So maybe you overdo it from time to time — okay, a lot of the time, but you only drink on the weekends and an occasional weekday, so it’s no problem, right? Just because you don’t drink everyday doesn’t mean you’re safe from alcohol dependence and addiction. In fact, if you’re over the recommendations for moderate drinking — no more than seven drinks a week for women and 14 drinks a week for men — you’ve crossed the line into heavy drinking or binge drinking. Of the 136 million Americans who use alcohol, more than 47% are binge drinkers according to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Are you one of them? Here’s some warning signs.
What would college be without the experience of heartily partying? Drinking to excess in college is almost as much a rite of passage as learning to drive or cramming for finals. College kids routinely participate in drinking games, keg parties and reckless experimentation. For many students, it’s the first chance they have had to let loose with no parental supervision.
A new study led by a professor at UC San Diego has found that almost all teenage alcohol drinkers between the ages of 15 and 19 experience at least one alcohol-related blackout (ARB).
Using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children in Bristol, England, distinguished professor of psychiatry Marc A. Schuckit evaluated the presence of ARBs among 1,402 drinking adolescents aged 15, 16, 18 and 19. The results of the study revealed that only 5.1 percent of teen drinkers did not experience a blackout between the ages of 15 and 19.
Teens and college students heading out for spring break this year need to understand this rite of passage’s greatest danger: binge drinking. Too many young people have a lax attitude about drinking to excess and fail to realize that this kind of behavior isn’t a joke, that it has serious and even fatal consequences. If you have a teen or college-aged son or daughter making plans for spring break, sit down for a talk. With education about the facts, young people will be more empowered to make good choices while still enjoying a break from school.
Binge drinking is a form of excessive alcohol intake marked by rapid consumption that leads to legal intoxication. Current evidence indicates that pregnant women who participate in this form of drinking can seriously alter the brain development of their unborn children. In a study published in September 2014 in the journal European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, a team of British and Australian researchers investigated the negative impact that even a single episode of binge drinking during pregnancy can have on the mental health outcomes of children 11 years later.
Alcohol poisoning occurs when a person ingests too much alcohol in a brief amount of time. The U.S. records roughly 50,000 cases of alcohol poisoning every year, and alcohol overdose kills one American every week.
Youths who drink heavily in college may think they are just having fun. They may wind up doing something embarrassing, they may feel hungover the next day but they usually go ahead and continue to drink too much. College students rarely connect their heavy drinking with poor grades or problem relationships. Youth is worn like a protective shield. But poor drinking choices in youth have negative consequences that may not show up until later in life.
The increasing trend in elderly binge drinking – especially elderly women – is cause for alarm. It may come as a surprise to some to learn that there are more women than men engaging in binge drinking. Older women may be more susceptible to these behaviors because they often outlive men, meaning they have a higher likelihood of facing loneliness and depression as they age, carrying out the latter years alone without their spouse.
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.
Although data indicates that binge drinking has been a serious issue in the United States for decades, the problem has been getting headlines in recent years due to the alarming number of high school and college aged students who have been killed or seriously injured as a result of the behavior. Colleges, and especially sororities and fraternities, take the brunt of the blame for binge drinking as these institutions often offer newly independent young people opportunities for unlimited drinking with little consequence or law enforcement intervention. However, students are not the only people who binge drink. It has been revealed that adults between the ages of 22 and 35 also engage in this dangerous type of drinking.
Substance abuse clinicians and ophthalmologists alike are warning parents about a new reckless trend that has grown in popularity among young adults throughout the U.S. and the U.K.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest cancers, and researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that heavy drinking may increase men’s chances of developing the disease. Their study found that the amount of alcohol consumed increased a man’s risk of developing pancreatic cancer, compared with men who don’t drink at all or drink very little.
A new study confirms that extreme drinking is a major issue in UK nightlife. Mark Bellis from Liverpool John Moores University and other researchers interviewed and breath-tested 214 people in the city centers of Chester, Liverpool, and Manchester, finding that one in ten people planned to drink more than 40 units of alcohol while out.
While the effects of binge drinking on the body are fairly obvious, less attention is paid to the negative consequences such behavior has on safety, education, freedom, and, more obscurely, the family wallet. Now more than ever, perpetrators of hazing-related drinking tragedies find themselves facing a governmental judicial system, rather than a college or Greek one. Civil juries are being asked to impose a duty on friends of binge drinkers to keep an eye on their buddy, a somewhat novel approach. Parents are being held accountable when incidents occur on their property, in their cars, or during their watch.