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Binge drinking: Gen-Z's new call

india Updated: Jan 10, 2007 18:19 IST

In the world of Bacchus (we mean the Roman god of wine, here) the initiation is starting alarmingly young.

We are now talking of pre-teens binging on the bubbly and full-fledged alcoholism at 15! Today the Gen-Z brigade is drinking themselves silly, the legal permissible age (25) be damned.

A 24-year-old executive, who was found dead in a car recently in the city, was reportedly a binge drinker. He may well represent a generation that is fast finding ways to break rules and indulge themselves.

The condition refers to a prolonged spell of drinking that incapacitates a person to a near vegetative state.

Binge drinking is not new to the urban milieu, which has often displayed their vulnerability for this addiction.

A study conducted by a US-based agency says boys who began drinking at the age of 13 were nearly six times more likely to become binge drinkers.

Typically, curiosity and peer pressure were sighted as the main triggers for this early initiation.

Kunal Sharma, an 18-year-old model is one of them. He started drinking at the age of 13. The reason? “It seemed fashionable to drink,” says Kunal, adding, “I used to go out partying with friends and started drinking out of curiosity. When my parents are out I call my friends over to binge drink.”

Gorav Gupta, consultant psychiatrist, Apollo, says a study conducted in a public school in Delhi, revealed that 50 per cent students below the age of 15 were already exposed to alcohol. Then he dropped the shocker: he recently dealt with a case of a 15-year-old alcoholic!

Nikki Bhatia, a Delhi schoolgirl says, “Out of 40 classmates, at least 20 indulge in binge drinking. Alcohol is a must in all celebrations.”

Explaining the trend, Dr Bhavna Barmi, senior consultant psychologist says, “The mounting stress and the myth that substance abuse helps alleviate pain is one of the reasons.

Also, easy access to liquor and indulgent parents who give hefty pocket money to their kids aggravate the problem.” So, next time you dole out extra money to compensate your quality time with your child, think again!

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