Binge Drinking and Alcoholism

binge drinkingA report published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) may change some of your beliefs about binge drinking and alcoholism. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. This typically happens when men consume 5 or more drinks, and when women consume 4 or more drinks, in about 2 hours. Another important definition for this discussion is what is alcohol abuse? It is defined as using alcohol in such a way as to harm you. Are binge drinkers alcoholics? Not necessarily; the CDC says no. While many alcoholics have and still do indulge in bingeing, not all binge drinkers are alcoholics.

Here are some facts about these two types of alcohol abuse:

  1. Most of the people that binge drink are not actually alcoholics or alcohol dependent.
  2. Approximately 92% of the United States adults that drink excessively have reported binge drinking at least once in a 30 day period.
  3. 70 % of the people who binge drink in the United States are over the age of 26.
  4. Men tend to binge drink more often than women do.
  5. Binge drinkers are more likely to engage in reckless activities such as alcohol impaired driving as compared to non-binge drinkers.
  6. Approximately 90 % of all underage drinking comes in the form of binge drinking.
  7. Binge drinking is associated with a number of different health problems. Some of these health problems include poor control of diabetes, sexual dysfunction, neurological damage, liver disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, children born with fetal alcohol syndrome, unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, alcohol poisoning, domestic violence, sexual assault, firearm injuries and other intentional injuries, car accidents, burns, drowning, falls and other unintentional injuries.
  8. Alcoholism is classified as a disease, though it is defined as the physical dependence on alcohol and its reckless use without considering the consequences.
  9. Alcoholism sneaks up on the user.
  10. What begins as social drinking for alcoholics, eventually transforms into drinking for other reasons.

Any excessive use of alcohol can be damaging to your body. Learn where to get help if you believe you have a problem with the abuse of alcohol: http://drugabuse.com/usa/alcohol-abuse/las-vegas-nv/

Dr. Matthew Johnson is a Las Vegas Board Certified Robotic Surgeon, specializing in gallbladder surgery, hernia surgery, foregut surgery, and hepatobiliary surgery. He also cares for patients in the fields of general surgery, trauma & acute care surgery, and critical care.

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