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.
Some people are fairly susceptible to the effects of alcohol and experience them even when they drink small amounts. Conversely, others have a relative lack of alcohol susceptibility and can drink fairly large amounts before they experience any appreciable effects. In a report published in June 2014 in NIAAA Spectrum, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism explains the dangers associated with having a high alcohol threshold. Chief among these dangers is an increased chance of developing diagnosable symptoms of alcohol abuse and/or alcoholism (both included as indications of a condition called alcohol use disorder).
A study out of Norway shows a connection between alcohol consumption and mental health issues such as behavioral problems, anxiety and depression.
Heavy drinking in college can lead to impulsive behaviors like getting into a car with a drunk driver who causes a horrific accident, or a heated exchange leading to injury. These types of traumatic situations are the seeds of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can occur when a person is involved with or witnesses a tragic event. The symptoms of PTSD can include flashbacks, insomnia, anxiety and depression. A new study finds that heavy drinking in college by those with PTSD can worsen the symptoms.
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.
A vicious cycle is defined as a sequence of events where the response to one issue creates a new problem that aggravates the original matter. One study examined how this kind of cycle controls the drinking behaviors of teenage boys.
The craziness of youth may cost teens more than they bargain for, and for a longer time.
When teens use substances like tobacco and alcohol, they increase their risk for immediate and long-term negative consequences. Teens who drink can increase their risk for injury and dangerous sexual behaviors in the short term, and can increase the likelihood that they will develop liver disease and cancer in the long term.
One of the compelling arguments against heavy drinking is that it leads to negative consequences, such as an increased risk for injury or risky sexual behaviors, as well as the increased likelihood of certain cancers and liver disease.
Binge drinking is a growing problem, and women are doing it more than ever. Binge drinking is usually defined as four or more drinks in one sitting for women, and five or more for men. Young people, especially in college settings, have long been known for partying and occasionally over-drinking. This excessive drinking, however, is not just fun and games. Binging can lead to health problems, on top of risky behaviors, black outs and sexual assaults. New survey and research results are uncovering the extent of the problem among young women, and the harm that binge drinking can cause.