When Partying Becomes More Than Just Fun
In 1986 when the Beastie Boys belted out the words, “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party),” it was hard to know exactly what they meant. The band was considered edgy, in your face, and very counter cultural. But the video depicted scenes of a more innocent time. It showed two nerdy teens in taped glasses being given strict instructions by stern, ultraconservative parents.
The boys decide to throw a rather tame party where no bad people show up. To their consternation, in pops the Beastie boys with a gang of obviously bad influences to corrupt the teens. There were some, but very little sexual suggestiveness, and the depictions of a single can of beer being consumed by one person.
There were no drugs. The primary hijinks dominating the second half of the video is pie-to-the-face humor. It is the kind of party that no one today would want to attend. In no way does it embody what it means, in contemporary parlance, to party.
The word, partying has been mostly replaced by clubbing. But whatever word you use, there is no definition of it that does not include dangerously loud, countercultural music, irresponsible sexual behavior, and the copious consumption of drugs and alcohol. When the police come around to raid the party, there will be arrests and shocked parents who have a hard time accepting that their kids were involved in such an activity. Here are a few ways to know when having fun crosses the line:
When You Can’t Quit on Your Own
The Beastie Boys got it wrong in so many ways. You don’t have to fight for a right to party. Getting in to parties has never been easier. The fight doesn’t come into play until you decide to take on a substance abuse problem that resulted from years of partying. At that point, you are in for the fight of your life.
On their webpage, the Arizona addiction recovery clinic describes the process in the following way:
Treatment is about preparation and planning. With the right treatment we will work on strengthening you to be prepared for a free life from the bondage of addiction.
They also note that treatment is only as good as the path to sobriety. Recovery from the party is the thing you have to fight for. Addiction is like a bondage from which you cannot escape by yourself. Even if you are still having fun, the moment you realize you can’t quit is the moment you need to set out on a path to sobriety with the help of a professional.
When Your Friends See the Signs
If you are having a problem with drugs, chances are you will be the last person to know. You will be too busy denying that you have a problem. It is a good idea for everyone in your circle of friends to know the physical warning signs. Here is a list from HelpGuide.org:
- Bloodshot eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual
- Changes in appetite or sleep patterns
- Sudden weight loss or weight gain
- Deterioration of physical appearance, personal grooming habits
- Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing
- Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination
These are not the only warning signs. However, when your friends start asking you about your sudden change of weight or why your speech is slurred, it is time to reevaluate your idea of fun.
When You Have a Genetic Disposition
According to the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependency:
Research shows that genes are responsible for about half the risk for alcoholism and addiction…
If you come from a long line of people who have addiction issues, there is an increased chance that you will too. Having that family history means that your genes are working against you. If you have a family history of drug or alcohol abuse, you can’t afford to play with that particular fire.
When you can’t quit on your own, when your friends can see the signs, and when you already have a genetic strike against you, it is time to re-calibrate your idea of a good time.