Disclaimer: The information, articles, and tips portrayed on this blog, while based on research, do not constitute medical advice. The opinions expressed are meant to educate and inform, but not to dictate lifestyle choices or personal beliefs. These articles are meant to provoke thought on issues surrounding college health and to inform the Hopkins community of healthy information and resources.


Beats and Binges

Is it possible that music and advertising can have an impact on alcohol use?  Before we answer, think about it.  What do you think about this connection?  When people hear songs like:

[Disclaimer on the videos below: Some content is explicit- watch with caution]

What are some reactions to these songs?  What associations are being made between music and drinking?  Do you think these have any influence on people's decisions to drink, or perhaps drink more or less?

So what does the research say?

According to a study in the Journal of Substance Use and Misuse, 720 songs were reviewed and of those, 23% referenced alcohol, and nearly all of those songs found the references to alcohol to be positive ones.  While alcohol can have positive effects on people who choose to drink, the positive ones are not mentioned or portrayed in the drinking styles in the videos.  Typically, the more positive or euphoric effects are found when someone chooses to drink and decides to stay in the Blue Zone, or within a .01-.06 BAC level (which would be about 1 drink an hour with water in between).

Research has found a link between the amount of TV and music a teen consumes is related to decisions around alcohol use. This means, the more TV and music a teen watches or listens to, the more likely s/he will drink alcohol.

Questions to think about:

So we see from the research that there is a connection between music and alcohol use. Do you think the number of songs with these references change depending on the setting?  For example, if someone is listening to music in his/her room versus at a party-- do you think the amount of alcohol references might be different than say, at a house party?   More, less, or no drinking?  Or imagine a house party that had music without alcohol mentioned in the lyrics, how do you think the party environment might look?  Would it be any different?

Just Remember:
No matter what kind of music is playing at a party or in a room, if you choose to drink alcohol, find ways to do it safely, like having water between each drink and pacing yourself.   And remember, the only way to avoid a hangover is to drink in moderation.  Stay in the blue zone to enjoy the entire night and the rest of the weekend.