What to Know About Binge Drinking
Binge drinking is encouraged
through the “party culture” that is
pervasive in many colleges and universities.
Alcohol use disorder may come as a result of continued alcohol abuse. For some people, it may be caused by social drinking. But one sure-fire way to develop a problem with alcohol is by binge drinking. This deadly form of alcohol consumption is unfortunately very common, especially among college drinkers.
Four out of five college students in the US drink alcohol—and nearly half of all college drinkers are binge drinkers. This is partly due to the fact that drinking at college is often glorified in pop culture, particularly in movies and music.
Binge drinking is encouraged through the “party culture” that is pervasive in many colleges and universities. In this environment, students are more likely to engage in unhealthy drinking habits. They assume it is a normal part of the college experience. What they don’t realize is that excessive drinking can lead to severe health and safety risks, as well as the possibility of addiction.
Binge drinking can lead to severe consequences such as injury, assault, arrest, academic issues, and even death because of overdose.
Binge Drinking: Facts and Statistics
Binge drinking is defined as excessive alcohol intake over a short amount of time. In order to be considered a “binge,” the drinker’s blood alcohol concentration or BAC should reach or exceed 0.08 grams per 100 grams of blood.
This BAC is usually reached when a man consumes five or more drinks or a woman consumes four or more drinks over the course of about two hours.
Approximately two out of every five college students of all ages reported binge drinking at least once in the two weeks prior to the survey conducted by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). That is more than 40 percent of all college students.
While college students may claim that they are only trying to have a good time, patterns of excessive drinking can lead to devastating consequences.
In fact, about 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 to 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, according to the NIAAA. More than 690,000 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.
Furthermore, nearly 600,000 receive unintentional injuries while under the influence of alcohol. About 25 percent of college students within this age group report academic consequences related to binge drinking, including missing class, doing poorly on exams, falling behind, and receiving lower grades overall.
The negative effects of excessive drinking are as serious as they are widespread. More than 150,000 college students who engaged in binge drinking developed an alcohol-related health problem.
Between 1.2 and 1.5 percent reported that they tried to commit suicide within the past year due to drinking or drug use.
Reasons for Binge Drinking
While the most common reason for binge drinking is just “trying to have a good time,” other people have different reasons. Among college students, it is common to try binge drinking to try and fit in amongst their peers. Some of them try binge drinking as a way to ignore or forget about underlying problems.
Many people say they drink because they are struggling with loneliness, stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues. When these feelings deepen, depression can set in. Binge drinking can be particularly damaging to college students struggling with these mental health problems because excessive drinking will only worsen these feelings, leading to cyclical drinking behavior.
If someone in the family is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it is important to seek help. A combination of medical detox and behavioral therapy can go a long way in the fight against drug abuse. But because every individual is affected by addiction differently, a comprehensive program tailored to their specific needs is necessary. Look for a nearby addiction treatment facility today and find out how drug treatment programs work.
Rehab is Your Best Chance
Treatment is an addicted individualʼs best option if they want to recover. Beating an addiction not only requires eliminating physical dependence but also addressing the behavioral factors that prevent them from wanting to get better. Simply quitting may not change the psychological aspect of addiction. Some people quit for a while, and then take alcohol again, only to overdose because they did not detox properly. Recovery involves changing the way the patient feels, thinks, and behaves.