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“I came face-to-face with binge drinking on the weekend”.
“How do you mean?” Shanessa asked. We were having lunch at a restaurant overlooking the Rio Grande, with Sandia Peak in the background.

“I got talking to a college student named Ed, a bookish freshman with a long thin face, who told me he did it and liked it”.
“Did he say why he liked it?” she queried.

We were interrupted by the waitress. I ordered chile rellenos, my favorite Mexican dish.

“Ed said he felt like it intensified things that he did, like watching a football game, or discussing with friends”.
Shanessa wrinkled her nose, and looked mystified.

“But that’s not all” I continued. “A friend of his wandered over and joined our twosome. A pretty young woman of similar age with short, straight blonde hair. Let’s call her Tracy”.
“Did you quiz Tracy about this also?” Shanessa twisted a lock of black hair away from her face.
“I sure did……I asked if she did it too, and without hesitation she said yes”.

“So I jumped right in, and asked Tracy about the risk of getting laid while she was drunk”.
“Wow, you sure did jump in”, Shanessa opened her brown eyes wide.
“Tracy said that she liked to think that she had some control over that”.
“Unbelievable!”

“Yes, and Ed said he liked to believe that the binging guys were responsible enough to not abuse the situation”.
“Unbelievable!” she said again, with a shake of her head that made her black hair shiver.
I nodded. “What astonished me was the way Ed and Tracy talked fondly of getting drunk, and the stories they had to share afterwards. They seemed proud of it all”.

Shanessa sat back with a sad expression on her face, and just stared toward the stoic mountain which seemed to support her sadness.
“It’s a distortion is what I think” she stated flatly. “A subtle distortion of healthy and responsible morality under the guise of having fun”.

I picked a little more at my lunch.
Shanessa was quiet, presumably contemplating the widespread abuse of binge drinking.

But shortly she lightened up, and started speaking animatedly.
“Jesus drank wine. But Paul said ‘Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit’….
….and Jesus’ followers did just that: at the feast of Pentecost, they were accused by observers of being drunk because they spoke in foreign languages, but it wasn’t drink: it was the Holy Spirit! And shortly afterwards, when Peter explained this phenomenon, about 3,000 folks joined the fledging church!”

I smiled at this turn in the conversation. “Yes, and they may have joined because they sensed a new and spiritual route to become morally healthy and responsible” I reiterated.

The Gray Nomad.
Probing the practice of Christian believers……

Please pass this along……it may provide others an opportunity to address this situation with someone in college.

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8 Responses to Binge drinking

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  2. Bill and Marie White |

    Thank you for responding to our young people’s drinking. I have several grandchildren in college and they think it is a way of life. They will listen to me but do their own thing. I have never had a drink and I thank God for saving from this adduction. We had a friend here in Independence die about 6 this evening, He was not 50 and his liver gave out. So sad because he was a sweet guy. Mary Ann said she had him in Sunday School so I am sure she gave the steps to salvation. I am so thankful for her commitment to the young people. Marie White

    • Thank you Bill and Marie for your comment. Many of the kids in college just seem so “careless” about engaging in binge drinking, which I think is subtle and insidious and dangerous, and can lead to reckless behavior with serious regrets.

  3. This is a subject that is very near and dear to my heart. As you may know I buried an ex-husband, a mother, and a mother-in-law as a result of alcoholism. And my new step-mother-in-law, she lost her first husband, Bill Tandy, as in Tandy Corporation (Radio Shack) as a result of alcoholism. You never know when it is going to sneak up on you. Bill had been sober for years and years until he went to a wedding one night, and decided he could have a little bit of wine. He was dead in two years at an early age. I don’t think he was over mid-50s. So sad. My ex was 1 day shy of his 49th birthday, and my mother was just past her 54th birthday. While I do drink, I lucked out and got the German metabolism. However, that doesn’t mean if I kept drinking and binging I wouldn’t also become an alcoholic. I have maybe two drinks once a month, and that’s even rare. My husband used to say he had one drink, but darned if it wasn’t 64 ounces. Everything in moderation — just like Jesus.

    • Donna, I hear you. One of my earliest impressionable memories is of an alcoholic neighbor asleep in the middle of a hedge surrounding a sports arena. When I discussed with my dad, he said he had seen another neighbor (a barber) lifting this man out of the gutter and walking/carrying him home. That also taught me about mercy, which is a central tenet of Jesus’ teaching.

      • I know what you mean by mercy. Sadly, though, sometimes the more merciful thing for a raging alcoholic is to leave them in the bush and make them responsible for their own decisions. They call it enabling. It was the hardest thing for me to do — not cover up for Steve. I remember telling the creditors where they could reach him as he traveled. He didn’t like it, but it helped get him into treatment. Too bad he couldn’t ever see himself without a drink, and I think it hurt him too much physically to be without. I know on Intervention, they always force the person out of their lives unless and until they get treatment. If we don’t do things like that they will continue to suffer. It’s life or death. And yet it seems counterproductive to let them suffer the consequences of their own actions, but it is about the only thing that works.

        • Well said Donna, and you are right about enabling. I was confronted with this when a family asked me once again for financial help, and I had to say no. I suggested instead they look into getting a job in the oil drilling boom in south Texas (Eagle Ford play), where unemployment is zero.

  4. Forgot one thing — 1 Corinthians 5:11-13: But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister[c] but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. 12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.” I’m trying to remember where it is but there is a scripture about someone in the church who is sinning, that we are to ask them to leave the church, and I believe it says something about leaving them to the devices of the devil. Since I can’t remember exactly how it is worded, I’m having trouble looking it up. But I’m sure you have read it several times yourself. 🙂

    • Donna, there is a useful website for looking up Bible texts we cannot remember. I have used it several times. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/
      In the context of your statements above, I once visited and stayed with the parents of a Mormon friend from work. I was told if teenagers in their church get involved sexually, the bishop visits them and asks them to stop . If they do not, they are asked to leave the church. Although this may be controversial to us, I was impressed by how the church acts on its beliefs.

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