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What is Binge Drinking?

Binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks in two hours for men and four or more drinks in two hours for women. While this may seem normal, especially for young adults and college students, it can be incredibly damaging to one’s physical and mental health. Binge drinking can easily lead to alcoholism and physical dependence, as well as alcohol poisoning and a host of other negative and potentially fatal side effects.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “about 90% of the alcohol consumed by youth under the age of 21 in the United States is in the form of binge drinks.” While drinking while young is often seen as a rite of passage for many young Americans, it can easily be a stepping stone toward developing alcoholism. Researchers at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, in a 2016 article entitled The Dangers, Risks of Binge Drinking, found that 1,825 college students ages 18-24 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries. According to the report, “About 20 percent of college students meet the criteria for an alcohol use disorder,” and 25% of college students report facing “adverse academic consequences from drinking, including missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall.”

For teenage girls who binge drink, the problems may be far worse. In a 2018 Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs article entitled Bone Mass May Suffer When Teenage Girls Drink, researchers found that “ those who regularly binge drank in high school had lower bone mass in the spine. That was true even when researchers accounted for other factors that affect bone density — such as exercise, nutrition and smoking habits.” They also found that heavy drinking early in life could explain lower bone mass and higher fracture risk among older adults. Studies on animals found that alcohol can actually keep young bones from developing properly.

Binge drinking is quickly becoming a major problem in America. According to Kimberly Kindy and Dan Keating in a 2016 Washington Post article entitled For Women, Heavy Drinking Has Been Normalized. That’s Dangerous, “In 2013, more than a million women of all races wound up in emergency rooms as a result of heavy drinking, with women in middle age most likely to suffer severe intoxication.” Binge drinking can easily cause alcohol poisoning, with symptoms including confusion, vomiting, seizures, slow breathing, irregular breathing, and hypothermia.

Your life doesn’t have to be held back by the chains of addiction. You can make the courageous decision to seek help today and begin building a life of happiness, joyousness, and freedom. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, brings together behavior health and addiction specialist, spiritual guides, and holistic experts to help clients heal from the damages of addiction and alcoholism. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431