The binge drinking epidemic: college campuses and beyond

The binge drinking epidemic: college campuses and beyond

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More than 38,000,000 adults binge drink, an average of once a week.

"If we were to poll most of our college students, on paper, many of them binge drink," DB Education Alcohol education specialist Jessica Kelly said.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports, the age range with the most binge drinkers is 18 to 34.

"Binge drinking is defined as three to four drinks for a female in an hour or four to five drinks for a male in an hour," Kelly said. "That's actually binging, when most people would say that's a common social hour. It's a very dangerous point to go beyond that limit."

"Unfortunately there is an epidemic of binge drinking," Kelly said.

"I think sometimes college campuses are aware, but they are not exactly sure the right protocol to take to intervene in that," Kelly said. "Texas Tech for example has great programs to try to keep kids sober in a sober environment on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday night rather than them going out and being engaged in drinking behaviors."

Drink behaviors, typically have a peer pressure element.

"What happens is, they will line up a row of shots on your 21st birthday, you take some take 21 or however many are purchased for you in a short amount of time, lets say under 10 minutes," Kelly said. 

"If you can't handle the alcohol, which a lot of people can't do drink, if you are going to go drinking and have a fun time and party, have a designated driver, have somebody watching out for each other," Covenant Medial Center Juan Fitz, MD, FACEP said. 

"You can't possibly feel the weight of the alcohol that you've just consumed and so you'll continue drinking, until you basically hit a wall," Kelly said.

 "In terms of how dangerous it is, one can expect at a .2 to pass out, and really it starts with a blacking out phase where they don't remember what happened, so physically you are going through the motions of the night, but the next day, you cant piece it together," Kelly said.

By the time you are at .3 BAC you need to get to a doctor, immediately.

"This person is not responsive and when you talk to them heads slumped to the side, speech is very dangerously slurred, they may try to vomit and be unable to and instead can aspirate and choke on the vomit," Kelly said.

If you notice a friend is unresponsive when you call to them or do a sternal rub, "you've got to make sure you call 9-1-1 and get them some help though because alcohol level depending on the level they've had can be very, very deadly," Fitz said.

"At .5, an individual reaches a comatose 50 state which means 50 percent of the people will die and 50 percent will survive," Kelly said.

According to the CDC drinking, including binge drinking, causes 80,000 deaths in the United States each year.

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