Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Binge much?

Some interesting stats from this study:

Sociodemographic Differences in Binge Drinking Among Adults --- 14 States, 2004 http://bit.ly/10yIda

Binge drinking, defined in this study as consuming five or more alcoholic drinks on one occasion,* was responsible for 43,731 (54.9%) of the estimated 79,646 alcohol-attributable deaths each year in the United States during 2001--2005.


The deaths stat certainly jumps off the page. Now for who is your typical binge drinker:

the prevalence of binge drinking was more common among men (24.3%), persons aged 18--24 years (27.4%) and 2534 years (24.4%), whites (17.5%), and persons with household incomes >$50,000 (17.4%). However, after adjusting for sex and age, the highest average number of binge drinking episodes during the preceding 30 days was reported by binge drinkers whose household income was <$25,000. (4.9), and the highest average number of drinks per binge episode was reported by non-Hispanic blacks (8.4) and Hispanics (8.1). These findings underscore the need to implement effective population-based prevention strategies (e.g., increasing alcohol excise taxes) and develop effective interventions targeted at groups at higher risk.


Also from this link

nited States and is a risk factor for many health and societal problems. Among adults, it can take the form of heavy drinking, binge drinking, or both.

* Heavy drinking is defined as more than two drinks per day on average for men or more than one drink per day on average for women.
* Binge drinking is defined as 5 or more drinks during a single occasion for men or 4 or more drinks during a single occasion for women.

Underage drinking can also be considered a form of excessive drinking because it is both illegal and often involves consumption in quantities and settings that can lead to serious immediate and long-term consequences.

* Approximately 5% of the total population drinks heavily and 15% of the population engages in binge drinking (CDC).
* People aged 12 to 20 years drink 11% of all alcohol consumed in the United States. More than 90% of this alcohol is used in the form of binge drinks (OJJDP).


It's certainly a serious health issue and it seems, education can be targeted at appropriate groups to address it. I think the whole "Animal House" mentality which has ingrained itself over the past 20 or 30 years in our schools and colleges needs to be countered.

I'm not a prohibitionist by any means either - I think a mature person should be able to enjoy alcohol if they choose and deal with the consequences if they don't choose to use it responsibly. We're kind of caught in this country with the car culture of dealing with DUIs - you need to get a designated driver if you're partaking of drinks!

We also need to identify those having a hard time with it and make as much information help and motivation for them as we can.

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