Tag: dangers of binge drinking

Is Binge Drinking Deadlier Than Illegal Drugs?

The Truth about Binge Drinking

In A Few Good Men, Jack Nicholson famously proclaims, “You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!” Well, it seems most people can’t handle the truth about binge drinking.

binge drinking facts

Often dismissed as “just a phase,” or “all young people drink like that,” the dangers of binge drinking are conveniently swept under the rug. Well, I’d like to shed some light on the deadly phenomenon of binge drinking.

There’s a world of misunderstanding surrounding binge drinking facts, statistics, and binge drinking effects. The first step to fighting the ignorance surrounding binge drinking is to learn real binge drinking facts.

Binge drinking is defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism as a pattern of drinking which raises an individual’s blood alcohol concentration to .08. This takes, on average, four drinks for women and five drinks for men.

Of course, factors like weight, how quickly the drinks are consumed, and how much someone’s had to eat all play a part. Still, four drinks for women and five drinks for men is the agreed upon threshold for what constitutes binge drinking.

Before we go any further, let’s look at some true binge drinking facts.

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Binge Drinking Facts

Find six binge drinking facts below:

• Binge drinking occurs most frequency among those in the eighteen to thirty-four year old age bracket.

• However, those sixty-five and older report binge drinking more often – an alarming five to six times per month.

• Despite common belief otherwise, most of those who engage in binge drinking are not considered alcoholics.

• The term “extreme drinking” is a form of binge drinking in which an individual has ten or more drinks in a two to three hour period.

• Heavy binge drinking produces symptoms similar to those seen in Korsakoff’s syndrome, also known as wet brain.

• During pregnancy, short-term binge drinking is more damaging to the fetus than average, extended alcohol use.

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Binge Drinking Statistics

Find five binge drinking statistics below:

• Approximately 90% of the alcohol consumed by those under twenty-one is consumed while binge drinking.

• One in six individuals who engage in binge drinking do so, on average, four times per month. During these binges, they consumer approximately eight drinks.

• While binge drinking is thought to occur only in colleges, 70% of binge drinking episodes involve individuals twenty-six years and older.

• Over 50% of the alcohol consumed in the Unite States is in the form of binge drinks.

• Of excessive drinkers, 92% admit to binge drinking during the past month.

Now that we’ve looked at some realistic, and frankly some concerning, binge drinking statistics, let’s turn our attention to binge drinking effects.

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Binge Drinking Effects

The effects of binge drinking vary in range from mild to life threatening. One thing we can all agree on is that binge drinking brings with it a host of unintended side effects.

binge drinking statistics

It’s worth noting that several of these binge drinking effects are similar in nature to binge drinking statistics. However, these statistics examine the cost of binge drinking, rather than simply its prevalence.

• Binge drinking is a significant risk factor for suicide.

• Men who have over thirty-five drinks per week often report being physically hurt due to their alcohol consumption.

• 15% of men who have more than thirty-five drinks per week report physically hurting others as a result of their alcohol consumption.

• Approximately 16% of individuals who binge drink report being sexually taken advantage of.

• Approximately 8% of individuals who binge drink report sexually abusing someone else as a result of alcohol.

• Domestic binge drinking effects include: increased odds of divorce, domestic or spousal abuse, and increased stress.

• Health binge drinking effects include: atypical cardiac rhythm, heart disease, increased blood pressure, decreased white blood cell activity, and decreased reproductive hormones for both men and women.

What YOU Can Do to Help Someone With Alcohol Poisoning

What is Alcohol Poisoning?

When talking about binge drinking, heavy drinking, alcoholism, or really anything that involves booze, the phrase alcohol poisoning gets thrown around. It’s become a sort of catchall term to refer to an individual who’s very drunk. Unfortunately, this isn’t what alcohol poisoning really is.

Alcohol Poisoning Symptoms

Alcohol poisoning, also known as acute alcohol poisoning, is when an individual’s blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds a certain level. Although there’s no agreed upon cutoff, it’s generally around .30% BAC that potentially fatal alcohol poisoning symptoms begin to occur.

Acute alcohol poisoning occurs because the liver can only metabolize around one drink of alcohol per hour. All subsequent drinks aren’t processed by the liver and end up directly in the bloodstream.

It’s for this reason that alcohol poisoning is linked directly to binge drinking. Now, before we go any further, let’s look at common acute alcohol poisoning symptoms. After all, we need to be able to tell if someone’s consumed too much liquor before we’re able to offer any alcohol poisoning treatments.

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Alcohol Poisoning Symptoms

Find various alcohol poisoning symptoms below:

• Confusion and disorientation

• Extreme motor skills impairment

• Blackouts

• Blue and clammy skin

• Central nervous system depression

• Respiratory depression (defined as fewer than eight breaths per minute)

• Decreased heart rate

• Positional Alcohol Nystagmus (jerky and unpredictable eye movement)

• Hypothermia

• Periods of unconsciousness (short or extended)

• Vomiting (while conscious and unconscious)

• Seizure (due to hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar)

• Coma

If you’re with someone who’s exhibiting the above liquor poisoning symptoms, it’s important to take immediate action. Don’t wait; seek help right then and there!

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Alcohol Poisoning Treatment

There are a lot of urban myths about how to sober someone up. Unfortunately, they’re called myths for a reason – they don’t work!

If someone is exhibiting the above alcohol poisoning symptoms, don’t give them coffee or put them in a cold shower. Don’t feed them bread or let them sleep it off.

Call 911. The only way for the body to recover from alcohol poisoning is to metabolize and process the alcohol. Seen in this light, alcohol poisoning treatment becomes more about supportive care than reversal of symptoms.

Find common medical alcohol poisoning treatments below:

• Monitoring to prevent breathing and choking issues

• Oxygen therapy

• IV fluid replacement

• IV vitamin and glucose replacement

Having explored medical alcohol poisoning treatments, let’s turn our attention to what you can do to help someone suffering from alcohol poisoning and exhibiting symptoms of liquor poisoning symptoms!

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How YOU Can Help Someone with Acute Alcohol Poisoning Symptoms

First and foremost, don’t give them coffee, let them sleep it off, put them in a cold shower, or any of the many myths surrounding excessive drinking!

alcohol poisoning treatment

Not only are these myths useless, but some are extremely dangerous. Letting someone “sleep off” alcohol poisoning can easily result in them falling into a coma or choking on their vomit.

If you suspect someone has alcohol poisoning, don’t wait around to check all their symptoms. Call 911 right away! This is by far the most helpful thing you can do.

Also, be prepared to give paramedics information about the person’s alcohol consumption. How many drinks did they have? How quickly were the drinks consumed? What alcohol were they drinking? Did they take any other substances?

After calling 911, don’t leave the person alone. It’s dangerous to leave someone displaying alcohol poisoning symptoms alone. They may hurt themselves, pass out, or choke on their own vomit.

Give them water, if possible, and place them on their side. This is known as the recovery position and places less strain on the heart. It also prevents them from vomiting and choking.

Alcohol poisoning doesn’t have to be deadly! Do your part to turn a dangerous situation into a manageable one!

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