Binge Drinking May Be Factor for At Least 79,000 Lives Lost Per Year
Nationally, binge drinking activity is on the rise for teens as young as 14 years old as well as for adults, becoming a more popular and deadly trend than ever before as new energy drinks laden with alcohol hit the markets and are promoted by celebrity endorsements.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strengthens these statistics, including the reality that 15 percent of adults are engaging in binge drinking. Statewide, health departments are looking more closely at the epidemic, uncovering surprising rates of binge drinking among teens. In Texas, State Health Services records show that about 36 percent of teens at age 18 say they binge drink.
Defined as four alcoholic drinks for a male in an hour's time, and three drinks for a female, binge drinking is also a growing problem at colleges and universities. Many teens and young adults will be involved in fatal drunk driving accidents related to binge drinking each year, partly because the physical effects of binge drinking occur so quickly.
Causes of death related to binge drinking also involve alcohol poisoning, falls and drowning, and the behavior is also linked with higher rates of sexual abuse and physical violence. Over the long term, new research suggests that binge drinking lessens a person's ability to learn and remember, and can be especially harmful during the teen and young adult years when the brain is still developing.