Binge Drinking – Too Much Too Fast: The Dangers of Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Bars, parties, and social gatherings – what do all of these have in common? Booze…

Yes, from beer to wine to Jell-O Shots, alcohol is a way many celebrate a good time. And for most folks, an occasional drink is harmless and doesn’t pose a problem. But then there are those who overindulge. There are those who don’t know their personal limits. There are those who binge drink.

… the number of people who drink is on an upward trend. And to top it off, those who do drink are binging and drinking more heavily.-Raychelle Lohmann Across the nation binge drinking is increasing, especially among women. However, it should be noted that men still drink more than women. According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, the number of people who drink is on an upward trend. And to top it off, those who do drink are binging and drinking more heavily.

Interestingly, the study also looked at each county in the nation and identified where alcohol consumption is not only the worst, but also the fastest growing. You can see where your state and county landed by following this link.

Binge Drinking Defined

So, just what is binge drinking? According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), binge drinking is defined as a female consuming 4 or more drinks on a single occasion and a male consuming 5 or more drinks in one sitting. Binge drinking is scary business; that powerful liquid has the ability to change a life…and not in a good way.

High levels of alcohol consumption can cause memory problems, car crashes, injuries, alcohol poisoning and worse yet, can result in fatalities.

Did you know that mass alcohol consumption is the leading cause of premature death in the United States? These same spirits are responsible for 1 in 10 deaths among adults age 20 to 64 years and the cause of an estimated 88,000 deaths in the US between the years 2006 and 2010.

To put that into perspective, alcohol has prematurely cut the lives of those who died by 30 years! So – approximately 2.5 million years of potential life was lost each year due to excessive alcohol consumption; now that’s certainly something to think about.

Binge drinking has also been associated with many health problems including:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Liver Disease
  • Chemical Dependency
  • STDs
  • Alcohol Poisoning

Among the youth, binge drinking has been associated with cognitive impairment. The brain is still developing during adolescence and excessive alcohol consumption can have an indefinite effect memory and learning.

Recognizing the Danger of Alcohol

There is no doubt about it, alcohol is one of the most widely available drugs on the market and the thought of people gulping it down is concerning.

People who binge drink are not only putting themselves at risk, they are putting others in jeopardy as well. Binge drinking doesn’t mean alcohol dependency, although over time it most definitely can lead to addiction. Does the cost outweigh the risk when it comes to dangerously consuming too much alcohol?

If you are concerned with your drinking habits, please reach out for professional help. Here is a link to that has unlimited information to help you begin your recovery process.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of We do believe in healthy dialogue on all topics and we welcome the opinions of our professional contributors.

What Are Your Thoughts on this Topic?

  • AddictionMyth

    “Binge drinking can lead to addiction.” Kind of a strange disease – that its symptom is also its cause. Hmm.

  • Jim Recktenwald

    Have to point out that drinking involves hand/eye/mouth/tongue/esophagus/intestine/venous systems working cooperatively before the brain ever gets in on anything more than wishing. However, addicted brains get off on wishing, since involvement of the whole brain is necessary to do “addiction,” or I might have asked for a partial lobotomy a long time ago. However, the symptoms of hypo- and hyperglycemia (“too little- too much sugar condition) are sugar-use-related conditions, and in common parlance, the latter is called “sugar.”) And this is just the tip of the iceburg: anthrax is caused by anthrax; polio follows suite. So it is not unusual for a symptom of the disease to be a characteristic of the disease that gives it rise. We need culturally to begin to avoid the use of opiates and other addictive chemical compounds with children, and particularly children from families with a strong addiction history. I tell my kids and grandkids that I have passed my genes down and they are “holey”: “Don’t hold water near as well as they hold booze, and that ain’t a blessing!”

    • AddictionMyth

      Eating or even craving sugar is not a symptom of diabetes. Nor is paralysis a cause of polio. Nevertheless you earn points for the confidence with which you state that ‘addiction’ is a disease like any other (without hurling insults at the unbelievers, kudos!). The fact that you teach this to your progeny verifies that you really believe in it. Some might call it ‘religious zeal’.

  • johnctoliver

    There is always been a relaxed attitude about alcohol, even during the Prohibition era when people pretended like drinking was taboo when it really wasn’t. The studies may get more accurate and more dense but the World’s drinking problems are the same as theyve always been.

  • Frank

    I just went thru a three bout where I fell off the wagon. My average in take was about 1/5 of vodka per day for about three weeks. I had been sober for about 3 and 1/2 months prior to this and the prior binge was worse than this one. This has been going on for about 10 years. And I am not a young man – I am retired. When I was working, I was able to constrain myself to simply weekends but not always which usually resulted in a sick day request. I have been sober now for 5 days now and praise the Lord for each day of sobriety but it will take me a while to adjust my sleeping patterns to where I am not awake all night long.