Binge drinking and alcohol abuse can be defined as consuming several alcoholic drinks in a brief period. The CDC of the USA defines binge drinking as bringing the blood alcohol level up to 0.08%, for a man consuming 5 drinks within hours and for a woman it is four drinks within hours that can bring the blood alcohol up to this level. Binge drinking cuts across all demographics, just as the hazards of this practice.
Who is a Binge Drinker?
One in six adults partakes in binge drinking. Although binge drinking cuts across all age groups there is a preponderance of binge drinking among those aged 18-34. A more frightening statistical age group is that over 20% of High School Students have engaged in binge drinking. Although those over 21 lead the pack in binge drinking, no age group is immune, as noted by the CDC 4% of people over 65 engage in this deadly practice.
Surprisingly binge drinking is more prominent among those who earn over $75,000, reminding us that Binge drinking knows no boundaries. Men outnumber women by over 2 -1 in the Binge drinking category, even though women outnumber men in overall population.
The Risks of Binge Drinking
Drunk driving is a serious consequence of binge drinking. Those who binge drink are more likely to be arrested for drunk driving. Binge drinkers end up in court fighting drunk driving charges, forfeit their licenses and sometimes their livelihoods. The binge drinker is more likely to drive and cause an accident than the social drinker. The bodily injuries and property damage caused by binge drinkers affects more than themselves when innocent people are involved in motor vehicle incidents with binge drinkers. Drunk driving convictions can prevent a person from maintaining a driver’s license, and even result in jail time.
Excessive drinking causes the loss of inhibitions that can lead to unprotected sexual encounters. Binge drinkers have a higher rate of unwanted pregnancies and a greater risk of contracting a sexual disease from impulsive sexual encounters. The rates of sexually transmitted diseases among those who drink in excess is higher than the general population. Binge drinking like all alcohol consumption is especially damaging to the unborn fetus that may lead to fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Never drink during pregnancy. The risks of drinking during pregnancy include still birth and miscarriage. A baby whose mother drinks during pregnancy is at greater risk of SIDS and deficient formative growth patterns.
The health risks associated with binge drinking includes the immediate and the long term. Immediate health risks that are seen among binge drinkers are blackouts, seizures, alcohol poisoning and death. In fact, the CDC estimated that annually in the USA there are 2200 deaths from alcohol poisoning among binge drinkers.
Binge drinkers are more likely to develop chronic health conditions such as heart disease. diabetes, and cancer. Binge drinking can immediately poison vital organs such as kidneys and liver. In the long term, consistent over indulgence in alcohol consumption will lead to chronic kidney and liver disease.
The long-term risks of binge drinking continue throughout life, even if the practice is ended, these include, liver damage, kidney damage, heart damage, and brain cell death. The costs of medical care associated with binge drinking is high, in 2010 it was calculated as costing the US economy $190 Billion.
It is important to recognize that you or a loved one may have an alcohol abuse problem. Frequent Binge Drinking is an indicator. Don’t be afraid to seek professional help for alcohol abuse. Alcohol Rehab is typically covered by insurance. Call (888) REHAB-71 to learn your options. Alcohol rehab is the best long-term solution for dependency.
Curbing Binge Drinking
Recommendations by the medical community to curb the practice of binge drinking and alcohol abuse relies on restricting access to alcohol, raising taxes on alcohol, limiting hours of sale and other regulatory actions. These recommendations are already in place and have been since the end of Prohibition. What is not in place is early education which outlines the risks and dangers of alcohol consumption in a world where alcohol consumption is romanticized.
The recommendation to raise the cost of drinking alcohol leads to other problems. As we have seen in Europe, whenever the taxes are raised on alcohol to try to slow down its consumption there is a fake alcohol that makes its way through the retailers and into the hands of consumers. Encouraging a rise in the production of fake alcohol is not a viable solution. Any hindrance and additional costs to the legal regulated alcohol industry causes a corresponding surge in counterfeit alcohol which is produced unregulated and with deadly chemicals. A surge in counterfeit alcohol will see a surge in immediate deaths from drinking which can be seen in news accounts throughout the world. Multiple dozens in Ukraine died in one month, December 2016 from a batch of fake alcohol, 16 people in India in August 2017 and the list goes on. Binge drinking a is a problem that must be solved with education and social awareness, it is not a problem that will be solved through higher taxes, prices or prohibition. In fact with all the proposed solutions the problem will worsen with the rise of deadly fake alcohol.
If you are a Binge Drinker or have an Alcohol dependency the best solution is personal Alcohol Rehabilitation, for a referral call Call (888) REHAB-71 to learn your options.
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