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When most people think of binge drinking they picture someone drinking for a couple of days straight, not caring about going out, working, cleaning up after themselves or functioning as a normal person would. However, that is not what binge drinking is at all. In fact, having as few as four or five drinks at a time can be a sign of binge drinking and certainly having a bottle of wine or a six pack of beer in Teenagersone sitting is actually binge drinking.

Many times the focus is on college students that indulge in binge drinking on the weekends after a long week of studying and school work. This is actually more harmful than having a drink every day. The reason is that so much alcohol is consumed in one sitting that the person runs the risk of alcohol poisoning, driving while under the influence and making poor decisions. Those that binge drink also run the risk of attention and memory problems, verbal learning skills, and a host of other negative reactions.

Studies have shown that binge drinkers find it harder to develop new verbal information, which can cause academic problems. As far as memory issues, even those that only binge drink a couple of times a week have developed memory loss and attention deficit. This includes those that do not show signs of a chronic problem and only indulge in binge drinking twice a week. These people showed issues with knowing the difference between relevant and irrelevant information, making it harder to learn and study for exams.

As far as making poor decisions, you might think that this covers someone who is drunk at the time of making the decision but it is actually an ongoing condition. Studies also show that those that are binge drinkers have issues with making good decisions even when they are not drinking. This is due in part to the fact that binge drinking damages the part of the brain (pre-frontal cortex) that helps with decision making, planning, paying attention, emotion processing and controlling bad impulses.

These examples do not even cover the health risks that come from a night of binge drinking. In fact, those that take part in drinking too much at one time run a higher risk of metabolic syndrome. This is a cluster of risk factors in the metabolic range. This can include stroke, type 2 diabetes and the development of heart disease.

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7 Comments

AmyApril 6, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Binge drinking is a serious problem on college campuses, like you mention. More and more frats and sororities are getting in trouble, but I don’t think it’s actually stopping college kids from drinking…Still, gotta start somewhere.

 

AmyApril 6, 2014 at 8:48 pm

When I lived in Sweden, every weekend there would be puke puddles in the metro from the binge drinkers. I have no idea why someone would go out again and again and make themselves sick unless they had a serious problem…seemed to be part of the general culture though.

 

AmyApril 6, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Thanks for pointing out some of the misconceptions about binge drinking. It’s true — it’s more normal than we think it is! Many people have indulged at one point in their life…

 

AmyApril 6, 2014 at 8:48 pm

I guess I qualify as a binge drinker then… I don’t drink often, but occasionally I do go out to the club, and having 4-5 drinks is pretty usual for me under those circumstances.

 

AmyApril 6, 2014 at 8:48 pm

I know drinking is bad for you, but I think we’ve all gotten a little carried away at a party at least once in our lives and drank well over 4 beers. How often would a person have to binge drink before being at risk of metabolic syndrome?

 

AmyApril 6, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Wow, thanks for laying this out. Of course, we’ve all been told of the dangers of drinking, and the FDA pretty much lays it out as a choice to drink or not. But for those people that do, they never say how much is safe and how much is in the danger zone, aside from the obvious drinking and driving.

 

AmyApril 6, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Thank you for enlightening us about the real meaning of binge drinking. This is really a critical issue among young people. There are times that being pressured by their peers or being exposed in an environment where alcohol is consumed, these factors can contribute to their drinking habits. Some may start drinking casually, but in the long run could then develop into dependency. At a very young age they were expose to alcoholic drinks and their health is at risk. A lot of young people die because of binge drinking without even knowing the dangerous effect of it. Deciding to stop drinking or attending recovery addiction care could then be the ticket on their way out of your addiction.

 

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