Consuming alcohol through Binge Drinking is more prevalent than you may think. Today alcohol is the most frequently used and most commonly abused substance in the United States. The consumption of alcohol varies from state to state but it's a substance that's led to devastating consequences for millions of people and their families.
A pattern of alcohol consumption that's prevalent among many young people as well as young and older adults is referred to as 'binge drinking' and it's much more widespread than once thought.
It's unreal to think that there are more than 38 million adults binge drinking in the United States around 4 times each month, and that 8 drinks per binge could be the average amount of alcohol some people are consuming. I use to think that binge drinking was associated with a person drinking heavily for a few days or more and understood why this could be risky and possibly dangerous. In the past, a lot of people thought most binge drinkers were also alcohol dependent, but this isn't true either.
Now we know that binge drinking is described as consuming 5 or more drinks in a row for men (within a couple of hours) and 4 or more drinks consumed in a row for women (within a couple of hours). According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, binge drinking is a pattern of alcohol consumption within around 2 hours that brings an individual's blood alcohol concentration up to 0.08 percent or above.
More than half of the alcohol consumed in the United States by adults is consumed by binge drinking. Binge drinking is a very serious pattern of alcohol consumption that's not only common among adults, but is also common among a lot of young people today. It's estimated that there are approximately 1.5 billion episodes of binge drinking in the United States every year. Dangerous behavior is fueled by binge drinking, did you know that binge drinkers are fourteen times more likely to report driving drunk than non-binge drinkers? Eighty eight percent of impaired driving events are caused by binge drinkers.
I think most people would be surprised if they knew that more than ninety percent of the alcohol consumed by youth is done by binge drinking in the U.S. We hear so much about college students and young adult's binge drinking lately but underage drinking among adolescents is a growing problem in this country too. The younger a person is when they start drinking the more likely they are to have a problem with alcohol in the future. Young people who start drinking before they're fifteen years old have a 5 times greater chance of abusing alcohol or developing alcohol dependence later on in life.
Alcohol dependence isn't the only thing a person has to worry about when it comes to alcohol consumption. There are other very serious problems associated with the use of alcohol by binge drinking too.
- Alcohol poisoning
- Liver disease
- High blood pressure
- Other cardiovascular diseases
- Vehicle accidents
- Firearm injuries
- Sexual assault
- Domestic violence
- Unintended pregnancy
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
- Neurological damage
- Sexual dysfunction
- Poor control of diabetes