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Dangers of Binge Drinking

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Dangers of Binge Drinking

Binge drinking has become a growing problem in several sectors of society.  College students to baby boomers are suffering the consequences of this trending form of alcohol consumption. While binge drinking has become an expected and popular recreational activity for young adults, a recent study indicated that this pattern of drinking has been steadily increasing for people 50 to 64 years of age as well.    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define binge drinking as a pattern of alcohol consumption that quickly bring blood-alcohol concentration levels up to 0.08 or more. The average male is considered to be binge drinking if they consume five or more drinks within a two-hour window and four or more drinks in the same time frame represent binge drinking for females.  Unfortunately, the biological makeup of women significantly increases the risk for oxidative stress, DNA damage, cancer, neurological impairment and alcoholism when they binge drink.  And so, although the dangers of binge drinking are present for men they can be deadly for women and have more long term repercussions for themselves and their children.

In general, the dangers of binge drinking include:

  • Increased risk of alcohol poisoning in both men and women.  Drinking too much alcohol too quickly can cause a rapid breakdown of the body’s systems, and lead to toxic overload and death. Teenagers who are not accustomed to consuming large quantities of alcohol are at greater danger of experiencing alcohol poisoning.
  • It is not uncommon for binge drinkers to black out or to vomit and accidentally inhale puke into their lungs. This can lead to asphyxiation which is the inability to breathe that leads to sudden death.
  • Survivors of alcohol poisoning are at risk of experiencing irreversible brain damage.
  • More fatal vehicular accidents occur as a result of binge drinking. According to the CDC, binge drinking is a primary factor in the more than 11,000 deaths that occur annually from alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes.
  • Rapid build-up of tolerance levels for alcohol that leads to alcohol dependence and alcoholism.
  • Alcohol related illnesses such as high blood pressure, stroke, liver and cardiovascular disease to name a few.
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome caused from consuming alcohol during pregnancy.
  • Exacerbation of health conditions and increased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and dementia for people 50 years of age and older.
  • More falling accidents and injuries.

The evidence-based interventions offered at alcohol rehab facilities help people that are engaging in regular binge drinking to stop the progression to alcoholism and reduce the risks associated with this activity. Treatment entails a complete diagnostic evaluation to determine the physical and psychological status of the patient and to identify any underlying mental disorders that may be contributing to this behavior.  A customized, comprehensive care program help binge drinkers to recover in an environment that is not conducive to resuming dangerous drinking habits.   If you have had one or more episodes of binge drinking and have suffered some of the consequences of this behavior, it may be helpful to talk to an alcohol use disorder specialist to find out how they can help.  All it takes is one binge drinking event to cause serious health issues and even death.

Sources:

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