A Common OccurrenceBinge drinking is a destructive pattern of consuming alcohol that causes the person’s blood alcohol level to rise to .08 percent or higher, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Unfortunately, binge drinking has become all too common in the U.S. and is now the most common pattern of alcohol abuse in the nation. Over half the alcohol consumed in the United States takes place during binge drinking.
Binge Drinking DefinedBinge drinking occurs when men consume five or more drinks in two hours, or women consume four or more drinks in the same time period. While most people who binge drink are not dependent upon alcohol, about one in six U.S. adults binge drink around four times per month, consuming around eight drinks during each binge.Binge drinking is more prevalent among adults age 18 to 34 years; however, binge drinkers aged 65 or older report have reported habits of binge drinking more often — five to six times per month. Perhaps surprisingly, binge drinking tends to be more prevalent among people with household incomes higher than $75,000 than in those making less per annum.
Young Males at RiskAround 90% of alcohol consumed by young people under the age of 21 in the U.S. takes place during binge drinking sessions. While college students are believed to have a high tendency to binge drink, around 70% of binge drinking episodes involve adults around age 26 or older.About 92% of adults in the U.S. who tend to drink to excess are likely to have done so in the past 30 days. Binge drinking is around twice as prevalent among men than women. Binge drinkers are a staggering 14 times more likely to engage in alcohol-impaired driving than drinkers not prone to binge drinking.
Binge drinking is associated with a number of health issues, including:
- Accidents and unintentional injuries (falls, car crashes, burns, drowning)
- Alcohol poisoning
- Unintended pregnancy
- Children born with fetal alcohol syndrome
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Liver disease
- Stroke, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular disease
- Neurological damage
- Lapse in the control of diabetes
- Sexual dysfunction
The Costs of Binge DrinkingBinge drinking costs the U.S. hundreds of billions of dollars per year in losses due to crime, lost productivity at work, health care costs and other expenses. Measures to help reduce the prevalence of binge drinking include:
- Interventions, screening and counseling for alcohol abuse
- Increasing the cost of alcoholic beverages and taxes
- Limiting the number of alcohol retail outlets
- Restricting access to alcohol with limits on days/hours of sales
- Holding alcohol retailers responsible for harms caused by intoxicated and/or underage patrons
- Stricter law enforcement against alcohol-impaired driving and underage drinking
Let Us Help TodayIf you are worried a loved on is involved with binge drinking activites then they may need help. Binge drinkiung can lead to serious health issues and even death. Contact us today to get more information on this, and we can help.
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