It’s true. Multiple studies have proven that alcohol affects how we view other people. That guy who didn’t look all that appealing a couple of hours ago? A few beers can make him look attractive. That girl who didn’t want to have sex? A couple of drinks can lower her inhibitions and make her say “yes” instead. Drinking can distort reality… This was Josh’s story: “Everyone at the parties was drinking and using drugs, and since it was there, I joined in. I liked getting drunk or high because it made me feel accepted by everyone. I can see now that it was pretty lame and just made me do stupid things that I didn’t mean to do. There was also a lot of sex at these parties, and it was really no big deal to hook up with a girl. I wanted to be part of things, but I was never really sure who was really my friend and who wasn’t. Sometimes I was so wasted that I didn’t even know what was going on.”
Alcohol and teens: Teens 15 and older who drink alcohol are seven times likelier to have had sex than those who don’t drink. When teens drink, they often end up in situations they didn’t want. They’re not processing the decision about having sex through their value system or their relationship goals. What seemed like a good idea after a couple of drinks can lead to a whole lot of regret the next morning.
Alcohol and sexual violence: Alcohol use is involved in more incidents of sexual violence than any other single drug. Alcohol is a major contributor to sexual assault. Every time someone is forced into sexual contact against their will, it is a tragedy that is not the victim’s fault. Even when you’re just planning to have fun with some friends, stay alert and aware. Be alert to your surroundings and to the risk you face when you’re with people who are drunk. Be cautious about letting your perception of reality be distorted. Stay alert to the very real risks around you.
Alcohol and date rape: Alcohol use, by the victim, perpetrator, or both is involved in nearly 50-75% of date rapes among college students. Websites tell guys how to use alcohol to get a girl into a situation where she won’t say no. Other websites describe how girls will take advantage of getting guys drunk to have sex with them, when the guy would otherwise say no. Drinking is a major contributor to non-consensual sex.
Alcohol and unintended pregnancy: When someone drinks four to five drinks or more in one sitting, it’s considered binge drinking. And binge drinkers participate in more than forty percent of unplanned sexual activity. Often, when it wasn’t planned, it wasn’t desired. And when the sexual encounter wasn’t planned, it’s more apt to lead to unplanned pregnancies. Drinking is a major contributor to unplanned sex and unintended pregnancies. What seems like a fun celebration can end in places where you didn’t want to be.
With year-end celebrations and summer parties are around the corner, check what you’re wearing. Watch out for beer goggles that can distort reality and mislead you. Alcohol affects more than your driving, and there’s more at stake than whether or not your friends think you’re fun. Not sure you can stop? Our community has lots of help for you to stay healthy. Drop by and talk to us. We want you to be clear-sighted, focused and free to pursue your goals without tripping over a pair of goggles.
What do you say? Is drinking a real risk for you and your relationships?