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Risks of Binge Drinking

a father has a stern discussion about the risks of binge drinking with his young adult daughter

Most American adults are at least occasional alcohol consumers. The typical drinker’s level of consumption falls within a relatively safe range. However, a sizable minority of the nation’s alcohol users are binge drinkers. That’s especially true for young adults. Anyone who binges on alcohol exposes themselves to a whole host of short- and long-term risks. This is true whether or not they meet the criteria for alcohol addiction. Still, if you or someone you know binge drinks, an alcohol rehab center near Denver may be fundamental to your recovery. Reach out to us at Northpoint Colorado at 888.231.1281 with any questions.

What Is the Definition of Binge Drinking?

Anyone who drinks alcohol in large amounts can expect to become drunk. In the U.S., the threshold for legally defined drunkenness is a blood alcohol level of 0.08%. People who binge on alcohol don’t just get drunk. They do so in a short period of time that lasts no more than roughly two hours. The average man meets these criteria after consuming at least five alcohol servings. The average woman meets them after consuming at least four servings. Preteens and teenagers tend to have a lower drunkenness threshold than adults.

Young Adults and Alcohol Binging

Alcohol binging occurs among all age groups ranging from preteens to senior adults. It also occurs among both men and women. However, in terms of age, young adults under 35 are the most commonly affected group. That includes 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds who are too young to drink legally.

Men are also much more likely to binge on alcohol than women. Men account for 80% of all the alcohol consumed in binge episodes. These facts indicate that young adult men have the highest binge drinking risks. Underage drinkers are also, particularly at risk. Most people in this age group have gone on at least one alcohol binge.

What Are the Short-Term Dangers of Binge Drinking?

Alcohol binging is linked to increased risks for various serious problems. The list of these short-term dangers includes:

  • Developing alcohol poisoning, i.e., an alcohol overdose
  • Getting hurt in a car wreck or some other kind of significant accident
  • Hurting someone else during a major accident
  • Committing violent acts against other people
  • Being a target of a violent act
  • Attempting suicide
  • Catching a sexually transmitted disease

Alcohol binging is also linked to increased risks of unwanted pregnancies.

What Are Binging’s Longer-Term Risks?

New potential dangers emerge if you fall into a long-term pattern of alcohol binging. For example, you are more likely to develop alcoholism. In addition, you have increased risks for chronic illnesses such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • Strokes
  • High blood pressure

You also expose yourself to higher odds of developing eight specific cancer forms. Many people who repeatedly binge drink end up damaging their core memory functions. In addition, you may find it harder to learn new skills or take in new information. Women who habitually binge drink increase their risks for several pregnancy-related problems. Examples of these problems include stillbirths and miscarriages. They also include fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

Learn More About Older Adults, Young Adults, and Alcohol Binging at Northpoint

No matter your age, binge drinking is a highly risky way of consuming alcohol. Want to know more about your risks as a younger or older adult? Talk to the alcohol treatment specialists at Northpoint Colorado. We can answer your questions and help you clarify the exact nature of your potential exposure.

Need high-quality options for alcohol treatment? Northpoint features a full slate of services for people with serious drinking problems. For more information on our available alcohol recovery programs, call us today at 888.231.1281. We’re also available through our online message form.