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Family Guidance Blog

Binge Drinking an Early Problem in Many Young Adults’ College Careers

It is Important for Parents to Talk With College Freshman About Risks Associated With Binge Drinking

binge drinkingMost colleges around the country have been in session for over a month. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the first month and a half of a students first year at college is the time when they are most likely to engage in binge drinking.

Binge drinking is defined as four or more consecutive drinks for a female and five or more consecutive drinks for a male. National surveys reveal that 60 percent of 18-22 year olds in college have consumed alcohol within the past month and 40 percent admit binging. The legal age for drinking remains 21. It’s important to note that these results are among college students since studies show that kids in post-secondary education are more likely to drink and drive and binge drink compared to non-college young adults of the same age.

Freshmen in their first six weeks of college face a great risk for binge drinking and many alcohol-related issues. When these young people abuse alcohol they are also more apt to be injured, assaulted and be the victim of sexual assault or rape. Each year 1,825 college kids (ages 18-24) die in an alcohol-related car crashes. Another 599,000 are injured due to drinking and 97,000 are sexually assaulted after drinking.

On the positive side, just because you’ve sent a son or daughter off to their freshman year of college, these risks don’t have to involve your child. Research shows that one of the greatest protections against alcohol abuse is parents who talk with their children about the risks of alcohol. If you would like some facts about young people, alcohol and binge drinking, we can help. Stop by Family Guidance Center and we can give you the information you need to help protect your child against binge drinking.

Binge Drinking During Business Trips: What’s the Connection?

Binge drinking can occur in a variety of situations, both at home and away. A recent survey conducted through On Call International reported that while employees are off on a business trip, some may have a higher tendency than normal to engage in binge drinking.

The survey questioned 1,000 plus people who travel for work to find out how they behave when away. Nearly a third (27 percent) said that they binged on alcohol when off on business travel. Binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women in a two hour period. The majority (17 percent) said they had binged only one time or rarely while 2.2 percent reported binge drinking every time.

Binge drinking is not only dangerous in itself, but it also often contributes to other unhealthy choices. For example, 11 percent of people surveyed said they had had risky sexual behavior as a result of binge drinking. The chances of unplanned pregnancy or contracting an STD increase significantly in this scenario. Binge drinking also increases a person’s likelihood of becoming involved in violent behavior. Three percent of respondents in the survey said they had had run-ins with the police while on a business trip.

The risks involved with binge drinking can be far reaching — including an increased likelihood of developing alcohol dependence or addiction, or an increase in frequency of binge drinking episodes that leads to poor performance at work or at home.

Many people try to hide their level of alcohol consumption and binge drinking behaviors. Of those surveyed, eight percent said they had lied to their employer about what had gone on during their trip. If your alcohol consumption is leading you to make unhealthy choices, or if you find yourself making attempt to conceal information drinking, it is time to talk with someone about moving forward. Call Family Guidance Center. We understand and we can help.

Binge Drinking Produces Immediate and Long-Term Consequences

Alcoholism 7Binge drinking is defined in America as four or more consecutive drinks for a woman and five or more drinks for a man on a single occasion. It is unhealthy and produces many negative outcomes – some in the short-term and others more long range.

Short-term Consequences
Perhaps the most common consequence of binge drinking is the next day’s hangover. Feeling nauseated, tired and suffering a headache after a night of drinking may seem like a small price to pay – but it’s the body’s way to letting you know that it has been poisoned. You may vomit for the same reason.

Longer-term Consequences
People who start out binging on the weekends often see their drinking start to bleed over in their weekdays too. Around 25 percent of those who begin by binge drinking go on to develop a regular drinking habit. When that happens, alcohol starts to affect work, school, relationships and health, including fertility among both men and women.

Alcohol affects the brain both short-term and long-term. In the short-term, drinking affects a person’s ability to speak and behave normally. It also makes them less inhibited and less capable of making sound judgments. Car accidents, risky sex, altercations and injuries are the short-term consequences of impeding the brain with alcohol. Over longer amounts of time drinking can lead to depression which can, in turn, drive further drinking.

And, most people are aware that long-term drinking can do serious and irreparable harm to the liver – the organ chiefly responsible for filtering alcohol. Cancers and other chronic illnesses are also related to long-term drinking.

Binge drinking is most often practiced by young men, but not by them exclusively. And, it can quickly become a more static problem. Just one episode of binge drinking can cause deadly alcohol poisoning which is another way to say you can die from an overdose of alcohol. If you or someone near you is consuming too much alcohol weekend after weekend, it’s time to get help. Family Guidance can offer that help. Call today.

How to Tell When Binge Drinking is Turning Into Alcoholism

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 38 million Americans misuse or abuse alcohol. One out of every six Americans binges regularly. Heavy drinking accounts for more than 80,000 deaths per year and is the number three cause of preventable fatalities. So how can a person know if they are on a downward slope toward alcoholism?  There are some warning signs alongGet-Help-Now2 the way.

1. You are Drinking Heavily Every Weekend
If you have several drinks in a row every weekend, it could be a warning sign of an alcohol addiction. Binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women in a single episode. If this describes your weekly drinking, take inventory.

2. You Drink More Than You Plan to Drink
If you go out with co-workers expecting just to have one or two glasses of wine but wind up drinking more every time, it could signal an addiction. Try keeping tabs on your alcohol consumption. Write down exactly how many drinks you have per night, per week and per month.

3. Your Drinking is Filled with Memory Gaps
If you find that you forget portions of your evening of drinking it’s a red flag. Binge drinking affects memory.

4. Drinking Becomes More Important Than Your Responsibilities
If your drinking affects your job responsibilities, taking care of your family or other responsibilities then your drinking is out of balance. Alcohol addiction doesn’t happen overnight.

5.  People Around You Voice Concern
Ask yourself if you would be willing to let someone else assess your drinking levels. If not, why not? Would you be willing to allow a loved one to set your drinking limit? Again, if not, why not? When people around you mention concern or you avoid hearing their concern there is a possibility that casual drinking may be moving toward the direction of alcohol dependence or addiction.

If any of these symptoms sound familiar, you can get help. Contact the professionals at Family Guidance today.