College students love to party. They are finally free from their parents’ watchful eyes and take advantage. Still, they don’t deserve the brunt of the blame when condemning binge drinking – as select high schoolers, young adults, and some older adults also love to toss back drinks in a quick and plentiful fashion.
Binge drinking is defined as five for men or four drinks for women in two hours. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cites that one in six American adults binge drinks about four times each month. While binge drinking is highly prevalent among people ages 18-35, over 50% of the total binge drinks consumed are drunk by those 35 years and older.
The eye-opening figures of binge drinking break down like this:
- Four out of five binge drinks are drunk by men
- Binge drinking is most common among individuals from households who make $75,000 or more – or those who attend college
- When binge drinking, those in lower-income levels consume a more significant amount of drinks
- Over 90% of Americans who overindulge on alcohol likely binge drank within the past 30 days
The possible health risks and external consequences associated with binge drinking are far-reaching and include:
- Vehicle crash injuries and fatalities
- Alcohol poisoning
- A potential rise in violence against self and others (homicide, sexual assault, suicide, self-harm, domestic violence)
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s)
- For pregnant women: Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASDs) and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and liver disease or failure
- Multiple kinds of cancer, including mouth, throat, breast, liver, colon and esophagus cancer
- Memory and learning development issues
- Alcohol addiction
As adults of legal drinking age, having a few drinks now and again is not the problem. When drinking becomes increasingly consistent, and drinkers consume in large amounts is when present and long-term effects can have damaging results.