What is binge drinking? In the U.S., the most current definition is alcohol consumption of 5 drinks for men or 4 drinks for women over two hours. It may be a sign of alcohol abuse or dependence.
(If you think you or someone you know has a problem with alcohol abuse, please click hereto see the shocking criteria used by doctors and psychiatrists to detect an alcohol problem. You won’t believe it!)
Binge college drinking is very common. In general, the most common age for binge drinking are young adults from 18-29 years old. 45% of college students report binge drinking at least once a week. Research has shown that binge drinking damages the part of the brain involved with attention and working memory (Crego and colleagues). In a survey by the CDC who gathered data in 2004 from 14 states, they found the highest prevalence in 18-35 year olds. They also found that binge drinking was more common in white males with incomes over $50,000 in that age group. The prevalence of alcoholism binge drinking among men was three times the prevalence found in women.
Why is someone’s drinking pattern even matter? Binge drinking has a number of risks. For example, it carries the life threatening risk of alcohol poisoning which happens when someone consumes too much too fast (alcohol poisoning symptoms include confusion, vomiting, seizures, inability to be woken up, blue-tinged skin, irregular breathing, and low body temperature). Other increased risk includes “risky sex” (which may result in pregnancy or acquiring a sexually transmitted disease or even being date raped), a higher incidence of high blood pressure, heart attacks, being engaged in a physical fight, exposing a fetus to alcohol resulting in fetal alcohol syndrome, or suicide.
Bottom line: The effects from alcohol from binge drinking may cause more damage than drinking less over a long period of time. It has a negative effect on attention and working memory. Binge drinking affects your phyiscal health in negative ways. It may even lead to life threatening consequences. If you are a binge drinker, you may need help for alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence.