Binge drinking is a celebrated epidemic. Movies glamorize it and college students pretty much demand it of their peers. One out of 3 adults and 2 out of 3 high school students who drink alcohol binge drink. And yet, there are numerous downsides to binge drinking, which is defined as having five or more drinks in a couple of hours for men and teens, and four or more for women, at least once in the previous 30 days.
Here are the top four reasons that you should avoid binge drinking:
Car Crashes: Binge drinkers are 14 times more likely than non–binge drinkers to drive while impaired, significantly increasing the chance of an accident.
Assault and Violence: Among college students— 80% of whom drink, including 51% who binge drink — an estimated 700,000 are attacked by another student in alcohol-related incidents, according to a study. Also, nearly 100,000 college women report being sexually assaulted in attacks that involve drinking, although experts suggest that number is far higher because many attacks go unreported.
Long-term illness and death: Over time, chronic binge drinking is also associated with a variety of long-term health problems. The problems include cirrhosis of the liver, high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and cancer.. A study also found that 42% of alcohol-related deaths could be attributed to chronic illness.
Unplanned Pregnancies and STDs: Binge drinking can lead to risky sexual behavior, including engaging in unprotected sex and sex with multiple partners. This increases rates of unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. A study found that rates of gonorrhea were nearly five times higher in female binge drinkers than in women who abstained from alcohol.
Drinking can be fun, but please don’t have toooo much fun! Seriously, one night of craziness won’t justify a lifetime of regret!
[Image via AP Images.]