esteem. When a person has high self esteem, he gains confidence and can make wise decisions.

Clinical counseling is another form of action mainly targeting adolescents who are hospitalized due to alcohol related complications. This form of action has been found to be remarkably effective in getting the adolescents to change in a positive way. It is effective because adolescents are able to take any medical advice seriously at this particular time.

Many schools have adapted a system where students are educated on the dangers of abusing alcohol. This step has significantly reduced the number of young people who engage in binge drinking. It has also helped those who are addicted to alcohol to reduce their consumption and some have even quit drinking.

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When death is mentioned, many people get scared because no one loves to die. Experts have found that associating binge drinking with death in their discussions has considerably reduced the amount of alcohol consumed by people (Wachtel and Staniford, 2010). The media are used to communicate the dangers of alcohol abuse since many people have access to at least one medium of communication.

Lastly, it is advisable to keep the right company. This is because true friends will always watch over others and give them the right advice. One should avoid friends who do not give them wise advice, or friends who are out to engage in dangerous deeds, in the name of having fun. People should avoid driving while drunk to avoid accidents.


Collin, C. (2006). Substance Abuse Issues and Public Policy in Canada: V, Alcohol and Related Harms. Political and Social Affairs Division, 11 450-520.

Jessop, D.C. and Wade, J. (2008). Fear appeals and binge drinking: A terrormanagement theory perspective. British Journal of Health Psychology, 13, 773–788.

Marlatt,.G.A. and Witkiewitz, K. (2002). Harm reduction approaches to alcohol use:Health promotion, prevention, and treatment. Addictive Behaviors, 27 867–886.

Wachtel, T. and Staniford, M. (2010). The effectiveness of brief interventions in the clinical setting in reducing alcohol misuse and binge drinking in adolescents: a critical review of the literature. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 19, 605–620.

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