This weekend, Pratik Jain, 22, will ring in the New Year without the fear of being stranded on the road. He has made arrangements for a driver to take him back home and has also invited some teetotaler friends to help him through a night of partying.
Six months ago, Jain, an engineering student, was found lying on a footpath in Khar, after attending a party organised by his college seniors. “After downing several pegs of whiskey, I passed out outside the pub in Khar with my purse, gold chain and credit cards lying on the ground. The security guard alerted my friends, who had left the venue,” said Jain.
Binge drinking is an outcome of peer pressure and the desire to feel “cool” in a group, said Dr Harish Shetty, a psychiatrist. “People believe that the New Year’s Eve gives them a legitimate sanction to get drunk.”
City doctors too agree that binge drinking can be dangerous. “Binge drinking is worse than drinking over a period of time. The chances of liver cirrhosis are much more in such cases,” said Dr Khusrav Bajan, consulting physician, PD Hinduja Hospital. “It can also acutely affect the brain,” he added.
According to Dr Pratit Samdhani, consultant physician at Jaslok Hospital, binge drinking can have severe effects on the pancreas. “Binge drinking is associated with higher incidence of pancreatic problems. It could also lead to nerve paralysis that is sometimes called Saturday night palsy. Sleeping on the couch with the arm hanging outside the armrest can injure the nerve sometimes. It can also lead to thiamine deficiency that can cause brain dysfunction,” said Samdhani.