The Harmful Effects of Binge Drinking
Binge drinking; what exactly does it mean? The simple definition refers to consuming large quantities of alcohol during a single session. This trend seems to be a growing problem on college campuses across the country, but when is it time to admit that you have a problem? In a report last year, acting Surgeon General Kenneth Moritsugu said it’s time Americans get a wake-up call about the amount of alcohol abuse especially among underage drinkers.
According to a National Survey on Drug Use and Health last year, there was an estimated 11 million underage drinkers in the United States. I’d be willing to bet a great number of those underage drinkers are first or second year college students. The report also concluded that about 7.2 million of that number engage in acts of binge drinking. The obvious reason for the rise of college binge drinking is simply because of its accessibility. Dormitories aren’t as heavily monitored as parents would like to believe, and this allows underage freshmen to engage in parties with their friends where alcohol may be served. I had friends in college that would drink to get drunk just about every night of the week and in college that really isn’t uncommon. Binge drinking can cause a number of health issues including cirrhosis of the liver, heart attacks and even death.
“Too many Americans consider underage drinking a rite of passage to adulthood.”
Moritsugu is absolutely right on the money. So what can families do to stop college students from engaging in binge drinking? Although monitoring your children in college may be difficult, it is important to stay in touch and seem interested in their lives. Sometimes recognizing that there is a problem can be the most difficult, but your concern for them will bring lots of thanks later in life. If you have a family member that engages in binge drinking, there are many alcohol and drug recovery centers out there that can be of assistance.
Addiction is a family disease, and when family members become more involved in the process, recovery rates increase dramatically. Whether you are a college student, a middle-aged businessman, or a mother, help is available to get your life back on track. You just have to take the leap.