Women And Binge Drinking
Chronic alcoholism is a problem that affects many people in many different ways on a daily basis. But another type of alcoholism that may slip under the radar is the problem of binge drinking. Instances of binge drinking may be more episodic in nature and so might not seem as much of a problem to the general population. SpringBoard Recovery, alcohol rehab Scottsdale AZ takes a look not just at the practice of binge drinking and it’s associated dangers but also with specific regard to women: what are the numbers and risks involved for women and binge drinking?
What is Binge Drinking?
Before delving into the topic any further, it may be helpful to know a little bit about binge drinking and what it entails. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), binge drinking is defined as a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. To reach this number, a man will have to consume 5 or more drinks; a woman must consume 4 or more drinks in a time frame of about 2 hours. Binge drinking is the most common pattern of excessive alcohol abuse in the US and can be a serious public health issue.
The Numbers on Binge Drinking
One in six adults in the USA will binge drink. They do this about once a week, or four times a month; in one instance of binge drinking they will, on average, consume about seven drinks per binge. This results in 17 billion total binge drinks consumed by adults annually. In terms of ages and demographics, binging is most common among younger adults aged 18–34 years, but the 35 and older crowd consume more than half of the total binge drinks.
The Dangers of Binge Drinking
Binge drinking is associated with many health problems, including unintentional injuries like car accidents, falls, burns, and alcohol poisoning. Binging also brings the risk of general violence including homicide and suicide; chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and liver disease. Binge drinkers are also at risk of a variety of cancers including breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon. Memory and/or learning problems and overall alcohol dependence may also result.
There are also unintended financial costs associated with binge drinking and these are incurred at a national level. Drinking too much costs the US $249 billion in 2010. These costs occur within a multitude of sources, including losses in workplace productivity, health care expenditures, and criminal justice costs.
Binge Drinking - A Male-Dominated Occurrence?
The myth of the over-indulgent fraternity brother and films like the 1978 John Landis classic “Animal House” and 2003’s “Old School” all help to perpetuate the idea that binge drinking is only a male problem. Certainly, the numbers would seem to support this theory. Binge drinking occurs twice as much among men than among women. Men consume four in five total binge drinks. And, in terms of the college demographic, binge drinking is more common among people with household incomes of $75,000 or more and higher educational levels. In fact, most people younger than age 21 who drink alcohol report binge drinking.
Women and Binge Drinking
However, there are also numbers showing that women do indeed partake in binge drinking. According to WebMD, although it is unknown why binge drinking among women from the ages of 30-44 has jumped from 21% in 2006 to 42% in 2018. This means that in just over a decade, the percentage of women binge drinkers has doubled. Also, while overall, the level of excessive drinking has decreased, there is one notable exception: women from ages 44-55 and without kids; those numbers remained consistent.
Many of the risks stemming from binge drinking are of special concern to females, including domestic violence situations, intimate partner violence, and /or sexual assault. Sexually transmitted diseases are always a risk factor. Other potential problems that may arise from binge drinking could be unintended pregnancy and poor pregnancy outcomes like miscarriage and stillbirth, fetal alcohol disease, and sudden infant death syndrome.
Getting Help from Alcohol Rehab Scottsdale AZ
Whether you are male or female, an addiction to alcohol can take any shape and look like many things. But, it is never something to be ashamed of. If you or someone you know is battling alcoholism and would like help, don’t be afraid to reach out. You can give us a call or reach out to us online. We offer a variety of options including outpatient programs, treatment for one addiction or more, if necessary. We work with each individual to find a program that caters to your specific needs. It is never too late to start on a path to a sober life and a healthier existence.