Alcohol abuse is one of the most serious health problems facing Americans. Even though our society tends to normalize it, there are many dangers of binge drinking; and particularly teenagers and young adults are at risk. If you are worried that you or someone you care about has a problem, it is worth exploring the dangers of binge drinking.
What Is Binge Drinking?
Before tackling the dangers of binge drinking, it is important to understand precisely what it entails.
In a very general sense, binge drinking involves consuming large quantities of alcohol in a short amount of time. How much is too much depends, of course, upon the person and the circumstance. A good general definition, however, is that binge drinking is when a male has five or more drinks, or a woman has four or more drinks over the course of about two hours.
This practice is more common than one might think. Far from being a practice limited to, college campuses, binge drinking is most prevalent in the age group 25-34, although the 18-25 group is a close second. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of the individuals who regularly participate in binge drinking are over 34 years old. They have also reported recently that binge drinking is more common among people in households that earn over $75,000 a year, and who have completed higher education degrees.
This is just to say that the reality of this practice might not be as we often picture it. This makes it all the more important to understand the dangers of binge drinking.
The Dangers of Binge Drinking
Since binge drinking lowers inhibitions, damages memory, and results in a lack of motor coordination its effects can easily result in serious health risks like:
- Participating in risky behaviors (e.g., drinking and driving)
- Unintentional injuries from falls, burns, alcohol poisoning
- Violent behavior, including homicide, suicide, domestic abuse, and sexual assault
- An increased likelihood of contracting an STI, or an unwanted pregnancy
Equally dangerous, however, are the long-term consequences; binge drinking can readily lead to:
- Alcohol use disorder and addiction
- Various kinds of cancer, including breast and liver
- Pregnancy with unwanted outcomes like fetal alcohol syndrome and sudden infant death syndrome
- Memory and learning problems
- Chronic diseases including high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, and increased risk of stroke
In short, binge drinking ruins individuals’ family and work lives.
If you are worried that you or someone you love has a problem with binge drinking, it is worth reaching out for professional help.
Learn More About the Dangers of Binge Drinking at New Bridge Foundation
The overconsumption of alcohol in general — and binge drinking in particular — is a serious problem that brings with it serious consequences. If you would like to learn more or if you feel that you may have a problem, don’t hesitate. Reach out to the addiction specialists at New Bridge Foundation today by calling 866.772.8491.