Understanding the Dangers of Binge Drinking, Alcohol Addiction and Poisoning

Understanding the Dangers of Binge Drinking, Alcohol Addiction and Poisoning

Many people are innocently setting themselves up for a tragic outcome due to alcohol abuse, binge drinking and possible alcohol poisoning and don’t even realize it. Many times what seems to be innocent and under control is actually an alcohol tragedy waiting to happen.

Imagine being the parents, loved one or friend of a teenage boy or girl or a young adult taking off for college getting ready to explore a new world, expand their education and someday graduate and start a whole new life. There’s a lifetime of dreams and possibilities just waiting to be explored and experienced.

The last thing you would want to hear is that your loved one or friend was hospitalized and possibly hanging onto life or worse yet, diseased. Unfortunately, this has happened many times to parents, family and friends. It could have been avoided, was definitely preventable but now a reality.

There have been so many tragedies associated with Alcoholism, Binge Drinking, drinking games and Alcohol Poisoning. Most people don’t understand the seriousness and dangers associated with this kind of drinking behavior. Alcohol poisoning roughly affects fifty thousand people a year. Weekly people actually die from this senseless act. On a global scale, alcohol causes 3.2 percent of all deaths or 1.8 million deaths annually according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The percentage of deaths due to alcohol poisoning is quite high.

The definition of binge drinking today means to consume large quantities of alcohol in a short period of time, most of which is done socially. Typically this would mean about 5 or more drinks for a man one right after the other, or for a woman 4 or more drinks. This type of drinking is usually done within a very short period of time, about a 2 hour time frame. Binging like this sometimes lasts all day, night and sometimes throughout a weekend.

Abusing alcohol on college campuses is very common today. Hazing that involves alcohol, binge drinking socially and at parties, and hanging out at the local pub are very common ways to socialize when attending college for many people. This type of drinking behavior has gotten a lot of media attention in the past due to the alcohol abuse and alcoholic tragedies that follow some of their social activities. Alcohol related injuries and death never entered their minds before-hand I’m sure.

Drinking games are quite popular among teens and young people today. Depending on the game played, alcohol is consumed very fast. Many people play these drinking games with hard alcohol and they ingest enough of it in a short period of time that they become dangerously sick. Sometimes, before the players have had enough time to show physical signs of being intoxicated and drunk, they have consumed lethal amounts of alcohol.

What many people fail to realize though is that this much alcohol entering the bloodstream in such a short period of time can be fatal. Unfortunately, this has been the case for many people. Alcohol poisoning according to the National Institute of Health contributes to 1,300 deaths a year in the United States if not more. Often times the cause of death is asphyxiation, heart attack or chocking on their own vomit. This is such a sad senseless end and to a person’s life. Binge drinking isn’t the only cause of alcohol poisoning but it’s definitely the most common.

Young people as well as adults are just abusing alcohol and drinking themselves to death. Most people don’t even understand this until it actually happens to someone they know. There are also those that refuse to believe this could happen to them even after a friend or someone they know and care about has tragically lost their life to alcohol abuse, because as they say ‘">I’m good, I got it under control’.

Binge drinking may start out somewhat innocently, but this type of drinking also turns into and alcohol dependency for many individuals. Alcohol addiction and abuse has been the end result for many people who just innocently enjoyed drinking games frequently with friends or just hanging out socially binge drinking. Many times this leads to a drinking problem when even alone by them self.

Alcohol poisoning is the most serious result of binge drinking. When excessive amounts of alcohol are consumed, the brain is deprived of oxygen. When an individual struggles with an overdose of alcohol, the lack of oxygen causes the part of the brain that regulates breathing and heart rate to shut down. When this happens, the symptoms of alcohol poisoning will include:

  • Vomiting
  • Unconsciousness
  • Cold, clammy, pale or bluish skin
  • Irregular slowed breathing (less than 8 breaths a minute or 10 or more seconds between breaths)

I understand that most young people and adults feel this will never happen to them, it only happens to weak or irresponsible people. You feel you’ve got it ‘under control’ and you ‘know your limits when it comes to alcohol consumption’. I’m quite sure that if you could talk to those individuals now who tragically lost their lives to alcohol poisoning, driving while intoxicated or caused someone else to lose their life due to their irresponsible use of alcohol they would say “I thought I did”.

Websites used for this blog
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Alcohol and Drug Information
Binge Drinking http://www.intelihealth.com

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