Heavy drinking is a problem for a number of reasons. It can lead to alcohol poisoning, intoxication, bad decisions, accidents and even addiction and health problems. Binge drinking is defined as more than four drinks at one sitting for a woman and more than five for a man. This kind of drinking is particularly prevalent among young people. Statistics show that 80 percent of college students drink and that half of them binge drink. The traditional approach to dealing with problem drinking is to commit to a 12-step program and to abstain from alcohol forever. For young people, this may be too big a challenge, and some experts think they have a viable alternative.
In the U.S., laws in all local and state jurisdictions set a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent as the legal threshold for intoxication. However, in May 2013, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced its intent to pursue a lower intoxication threshold BAC of 0.05 percent. In a study review published in June 2014 in the journal Addiction, researchers from the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation assessed the risks of operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol content of 0.05 percent and sought to determine if the use of this BAC as the legal standard for intoxication would reduce the general public’s exposure to alcohol-related harm.
The factors that separate a social drinker from an alcoholic can be mysterious. This is particularly observable in a segment of the population often identified with heavy drinking: college students.
The image of fraternity boys hosting parties where all of the students have consumed too much alcohol has been perpetuated through just about every form of media. But how accurate is the image? And what, beyond a painful hangover the next day, are the real consequences for those who do fit the stereotype?
There’s a new, dangerous trend in alcohol consumption: vaporization and inhalation. To the casual drinker, it seems preposterous that one would go to great lengths to find a system for consuming alcohol without actually partaking of any of the enjoyable aspects of it, such as flavor.
Dementia, which is a grouping of symptoms rather than a disease itself, is devastating for those who develop it and for the loved ones who must watch a person deteriorate as a result. The most common cause of the dementia symptoms is Alzheimer’s disease, but there are many other contributing factors. Recent research has pinpointed yet one more: teenage drinking.
When fewer kids are drinking alcohol, does that mean that we’ve won the war against drinking and driving? A large student survey from Canada could prove insightful for understanding the substance use trend among adolescents and for gauging which messages are getting through and which may not be.
A recent study of four-year college students found that those who frequently binged had significantly lower capacity for critical thinking.
Binge drinking is often associated with young males, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) one in eight women said they had drank heavily three times in the month before they were surveyed. Binge drinking obviously isn’t just something that men do. But for women, the consequences can be more severe even when the same amount of alcohol is consumed.
The first month or two at college can set the tone for a student’s success or lay the path to disaster. Freshmen who believe that fitting in at college equals heavy drinking often have their college career get off to a very bumpy start.