Alcoholism binge drinking is a behavior characterized by consuming large amounts of alcohol within a very short time period with the primary intention of getting intoxicated. A person is believed to be bringing if heavy drinking is followed by the neglect of responsibilities and reckless behavior.
At present, health experts have yet to establish the amount of alcohol that will constitute alcohol binge drinking. However, based on the 5/4 definition, a male individual is said to be on a binge if he consumes five drinks while a female individual's consumption is four drinks in one hour. In terms of blood-alcohol concentration, you can be guilty of bringing if your BAC is at 0.08%.
Effects on Health
Primarily, alcohol binge drinking affects the nervous system, particularly one's learning and memory. A study, conducted at Duke University, revealed that rats who were given large amounts of alcohol suffered from memory loss. Additionally, it was found that the neurotoxic effects of alcohol are more pronounced in the adolescent brain than adult brains. In separate research, it was also found that those who binge on alcohol are more likely to become alcoholics.
Obviously, if one started binge drinking at an early age, there will be long-term damage to the bladder, kidneys, and heart. In fact, the risk of bladder rupture is high, which could lead to sepsis or blood poisoning. Furthermore, binge drinkers are at risk of developing high blood pressure and suffering from a stroke.
Other health risks of alcohol binge drinking include alcohol poisoning, choking, unintended pregnancy, liver disease, and injuries (both intentional and unintentional) due to fights, vehicular accidents, and falls.
Prevalence in Canada and the US
Based on surveys conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 92 percent of adults in the United States have binged in the last 30 days; 72 percent of binge drinkers are 25 years old and above; men are twice more likely to binge than women; 90 percent of drinkers below 21 years old binge; 75 percent of adult drinkers binge; and binge drinking is highest among individuals aged 18 to 20 years old.
On the other hand, data from Canada showed statistics that are similar to that of the US. In a 2001 survey, it was found that 29 percent of binge drinkers are between the age of 15 and 19 years old and 37 percent are between the age of 20 and 24 years old. More Canadians engage in heavy drinking until the age of 19 years old, while more Americans do so after this age.
Surprisingly, sometimes those who engage in binge drinking do not turn out to be alcoholics. Still, it would be better for your health if you drink alcohol in moderation and avoid situations that would encourage you to drink heavily.
Certain policies are actually designed as interventions and are being implemented to prevent alcohol binge drinking. They include the high cost of alcohol and excise taxes, fewer numbers of retail outlets that sell alcohol, and strict enforcement of federal laws against alcohol-impaired driving and underage drinking.