Alcohol remains the most popular substance of abuse in the United States. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported in 2015 that 86.4% of adults 18 and over reported alcohol use at some point in their lives.
Of these adults, the survey found that 26.9% of these adults reported binge drinking within the past month. Here we take a look at the dangers of binge drinking.
What is binge drinking?
Binge drinking is defined as deliberately drinking large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism specifically defines it as intentionally drinking until the blood alcohol content reaches at least 0.08 g/dL. This is on average achieved by drinking 4 alcohol drinks in women and 5 alcohol drinks in men. (2)
What are the dangers of binge drinking?
Binge drinking can be extremely dangerous and poses a serious risk for unwanted long-term effects. The following are potential effects of binge drinking (3):
- Alcohol dependence
- Alcohol poisoning
- Memory and learning problems
- Unintentional injuries, such as car crashes, falls, burns, etc
- Chronic diseases, such as stroke, heart disease, liver disease, and high blood pressure
- Violence, such as assault or sexual assault
- Increased risk of cancer of the throat, mouth, breast, colon, esophagus, and liver
Binge drinking and college students
The prevalence of binge drinking on college campuses is a serious problem in the United States. 60% of all college students reported drinking within the past month, with 2 out of 3 reporting having binge drank in that timeframe. This has been associated with several unintended consequences. It is believed that every year students aged 18-24 (4):
- Approximately 1,825 college students die from accidental injuries, including car accidents
- Approximately 696,000 students a year are assaulted by another student who has been drinking
- About 97,000 students are victims of sexual assault or date rape involving alcohol
This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.