What is binge drinking exactly? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s where men drink five or more drinks within about two hours or when women drink about four alcoholic drinks in that period of time. However, it can also mean having that many alcoholic drinks in a single drinking episode.
While one is six adults in the United States has a binge drinking episode about four times a month, according to the CDC, “Binge drinking is most common among younger adults aged 18-34 years.” What’s more, men binge drink about twice that of women, but that’s not a surprise. In general, men imbibe more than their female counterparts.
Binge Drinking and Teenagers
If you’re a parent, there’s a good chance that you binge drank as a teenager. You might have done it once, or on several occasions. Thinking back to when you or your peers drank, you probably recall doing or seeing some careless, if not dangerous things – kids drinking and driving, engaging in risky behavior, having unprotected sex, and using drugs.
Now that you have a teenager of your own, you’re afraid of something bad happening to your son or daughter if they overindulge in alcohol, and your fear is reasonable and justified. It’s a fact, binge drinking is serious. According to the CDC, the risks of binge drinking include but are not limited to:
- Alcohol dependence
- Sexual assault
- Learning problems
- Memory problems
- Alcohol poisoning
- Unintentional injuries
- Suicide and homicide
- Sexually transmitted diseases
In addition to the above, binge drinking also leads to drunk driving crashes, unwanted pregnancies, accidental death, falls and burns. Essentially, as a teenager’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) rises, a lot of things go out the window, such as sound judgement, reasoning, safety, and muscle control.
Once a young person’s BAC has risen above .08%, they continue making poor choices, which can put their health and safety at risk. Should parents be concerned about binge drinking? Absolutely. One of the things that parents can do to address the issue is to fully educate their teens on the effects of binge drinking.