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Effects And Dangers Of Binge Drinking And Alcoholism

Binge drinking definitions are many but the one stated by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as a definite drinking pattern which brings a person’s alcohol concentration in the blood to 0.08 gm % or above. This is typically seen when a woman consumes four or more drinks and a man consumes five or more drinks in a short period of time (less than 2 hours). In simple words binge drinking is heavy alcohol consumption in a short period of time (like binge eating where a person eats a lot of food within a short span of time). Remember that most binge drinkers are not always alcohol dependent.  They binge drink mostly due to peer pressure, out of curiosity, just for fun, to feel good, to reduce stress or to feel older.

Binge Drinking Facts And Effects:

Binge Drinking Facts

Although binge drinking is commonly found in teens and college students, about 70 percent of binge drinking episodes are reported among individuals over 25 years of age.

According to binge drinking statistics, the prevalence of binge drinking among men is twice as high as among women.
Around 90 percent of alcohol consumption among youngsters under the age of 21 and 75 percent of alcohol consumption among adults are in the form of binge drinking.

Effects Of Binge Drinking:

Binge drinking is related to many health problems that include –
  • Severely impaired judgment that can lead to unintentional injury like falls, car crashes, burning or drowning
  • Intentional injury like domestic abuse or sexual assault
  • Alcohol poisoning, this can even lead to binge drinking deaths as a person with alcohol poisoning can choke himself to his own vomit.
  • Some signs of alcohol poisoning include vomiting, seizures, extreme confusion, inability to be awakened, low body temperature, irregular or slow breathing and pale or bluish skin
  • Liver diseases
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Poor blood glucose control
  • Hypertension, stroke or cardiovascular diseases
  • Children born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
Dangers of binge drinking are just not limited to the above health problems; binge drinking over a period of time can not only lead to physical and mental health damage but also to alcoholism and alcohol dependence.

Some interventions that can be taken to prevent binge drinking include increasing awareness –especially among teenagers and counseling to prevent binge drinking caused by emotional distress. Strict laws against drinking and driving are also necessary to prevent drink driving which can cause accidents. 
Submitted on January 16, 2014