Alcoholism: The Perils of Drinking Games

Ahh, the good old days… Remember them? At a party, favourite games would include pin the tail on the donkey, Simon says, charades, musical chairs, apple bobbing, and that all-time classic: pass the parcel! Looking back, the list really was endless. And what fun we had as we laughed and joked while we let the sausages-on-sticks and the trifle go down, eh?

How times have changed since those innocent days when even for adults, a shandy (or two) often sufficed! Now party games are something different altogether. Drinking games are king. It is as if Nicholas Parsons was somehow replaced at some point in the past by Oliver Reed as party game organiser across the land, as a bottle of pop was gradually supplanted by a bottle of Bud, a double vodka, a or something even stronger – all so that wannabe drinking ‘legends’ could somehow prove their drinking prowess in the company of their mates.

Popular drinking games
Drinking games should actually be called binge drinking games, given the amount of booze involved (participants are usually so focused on speed, they forget about quantity).

Like the aforementioned party games, the days of some poor soul being forced to prove his manhood by drinking a yard of ale from a single specially-made glass down the pub are all but gone. Nowadays, drinking games involve pint after pint, wine glass after wine glass, bottle after bottle, or even barrel after barrel (yikes!).

Here’s a snapshot, then, of just some of the ridiculously dangerous drinking games currently being played today/tonight somewhere in the UK (warning: if you are of a nervous disposition, look away now):

  • 60 Seconds – No prizes for working out the basic idea of this game: drink as much as possible in a minute
  • 21 for 21 – Think of this one as a kind of rite of passage. As a man or woman reaches the age of 21, the finale of their party involves them knocking back 21 pints, mixed drinks, or shots one after the other, with barely a nanosecond in between drinks to draw breath
  • Century Club – 100 drinks in 100 minutes. Simple. (And potentially fatal)
  • Dead Man Walk – Every time you take a step, you down a shot of whiskey. You keep walking and drinking until you collapse (what fun!)
  • Vodka eyeballing – just YouTube it. You won’t believe your mince pies.


Tragic consequences
What most drinking games have in common is participants drinking as much alcohol as possible in as short a time as possible. This insane practice can have devastating consequences, as the parents of Josh – their now deceased son – explain from their family home on Tyneside:

“Josh was a quiet and unassuming lad, to be honest – not at all someone who could be called a party animal or a barfly, or whatever you’d want to describe someone who was always out on the town, drinking to beat the band, acting like Jack the Lad or the life and soul.”

“But at a party one night Josh drank a litre of gin in half-an-hour – shot after shot – for a bet. As all his so-called mates laughed, Josh staggered out of the pub alone. The following morning his body was found in the doorway of a Stationery shop in Newcastle city centre.”

“The Coroner’s report described the cause of death as acute alcoholic poisoning.”

“The size of the bet? £20.”


I could not stop drinking, having tried various methods. After making contact with Rehab Treatment UK I was put at ease immediately. All my options were carefully explained and 2 days later admitted to Rehab. Without the speedy response I would probably still be drinking today, Already, the home is a happier place. Thank you Jane for starting the process for a life of sobriety.
B. Middlesex

Thank you to Rehab Treatment UK and everyone at the Clinic that was involved in my Detox. It has been hard, but the fun everyone has made it, helped to make it easier.
S. Hull