A FEW WORDS ABOUT BINGE DRINKING
Marcus has known Andre since they were in elementary school together, but lately their friendship has been strained. Andre’s drinking on weekends has turned him into a completely different person. He used to get good grades and play sports, but since he started drinking he hasn't been finishing assignments and he has quit the basketball team. When Marcus saw Andre pound five beers in 30 minutes at two different parties, he realized how serious Dave's problem was.
HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU MEN REGULARLY HAVE FIVE BEERS IN 30 MINUTES? DOES IT HAPPEN EVERY WEEK? EVERY COUPLE OF DAYS? DO YOU REFUSE TO GO PLACES WHERE THERE IS NOT ALCOHOL?
HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU WOMEN HAD 4 BEERS IN 30 MINUTES? DO YOU MAKE SURE YOU KEEP UP WITH EVERYONE WHO IS POUNDING DRINKS? WHY?
THINK ABOUT IT AND KEEP READING…
What Is Binge Drinking?
Binge drinking used to mean drinking heavily over several days. Now, however, the term refers to the heavy consumption of alcohol over a short period of time (just as binge eating means a specific period of uncontrolled overeating).
Today the generally accepted definition of binge drinking in the United States is the consumption of five or more drinks in a row by men — or four or more drinks in a row by women — at least once in the previous 2 weeks. Heavy binge drinking includes three or more such episodes in 2 weeks.
Why Do People Binge Drink?
Liquor stores, bars, and alcoholic beverage companies make drinking seem attractive and fun. It's easy for a high school student to get caught up in a social scene with lots of peer pressure. Inevitably, one of the biggest areas of peer pressure is drinking.
Other reasons why people drink include:
- They're curious — they want to know what it's like to drink alcohol.
- They believe that it will make them feel good, not realizing it could just as easily make them sick and hung-over.
- They may look at alcohol as a way to reduce stress, even though it can end up creating more stress.
- They want to feel older.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Frequent binge drinkers are eight times more likely than non-binge drinkers to miss a class, fall behind in schoolwork, get hurt or injured, and damage property.
- Nearly one out of every five teenagers has experienced “black out” spells where they could not remember what happened the previous evening because of heavy binge drinking. ARE YOU ONE OF THEM?
- More than 60 percent of college men and almost 50 percent of college women who are frequent binge drinkers report that they drink and drive.
- Binge drinking during high school, especially among males almost always means that they will binge drink in college.
- Binge drinking during college has caused a lot of mental health disorders such as compulsiveness, depression or anxiety in students.
- Over 90% of women and 78% of the men who were frequent binge drinkers believed they were moderate or light drinkers.
Consequences of Binge Drinking
Alcohol poisoning – a severe and potentially fatal physical reaction to an alcohol overdose – is the most serious consequence of binge drinking. When excessive amounts of alcohol are consumed, the brain is deprived of oxygen. The struggle to deal with an overdose of alcohol and lack of oxygen will eventually cause the brain to shut down the voluntary functions that regulate breathing and heart rate.
If you drink large quantities of alcohol in a short period of time, symptoms of alcohol poisoning include:
- Cold, clammy, pale, or bluish skin
- Slow or irregular breathing (less than 8 breaths a minute or 10 or more seconds between breaths).
- Almost half of Americans aged 12 or older reported being current drinkers of alcohol in 2001. This translates to an estimated 109 million people.
- The highest rate of both binge and heavy drinking is for young adults aged 18 to 25, with the peak rate occurring at age 21. The rate of binge drinking was 38.7 percent for young adults and 48.2 percent at age 21. Heavy alcohol use was reported by 13.6 percent of persons aged 18 to 25, and by 17.8 percent of persons aged 21.
- Binge and heavy alcohol use rates go down as people age. Binge and heavy drinking were relatively rare among people aged 65 or older.
- More than 35 percent of adults with an alcohol problem developed symptoms—such as binge drinking—by age 19.
- Long-term use risks liver damage, pancreatitis, certain cancers, and literal shrinkage of the brain.
- Alcohol use is the second-leading cause of dementia; one simply ages quicker on alcohol. In 1998, there were 15,935 alcohol-related deaths in vehicular crashes.
- Though most college drinkers would deny it, young people do die solely from drinking. In 1995, 318 people ages 15 to 24 died from alcohol poisoning alone, many of them after a night binge at college. At the University of Virginia, a tradition that has seniors drinking a fifth of hard liquor at the final game of the football season (the so-called "Fourth-year Fifth") has killed 18 students since 1990.
- College presidents agree that binge drinking is the most serious problem on campus
- In schools with high binge drinking rates, 34 percent of non-binge drinkers reported being insulted or humiliated by binge drinkers; 13 percent reported being pushed, hit, or assaulted; 54 percent reported having to take care of a drunken student; 68 percent were interrupted while studying; and 1 out of 4 women experienced an unwanted sexual advance
- Frequent binge drinkers are 21 times more likely than non-binge drinkers to miss classes, fall behind in schoolwork, engage in vandalism, be injured or hurt, engage in unplanned sexual activity, not use protection when having sex, get in trouble with campus police, or drive a car after drinking.
- 1,700 college students die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, most often due to motor vehicle crashes.
- Annually, an estimated 30,000 college students require medical treatment after overdosing on alcohol.
- Every year, 599,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are unintentionally injured under the influence of alcohol, while more than 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.
- 5% of female students reported that they were the victims of a sexual assault, and 3 in 4 of these students were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the rape.
- Annually, 400,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 engage in unprotected sex and more than 100,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report having been too intoxicated to know if they consented to having sex.