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A leap from social drinking to binge drinking

A leap from social drinking to binge drinking

April 28 | By CAAH Team

It takes no time for a casual, social drinker to indulge in heavy or binge drinking. Anyone who is a regular at booze parties can have a tendency to drink more than what is nominal. An alcoholic was once defined as “anyone who drinks more than you.”

Numerous studies, evidence and data go on to prove the havoc that binge drinking can cause, including unruly fights, accidental deaths, major accidents, and mental and physical instability. Alcohol has caused more than 88,000 deaths in the United States each year during 2006-2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines, drafted by the Dietary Advisory Committee of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, put drinking habits into different categories. This will help in guiding alcohol consumption so that one can stop before it is too late. The Dietary Guidelines do not recommend a non-drinker to start drinking for any reason; however, it does recommend that all foods and beverages consumed be accounted for within healthy eating patterns.

Alcohol consumption can be divided into three categories:

Moderate drinking: The moderate amount of alcohol is up to one drink for women and up to two drinks for men a day. One alcoholic drink-equivalent is described as containing 14 g (0.6 fl oz) of pure alcohol. The following are reference beverages that are equivalent to one alcoholic drink: 12 fluid ounce of regular beer (5 percent alcohol), 5 fluid ounce of wine (12  percent alcohol), or 1.5 fluid ounce of 80 proof distilled spirits (40  percent alcohol).

But there is no moderate or safe amount of alcohol consumption for pregnant women and teens since the legal age for drinking is 21 years in the U.S. Pregnant woman should refrain from taking any amount of alcohol because the unborn child is always at risk.

Heavy drinking: Heavy drinking includes eight or more drinks a week for women and 15 or more for men. One must refrain from drinking heavily since this group is prone to binge drink.

Binge drinking: Binge drinking is the most excessive form of drinking. It involves four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men within about two hours each day. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above.

Why binge drinking is a major concern?

Here are some flabbergasting numbers on binge drinking as cited by the CDC:

  • One in six U.S. adults binge drink about four times a month, consuming about eight drinks per binge.
  • People aged 65 and older also binge drink at an average of five to six times a month.
  • Approximately 92 percent of U.S. adults who drink excessively report binge drinking in the past 30 days.
  • Although college students commonly binge drink, 70 percent of binge drinking episodes involve adults aged 26 and older.
  • The prevalence of binge drinking among men is twice that of women.
  • About 90 percent of the alcohol consumed by youth under the age of 21 in the U.S. is in the form of binge drinking.

It is important for people to understand that such drinking habits are not only costing dear to the U.S. economy but also ruining the lives of people. Though it is always advisable not to drink at all, there are certain groups that should NOT indulge in any form of drinking. They are:

  • People who are younger than 21 years.
  • Women who are pregnant or might be pregnant or planning to be pregnant.
  • Individuals who are driving, planning to drive, or participating in other activities requiring skill, coordination, and alertness.
  • People who are taking certain prescription or over-the-counter medications that can interact with alcohol.
  • Patients who are suffering from certain medical conditions.
  • People who are recovering from alcoholism.
  • Individuals who are unable to control the amount they drink.

Way to non-alcoholic future

Alcohol, in any form, can be a potential health hazard. It can cause both physical and mental illness, and can create both personal and professional instability. It is important to minimize indulgence in alcohol and refrain from situations, which transform casual drinking into a habit. The most preferred way is to not indulge at all.

If you or your loved one is getting carried away by his/her drinking habits, it is time to seek a proper treatment. Contact the Colorado Alcohol Addiction Help for reliable detox programs and other pharmacological and therapeutic treatment procedures. You may call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-592-9261 or chat online with one of our representatives to connect with the best treatment facilities available.

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