Binge drinking is defined as consuming more than five drinks in a row for men, and four or more drinks for women. It is a serious health concern, especially among teenagers.
Facts About Binge Drinking
- Among teens, frequent binge drinkers are more likely to miss classes and have trouble with schoolwork
- Binge drinkers are at higher risk of injury, including accidents, violence, and unprotected or unwanted sex. So are non-drinkers who live on campuses where binge drinking is common.
- Nearly one in five teens have had "blackouts," times when they could not remember what happened during a binge drinking spell
- About half of college binge drinkers report that they drink and drive
- College students who binge drink seem to be at higher risk of depression, anxiety, and other psychiatric problems
- Drinking too much alcohol in a short period of time can lead to alcohol poisoning, which can be fatal.
Effects of Binge Drinking
Binge drinking leads to impaired judgment and decision-making abilities. Drinking and driving and unsafe sex are results with potentially life-long consequences.
One very dangerous risk of binge drinking is alcohol poisoning. Rapid consumption of large amounts of alcohol can actually shut down vital processes in the body. Signs of alcohol poisoning include:
- Dangerously slow breathing
- Irregular heartbeat
- Bluish or clammy skin
- Unconsciousness or near-stupor
- Inability to protect the airway, which can lead to choking if the person vomits.
If alcohol poisoning occurs, it can cause permanent brain damage and even death. It's vital to get help immediately if alcohol poisoning is suspected.
Repeated binges can be a sign of alcoholism. Take LTK's Am I an Alcoholic survey now to take stock of your current drinking habits.