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Binge Drinking

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Binge Drinking in the U.S.,

U.S. adults consume about 17.5 billion total binge drinks annually.

Researchers from CDC studied data from 400,000 U.S. adults and found 1 in 6 U.S. adults (17%) binge drink more than one time per week. Binge drinking is defined as 5 or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women at one occasion. This accounts for 80,000 annual deaths. Binge drinking is a problem across the lifespan and is more common among men than women.

PositiveTip: Choosing to avoid any alcohol will prevent you from binge drinking, too!

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Energy Drink Use and Risk of Alcohol Abuse in Youth

Youth who recently consumed energy drinks are at higher risk for binge drinking.

Consuming energy drinks within the past 7 days significantly increased the risk of youth who have ever used alcohol to mix energy drinks and alcohol (27% vs. 7%). In the same national survey, youth 15 to 17 years old who had consumed energy drinks in the past 7 days were more than 2 times as likely (34% vs. 15%) to binge drink (consume 6 or more drinks in a row).

PositiveTip: Avoiding all energy drinks is best policy for youth (and adults)!

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Risky Drinking Bad All-round

Two and a half million years of potential life is lost due to excessive drinking.

Many people think alcohol addiction and motor vehicle accidents are the only problems with alcohol. However, cancer, heart disease, drowning, falls and other causes must be included. An average of 87,798 deaths in the U.S. occur from binge drinking (5 or more drinks on a single occasion). Most of those were due to motor vehicle accidents. Among working-age adults, one in 10 deaths is associated with excessive drinking (more than 14 drinks per week in men, eight in women).

PositiveTip: The safest course is to avoid all alcohol consumption.

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Sleep is Critical to Scholastic Success

Poor sleep hurts GPA as much as alcohol or marijuana abuse.

Sleep researchers recently found after clinical depression or tremendous stress, lack of sleep or poor sleep habits are the highest predictors of academic problems. From a sample of 43,000 college students they found that sleep problems, binge drinking and marijuana use equally predicted lower GPA's. Sleep issues were the strongest predictor for a student dropping a course.

PositiveTip: Stick with a regular sleep pattern for improved productivity in school or at work.

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Occasional Binge Drinking Raises Death Rates

Occasional binge drinking appears to erase any benefits seen from moderate drinking.

We hear lots about the so-called benefits of moderate drinking. Yet most studies have not taken into account different patterns of drinking. Researchers found in a 20 year study that even occasional binge drinking among older moderate drinkers resulted in significantly earlier death and erases any health benefit associated with moderate drinking. Binge drinking is often a part of real life moderate drinking and may be a slippery slope for many.

PositiveTip: Alcohol carries too many hidden pitfalls. Avoid it altogether!

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Binge Drinking: a Serious Problem in Young Women

Each year in the U.S. 23,000 young women die because of binge drinking.

In 2011, one in five high-school girls and one in eight adult women aged 18-34 years participate in binge drinking more than 3 times per month. This study did not include women living on collage campuses or military bases. Binge drinking is a major risk factor for many social and health problems in women including sexually transmitted diseases, unintended and alcohol-exposed  pregnancy, and breast cancer. 

PositiveTip: Read Binge Drinking and inform yourself on the dangers and what can be done.

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Does Parent-monitored Drinking Help Adolescents?

Female adolescents who drank at home were more likely to drink more in college!

A study of 449 college-bound female high school seniors who were not allowed by their parents to drink alcohol at all engaged in less binge drinking while in college compared to those who were allowed to drink at home with friends. The authors suggest that parental drinking permissiviveness and later binge drinking is heavily influenced by the mother's alcohol approval. Even parent-monitored drinking does not protect adolescents from drinking heavily later. 

PositiveTip: Prohibit your adolescents from drinking alcoholic beverages at home for their later benefit.

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Parental Approval of Drinking Increases Teen Alcohol Use

Kids who did not drink at home are less likely to drink as heavily outside the home.

Dutch researchers examined whether parent-monitored drinking as well as drinking with best friends slowed the usual increase in alcohol consumption and binge drinking patterns in adolescents as they grew older. The authors conclude, “Our findings suggest that parents who do not want their children to develop heavy drinking patterns later on should prohibit alcohol use of their adolescent children at home and outside the home at an early age.”

PositiveTip: Beware of the idea of parent-monitored drinking. Not allowing teens to drink is the best prevention!

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Don't Mix Alcohol and Energy Drinks

Mixing alcohol and energy drinks increases binge drinking, sexual indiscretion and drunk driving.

The common practice among youth and young adults of mixing energy drinks with alcoholic beverages increases the risk of binge drinking by 300 per cent. It also doubles the risk of being taken advantage of sexually, of taking sexual advantage of someone else, and doubles the likelihood of riding with a driver under the influence.

PositiveTip: Choose alternative non-alcoholic drinks over alcoholic and caffeinated beverages. They don’t carry these dangerous risks!



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Binge Drinking Not Good for the Heart

Binge drinkers do not benefit from moderate amounts of alcohol.

Last year we asked the question: could it be that those who benefit from moderate drinking really benefit from a personality trait that keeps them moderate in all of life?

A new European study has confirmed that the cardiovascular risks associated with binge drinking are not equivalent to drinking the same amount of alcohol over a week's time.

PositiveTip: Beware of the lure of moderate alcohol use.