Research into binge drinking has tended to focus on levels of alchohol consumption and its negative consequences but Professor Anna van Wersch of Teesside University decided to find out why people did it and what they got out of it. She carried out detailed interviews with 32 people, aged between 22 and 58, living in the north-east of England. Most of them saw weekend binge drinking as the norm and as a cultural pattern that people were socialised into. It was seen as easier and a better way to involve more people than, say, going to a restaurant or the cinema. People enjoyed the social aspect and sharing happy feelings with others. Positive aspects of binge drinking included increased confidence, a relaxed mood and a reduction in inhibitions. Hangovers and regret for one-night stands, things said and aggression were seen as the main downside.
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