Binge drinking is a behavior that, while often socially acceptable, has significant short-term and long-term consequences. This overview will cover a variety of facts about binge drinking and the effects it has on people and society. A brief quiz will follow to test your understanding of this subject.
Definition of Binge Drinking
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.
08% or above. BAC is a way to measure how much alcohol is in a person’s bloodstream, and how that alcohol may impact them mentally and physically.When men consume 5 or more drinks, and when women consume 4 or more drinks, in about two hours their blood alcohol concentrations could reach .08% or higher. This BAC could impair a person’s ability to drive, and higher concentrations could lead to other problems including social conflicts, injuries or death.
Binge Drinking Facts
Below are statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that highlight the impact of binge drinking:
- One out of six U.S. adults binge drinks about four times a month and consumes about eight drinks per binge.
- Although college students commonly binge drink, 70% of binge drinking episodes involve adults older than 25.
- Men are twice as likely to binge drink than women.
- Binge drinkers are 14 times more likely to drive while drunk than non-binge drinkers.
- More than 50% the alcohol consumed in the U.S.
by adults is in the form of binge drinks.
- Drinking to excess cost the United States $223.5 billion in 2006 from losses in productivity, health care, crime, and other expenses.
Effects of Binge Drinking
Below are some of the ways binge drinking effects individuals and society:
- Injuries – Binge drinking leads to a variety of intentional and unintentional injuries including domestic violence, car crashes and drowning.
- Disease – Individuals who binge drink are more likely to acquire sexually transmitted diseases, weakened immune systems and several forms of cancer.
- Pregnancies ; Children – Binge drinking can lead to unintended pregnancies and if binge drinking continues during the pregnancy, children may be born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, a condition marked by impaired cognitive and physical development.
- Physical Limitations – Individuals who binge drink can experience liver disease, neurological damage, and sexual dysfunction.
A variety of solutions to address binge drinking have been considered, including tax increases, limitations on alcohol availability and improved law enforcement.
Binge drinking can cause a variety of problems for individuals and society. This behavior is costly both in terms of money and health.Medical Disclaimer: The information on this site is for your information only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.