Binge drinking refers to a form of alcohol abuse where individuals indulge in excessive episodic drinking (above the 5/4 limit) in a social setting and in a short span of time, generally 2 hours or less.
Most binge drinkers partake in this activity as a form of fun rather than depending on the substance as a coping mechanism (which is what alcoholics do), so the term is not synonymous with alcoholism.
As harmless and acceptable as binge drinking may be viewed in a majority of social circles, it cannot be overlooked as being a possible precursor to alcoholism if a person takes to binge drinking on a regular basis.
The habit can be a risk factor if a binge drinker gradually starts depending on alcohol and consumes it outside his/her social circle to deal with underlying issues such as depression, grief, low self-esteem, and other personal problems.
When alcohol becomes a crutch, it's time to sit up do something about it.
Another reason why most experts and support groups are wary of binge drinking is because binge drinking statistics reveal that it is mainly the young who engage in this behavior.
Let’s take a look at some of these numbers:
Leading government surveys and studies have thrown light on the magnitude of binge drinking in the U.S. and the truly negative consequences it can have when not controlled.
In a 2009 study, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published some startling binge drinking statistics, such as the fact that well over 79,000 excessive alcohol consumption deaths were accounted for by binge drinking alone. The CDC also went on to reveal that binge drinking is one of the leading preventable causes of death in the country.
Here’s some insights into some other U.S. binge drinking statistics published by Dr. Timothy Naimi, a physician in the alcohol team at the CDC, and his colleagues:
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Deborah Morrow, M.S. Addiction Psychology, is the director of treatment programs for The Alcoholism Guide website. In her practice Deborah provides on-line coaching and support for those dependent on alcohol or who require other services such as relapse prevention or court mandated services. (Read More)
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