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Binge Drinking: Is it Ever Really ‘Normal’?

How normal is binge drinking among young adults?

For many young adults, drinking seems to be everywhere. It is almost like a rite of passage into adulthood. There are parties and peer pressure that encourages drinking. There is also plenty of drinking in media and entertainment. Sadly, though, for some young adults occasional drinking turns into binge drinking.

Binge drinking, or drinking excessive amounts of alcohol in a short period, can be dangerous in the short and long term. It can also develop into an addiction where young adults fall victim to an alcohol use disorder. It is then they need help and rehab to break the cycle of addiction and start the road to recovery.

But let’s be clear, binge drinking isn’t normal or safe. It’s dangerous and can have serious impacts.

What Is Binge Drinking?

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, binge drinking is when you consume and your blood alcohol content exceeds .08%. That is the same mark for determining whether someone is drunk driving. To reach that level, a typical adult has to consume four or more drinks in about two hours.

To some, that doesn’t seem like many drinks, but in reality, it is a significant amount of alcohol.

How Common Is Binge Drinking?

Binge drinking is more common than many think, with one in six adults participating in the activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control. About 25 percent said they do it at least once a week. While that figure is higher than many would prefer, it is important to note that means the vast majority do not binge drink.

Five out of six adults, or 83%, do not binge drink, which means the practice is far more uncommon than media or peers make it seem.

Binge drinking is most common in young adults between the ages of 18-34, according to the CDC. It is also more prevalent in men than women, and people who live in the Midwest. People who come from higher-income households are more likely to binge drink.

What Are The Health Impacts?

Binge drinking can have serious impacts on a young adult’s life. Excessive amounts of alcohol can cause injuries, such as car crashes, falls and burns, according to medical experts. It can also lead to violence, such as domestic disputes. Alcohol can cause risky sexual behaviors. It can also lead to alcohol poisoning, which has a host of health impacts.

In the long term, there are also several health consequences for binge drinkers. They include high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, weakening of the immune system, mental health problems, social problems, liver disease and digestive problems. They can also lead to alcohol use disorders, or alcoholism, among young adults.

Can’t Stop Binge Drinking?

If your binge drinking is getting out of control, it could be an addiction or an alcohol use disorder. The good news is that our staff at Momentum is here to help you get started on the road to recovery. Our programs can help address the abuse and give you the needed tools to stay sober. Please contact us today to talk about your binge drinking and treatment options.