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Partying Too Hard? The Dangers Of Binge Drinking (Part 1)

Written by Courteney

Posted on March 16, 2016 at 5:00 pm

There’s nothing wrong with the occasional evening of social drinks among adults, but if your ‘social drinking’ is turning into a few times a week, a dozen-beers-each-night occurrence, it may be time to take a good look at your alcohol habits.

Alcohol Disorders – Binge Drinking Counts

When people think of an alcohol disorder, they picture an alcoholic drinking alone every day, but the definition encompasses much more. While most people who binge drink are not necessarily alcohol dependent, years of binge drinking can have the same effect as an everyday drinker consuming less drinks per sitting.

Binge drinking can be defined as consuming 4 or more drinks in one evening for a woman, or 5 or more drinks a sitting for a man, according to the CDC. Moreover, 14 or more drinks a week for men or 8 or more weekly drinks for women constitutes heavy drinking. The Mayo Clinic states that alcohol disorders are marked by “a pattern of alcohol use that involves problems controlling drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, having to drink more to get the same effect, or having withdrawal symptoms when you suddenly stop or decrease drinking.”

Binge Drinking Statistics

Binge drinking numbers according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Binge drinking is most common among young adults aged 18–34 years
  • Drinkers aged 65 years and older report binge drinking more frequently
  • Binge drinking is more common among those with household incomes of over $75,000
  • People 26 years and older account for 70% of binge drinking episodes
  • Men binge drink 50% more than women
  • Binge drinking episodes account for 90% of all youth alcohol consumption
  • Over 50% of the alcohol consumed in the United States is in binge drinking form
  • One in six U.S. adults binge drink several times monthly

Health Problems Associated With Excessive Long-term Alcohol Intake

Acute repercussions of binging include “hangover” symptoms such as nausea, migraines, vomiting, shaking or memory loss. Binge drinking is linked to many more serious health issues, including:

  • Sexually transmitted illnesses – people’s inhibitions are significantly lowered when heavily intoxicated, which can lead to unprotected intercourse
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder in pregnant women who partake in binge drinking
  • Neurological damage such as chronic numbness
  • Alcohol poisoning or even death if blood-alcohol exceeds safe limits
  • Cardiovascular disease and complications
  • Liver disease and destruction
  • Gastrointestinal disorders such as ulcers or inflammatory bowel issues
  • Early onset erectile dysfunction
  • Increased risk of cancers of the mouth, larynx, oesophagus, liver, colon, rectum or breast

Other Dangers Associated With Alcohol Abuse

Even though we are all aware of the dangers of drinking and driving this day in age, somehow people are still doing it. Despite the countless tragic stories we see on the news of an innocent child or family killed by a drunk driver, people make poor decisions when they are under the influence. Other issues binge drinking can lead to are accidental injuries such as falling and becoming paralyzed, or intended injury upon others such as an assault that takes place due to lack of judgment, unprotected or unwanted sex, or unintentional pregnancy.

Thanks for visiting DocChat! Check out Part 2 next to read about questions to ask the doctor and available treatment options for alcohol problems!

 

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