With Spring Break here for some students, and right around the corner for others we thought it appropriate to write about binge drinking. Some view it as a right of passage, traveling to a warm destination and partying. Hopefully some of this information can help people make better decisions.
First, what is binge drinking? The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. This typically happens when men consume 5 or more drinks, and when women consume 4 or more drinks, in about 2 hours.
Is binge drinking a problem? Binge drinking is a bigger problem than we thought. Binge drinking is about more than just the number of binge drinkers. The amount and number of times binge drinkers drink are also important to address.
Age group with most binge drinkers: 18-34 year
Age group that binge drinks most often: 65+ years
Income group with most binge drinkers: more than $75,000
Income group that binge drinks the most often and drinks most
per binge: less than $25,000
· Most alcohol-impaired drivers binge drink.
· Most people who binge drink are not alcohol dependent or alcoholics.
· More than half of the alcohol adults drink is while binge drinking.
· More than 90% of the alcohol youth drink is while binge drinking.
Binge drinking costs everyone.
· Drinking too much, including binge drinking, cost $746 per person, or $1.90 a drink, in the
in 2006. These costs include health care expenses, crime, and lost
· Binge drinking cost federal, state, and local governments about 62 cents per drink in 2006, while federal and state income from taxes on alcohol totaled only about 12 cents per drink.
· Drinking too much contributes to over 54 different injuries and diseases, including car crashes, violence, and sexually-transmitted diseases.
· The chance of getting sick and dying from alcohol problems increases significantly for those who binge drink more often and drink more when they do.