More Americans Are Binge Drinking, Dying

You don’t have to be drunk every day to have an unhealthy drinking problem.  Many Americans are not alcoholics but a growing number are binging on alcohol.  Alcohol abuse occurs on a spectrum of misuse, and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a surprising number of Americans are overdoing it.

The CDC figures tell a startling tale of alcohol misuse in this country.  Those reports tell us that close to 40 million adult Americans binge on alcohol at least four times each month.  Binging is defined as four or more drinks in a row for a female and five or more drinks in a row for a male.  Furthermore, while young people (18-34 years) are the most likely to binge, older Americans (over 65 years) tend to binge more frequently.

The problem is that we don’t seem to be able to recognize our own degree of danger.  Drinking large amounts of alcohol at one sitting can increase your blood pressure, raise your risk for alcohol poisoning and interfere with medications you may be taking. Another warning sign is not being able to stop after your own pre-determined drinking limits.  If you are drinking more than the one or two drinks you set out to, you may not be able to say no.  Drinking is a progressive illness and it begins by not being able to self-limit your intake.

More than 80,000 Americans die from overdrinking each year.  Binge drinking is a risky decisions that costs lives.  Too much alcohol is responsible for 60 percent of drownings and fatal burnings, 50 percent of sexual assaults and 40 percent of fatal tumbles and car crashes.