Tip 17: Pre-Partying
My friends and I always pre-game. My girlfriend says I have a drinking problem because I do that. But all my friends do it so what’s the problem?
Tom W., Midwestern State University, Junior
It seems like everybody pre-games. But, I am a real lightweight when it comes to drinking. If I pre-game I usually get really drunk. Is there anyway I can pre-game but not get so wasted?
Suze O., University of Georgia, Sophomore
College students report their number one reason for drinking is to help them socialize. And the fact of the matter is, it works. By pre-partying (also known as pre-gaming) we are able to consume alcohol and lower our inhibitions. As our inhibitions are lowered in social situations such as at parties or at a bar, we are more comfortable engaging another person in conversation or perhaps to request a dance. As with drinking games, the immediate risk of pre-partying is an inordinately high peak Blood Alcohol Level which could lead to serious problems such as falls, DUI, risky sex, violence and/or alcohol poisoning.
Although not readily apparent, another problem associated with pre-partying is something called state dependent learning, Tom. As we use alcohol to help us develop our social skills, those skills get “locked in the bottle.” Therefore, anytime we want to socialize, we need a few drinks in order to tap into those social skills. Does the line, “I can’t dance until I get a couple of drinks in me first” sound familiar Tom?
Attend some parties without pre-gaming. Enhance your social skills by attending social events other than parties.