In most people’s eyes, the dangers of alcohol are a result of being addicted to or chemically dependent on it. However, according to studies by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), binge drinking can be equally dangerous.
What is binge drinking?
Binge drinking is described as consuming a large amount of alcoholic beverages within a short period of time. In the CDC study, drinking 5 or more drinks, or 4 or more for women, is considered binge drinking.
Who binge drinks?
The survey done by the CDC in 2010 shows that one in six Americans binge drinks. And although usually associated with young adults, binge drinking is not limited to college campuses. The age group with the most binge drinkers is the 18-34 year-olds, but the 65+ age group binge drinks most often. Also, the income level with the most binge drinkers is those that make more than $75,000 annually while Americans who make less than $25,000 binge drink more often and in higher quantities. See the binge drinking fact sheet.
The dangers of binge drinking
We have talked previously about the damaging effects of alcoholism on your body. Binge drinking can be equally dangerous. Here are some of the most common and most harmful hazards of binge drinking.
- Memory loss/blackouts – Alcohol prevents your brain from creating long-term memory. Binge drinking increases this phenomenon, creating long periods of time that you may be unable to recall. Women tend to black out more easily.
- Loss of consciousness – Binge drinking can also cause respiratory arrest (the inability of the lungs to function correctly), which can lead to loss of consciousness from the brain not receiving oxygen. Many victims die when they throw up while unconscious and then choke on their own vomit.
- Coma – Binge drinking floods your body with alcohol. This influx of alcohol prevents your brain from getting oxygen and slows brain function, sometimes to the point of an alcohol-induced coma.
- Death – Over 80,000 people die each year as a result of drinking too much. One study found that binge drinking makes you 10 times more likely to have a stroke. It can also be the cause indirect deaths, such as those from fatal accidents or suicide.
Even if you are not an alcoholic or dependent on alcohol, you could be putting yourself and those around you in harm’s way if you consume a large amount of alcohol. If you or your loved one are suffering from alcoholism, drug addiction or other substance abuse and need help, please call us at 855-338-6929 to discuss whether our alcohol detox program is the best program for you. Be assured we value your privacy and all your information is kept strictly confidential. Contact Gallus Alcohol and Drug Detox Centers today and take the first step towards rehab and recovery.