Do you know the signs of binge drinking? People who drink enough to be considered “binge drinkers” may catch flak from loved ones, fight too many hangovers, or use alcohol to cope with stress. But what exactly is binge drinking? Drinking alcohol turns into a binge when a man consumes 5+ alcoholic drinks or a woman consumes 4+ in a short period of time, typically about 2 hours. In other words, it’s “drinking to get drunk.” While we might think of binge drinking as something those crazy college kids do on spring break, the fact is that binge drinking happens in all age groups. For example, about 16% of Lancaster County high school seniors and 22% statewide reported binge drinking, according to the 2013 Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS). Older Americans binge drink too, and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 65+ age group binge drinks more often than other age groups. The CDC created the What is Excessive Alcohol Use? infographic, which highlights statistics about excessive drinking behavior, including binges. Some of the most striking facts include:
- Most binge drinkers are not alcohol dependent (alcoholic).
- 1 in 6 Americans binge drink—that’s 38 million people!
- The average binge drinker does so about 4 times a month.
Check out the infographic, and then take action in your Lancaster community or school to prevent alcohol abuse, including binge drinking. Compass Mark’s Skills for Life program offers substance abuse prevention and intervention for high school students. This life skills training program, which is held in small groups during or after school, has produced measurable results for student participants, including:
- Fewer underage drinking-and-driving arrests;
- Reduced or stopped substance abuse;
- Improved decision-making skills.
Learn more about Skills for Life by contacting Bill Pare at (717) 299-2831 ext. 228. If you’re worried about your binge drinking or about a loved one’s behavior, call our Information & Referral Specialist at (717) 299-2831 for thoughtful, individualized attention. To enlarge the CDC alcohol infographic, click on the image once to open in a new window, then click the image once more to enlarge it.