10 Facts About Binge Drinking

binge drinkingToday on Rethink the Drink, we want to inform you about the dangerous effects of binge drinking. As you can see to the left, binge drinking is defined as having 4 or more drinks in one sitting (for women) and 5 or more drinks in one sitting (for men). Binge drinking is common among minors and adults alike. Many people unintentionally binge drink when they are “having a good time” and keep imbibing well past the level of health and safety. Below, you’ll find 10 facts about binge drinking. We hope that the next time you have the opportunity to drink, you’ll be wise and make a smarter choice. You can do it! Rethink the drink!

1) Binge drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning (a sometimes fatal health condition that results from drinking too much in a short time).

2) Binge drinking can lead to minor and major accidental injuries from falls, burns, vehicle crashes, and more. 

3) Binge drinking can lead to violence in social situations when people lose their inhibitions and get into altercations. 

4) Binge drinking can lead to unintended sexual consequences such as rape, unintended pregnancy, and sexually transmitted disease. 

5) Frequent binge drinking can lead to liver disease, high blood pressure, strokes, and other health problems. 

6) Though anyone can fall into the trap of binge drinking, it is most common among young people aged 18-22. 

7) 35% of college students admit to binge drinking (according to a study conducted by University of Michigan). 

8) Binge drinking is not the same as alcohol dependence. Many people who engage in binge drinking do so “for fun”, but do not realize the dangerous consequences. 

9) Males are twice as likely to engage in binge drinking. 

10) Alcohol is the third leading cause of death in the 15-24 age group. 

As you can see from the facts listed above, you can see the disastrous consequences of binge drinking. Avoid these scary situations and protect yourself. Rethink the drink.

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Sources:

>> http://www.the-alcoholism-guide.org/binge-drinking-statistics.html

>> http://responsibility.org/binge-drinking/statistics

>> http://www.learn-about-alcoholism.com/binge-drinking-statistics.html

>> http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/binge-drinking.htm

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The Effects of Alcohol on a Teenage Brain

It is fairly common knowledge that alcohol has an effect on a person’s behavior. After 1 to several drinks, your speech might be slurred, you might feel sleepy, your face may become flushed…Clearly alcohol is affecting your body in some way. For adults who drink casually (1 or 2 drinks socially every now and then) these behavioral and bodily effects may not be a problem long-term. However, for those who binge drink or who drink heavily often, alcohol can have a direct effect on the brain and its development–especially in growing brains, namely the brains of teens, children, and babies whose mothers drank heavily while pregnant. The human brain continues to actively develop through the a person’s early 20s. Continued, heavy alcohol abuse throughout pregnancy or childhood and teenage years can actively impair proper brain development.

The Effects of Alcohol on a Teenage Brain:

>> Long-term averse effects on motor skills, memory, coordination, learning ability, and thinking

>> Impaired equilibrium and coordination which can increase the chances of risky behavior that could result in death (namely, driving while under the influence)

>> Potential inhibition of the brain’s ability to completely generate cells in its normal renewal processes

>> Chance of blackouts

>> Because the brain’s impulse control systems become used to alcohol intake, there is an increased risk of developing alcoholism more quickly in life with continued heavy drinking

You might be thinking as a teen, “Well, I’ll just keep my alcohol consumption low. One to two drinks on the weekends won’t hurt, right?” It just may. MADD.org stresses that “teens who drink half as much as adults” can still develop the negative effects listed above.

Next time you’re considering drinking at a party or indulging alone, think about what the alcohol is potentially doing to your developing brain and body!

Sources:

>> National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

>> The Effects of Alcohol on a Teen’s Body

>> Some Negative Effects of Alcohol on Brain Function

>> MADD: Alcohol and the Teen Brain