On one hand, there's the vomiting, blackouts and hangovers.
On the other hand, there's that shot of courage only booze can deliver, the euphoric drunken chattiness and other social benefits.
Guess which one wins.
That's right, according a recent study at the University of Washington, people drink heavily because they think the good stuff far outweighs the bad stuff - a phenomenon researchers call "rose-colored beer goggles."
Says co-author of the study, Kevin King, "People think, 'It's not going to happen to me.'"
According to the research:
Nearly 500 college students completed an online survey measuring their drinking habits during the previous year. The survey assessed how often the participants had experienced 35 different negative consequences of drinking, such as blackouts, fights, hangovers, missed classes and work, and lost or stolen belongings, as well as 14 positive effects of drinking, including better conversational and joke-telling abilities, improved sexual encounters and more energy to stay up late partying and dancing.
The college students reported that the benefits of drinking heavily were more positive and more likely to happen the next time they drank than any of those silly negatives.
Which -- if I can remember, after a night of Old Crow -- sounds about right.