Are you a binge drinker?

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According to a recent research from the Centers for Disease Control Prevention in San Diego County more people are binge drinking. The study found that adults are nearly doubling what is currently considered binge drinking. Instead of the four drinks in one sitting for women and five for men, drinkers in the county are averaging eight cocktails a night.

The study found that approximately 16 percent of adults in the county admitted to downing more than four drinks, four times a month. The recent study even went as far as breaking down tax brackets, finding that 20.2 percent of those earning more than $75,000 admitted to binge drinking while 16.2 percent of those making less than $25,000 went on benders. And yet, while wealthier adults were more prone to binging, those with lower incomes did so 4 times more than their wealthier counterparts. The report also found that most drunk drivers are binge drinkers

“Binge drinking is a serious problem that can contribute to injury and disease,” stated Susan Bower, Director of Alcohol and Drug Services for the County Health and Human Services Agency, in a County press release. “Binge drinking can lead to motor vehicle crashes, violence, alcohol dependence, and suicide.”

What’s more, binge drinking accounts for more than 40,000 of the 80,000 alcohol-related deaths each year in the country, and represents about 75 percent of the more than $200 billion in costs from alcohol abuse, the researchers reported.

Ursula Bauer, director of CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion says that “”This level of consumption usually leads to impairment and is strongly associated with alcohol-impaired driving, risky sexual behavior and interpersonal violence. “Over time, it can also increase the risk of serious health problems, including cancer, heart disease and liver failure.”

Dr. J.C. Garbutt, a professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said eight drinks will produce intoxication and greatly increase the risk for accidents and can contribute to behavioral problems such as loss of emotional control and depression, he said.
“It is important that individuals know that excessive drinking can have both immediate and long-term negative consequences and it is in their interest to moderate their alcohol use.”

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