Adult Binge Drinking on the Rise

Posted on June 23rd, 2012

Having a drinking problem is not usually something adults aspire to, but unfortunately many do struggle with it. Binge drinking, however, has normally been associated with the younger generation. Traditionally, alcohol research has focused on alcohol dependence, but a new area of interest is binging, which can wreak detrimental effects on one’s health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 75 percent of risk drinkers are older than 26 years of age. Data from the CDC shows that approximately 30 million people in the U.S. go boozing about once a week – a trend that does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

Binge drinking is defined differently by sex. Men who drink an excess of four drinks at a time or who indulge in more than 14 drinks weekly are considered risk drinkers. For women, that equates to drinking more than three alcoholic beverages at one sitting or consuming up to seven or more drinks a week.

For many, drinking is an escape and provides a temporary solution to life’s problems says psychiatrist, Dr. Daniel Bober. However, binge drinking only serves to add to those problems in the long run. Women in particular are at the greatest risk of experiencing a negative impact.

Due to differences in body fat, women process alcohol differently than men. Their chances of incurring neurological harm or sustaining damage to the liver are higher. They also are more likely to suffer from a heart attack or stroke and are at greater risk of hypertension.

Dr. Bober explains that with each drink, women also elevate their risk of developing breast cancer. Each glass of wine is associated with a 10 percent increase in risk, he says.

Binge drinking can take its toll on one’s career and interpersonal relationships. Dr. Bober advises that if this type of drinking becomes destructive and routine, professional help may be in order.

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