What is binge drinking?
Binge drinking is also known as heavy episodic drinking. Binge drinking usually serves the sole purpose of becoming increasingly intoxicated by heavy consumption of alcohol over a short period of time. Binge drinking rapidly brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. The definition of binge drinking for women is when they consume 4 or more drinks in about 2 hours and for men it is 5 drinks in about 2 hours. People who engage in binge drinking are not usually alcohol dependent but it can quickly turn into alcohol dependence if it is done on a regular basis.
Here are some binge drinking facts according to different national surveys:
- Around 92% of U.S. adults who drink excessively report binge drinking in the last 30 days.
- It may seem like binge drinking would be more common in college students and while it is true they commonly binge drink, 70% of binge drinking episodes actually involved adults age 26 years or older.
- Binge drinking is also more common in men with it being twice more prevalent in them than in women.
- Binge drinking is fairly common among all people. One in six U.S. adults binge drink about four times a month. Not just that but they also drink eight drinks per binge.
- Over half of all the alcohol being consumed by adults in the United States is in the form of binge drinks.
- Binge drinking is more common in households that have incomes of 75,000 dollars or more a year.
- Nearly all, 90% of the alcohol consumed by youth under the age of 21 in the United States is in the form of binge drinks.
One of the biggest facts about binge drinking is that it can severely and negatively affect those who engage in it. Binge drinking comes hand in hand with many health problems such as:
- Binge drinking because of the level of intoxication in individuals can cause unintentional injuries. These unintentional injuries include car crashes, falls, burns, drowning.
- Binge drinking can also cause intentional injuries such as firearm injuries, sexual assault, and domestic violence.
- Binge drinking can quickly and easily lead to alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning can be fatal.
- Binge drinking can also lead to a lack of inhibition and risk taking behavior which can lead to sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancy.
- Binge drinking for those who are already pregnant can cause fetal alcohol syndrome in the unborn child.
- Binge drinking can also cause high blood pressure, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.
- Binge drinking just as any drinking, can cause liver disease, neurological damage, sexual dysfunction and poor control for those who have diabetes.
Believe it or not but the negative effects of binge drinking don’t just affect the people who are drinking. Binge drinking costs everyone money.
- Binge drinking and drinking too much, costs the United States a whopping 223.5 billion in 2006.
That is $1.90 a drink from losses in productivity, health care, crime and other expenses.
- Binge drinking also cost federal, state, and local governments about 62 cents per drink in 2006 while the federal and state income from taxes on alcohol only totaled 12 cents per drink.
Binge drinking is very harmful not only to the individual and those who know the individual but it is harmful to the community. The bad things we hear about that happen when someone is drinking are usually due to some form of binge drinking. Not only that but the facts about binge drinking can easily lead to a larger and more serious alcohol dependency which will require outside help to overcome.