Who is binge drinking in the US?


by Rachel Burt, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner at Roswell OB/GYN………………………………….

I must admit, I was surprised by who is most likely to be binge drinking on a regular basis.  When I think about binge drinking, I think about a college fraternity party with a bunch of guys standing around with plastic cups. Take a minute to think about what you imagine as binge drinking…

Binge drinking is defined as 4 alcoholic drinks in one occasion.  More and more women are binge drinking.  On average, approximately 14 million US women binge drink 3 times per month with an average of 6 drinks per occasion.  Caucasian women between the ages of ages 18 to 34 and making over $75,000 per year  are most likely to binge drink.

The consequences of binge drinking include the obvious – risk for unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections as a result of risky behavior while intoxicated.  But, other consequences are less obvious – including heart disease, breast cancer and 23,000 deaths yearly.

Talking about alcohol usage is very tricky in our society.  Alcohol often takes center stage in our social lives – after work at happy hour, family celebrations, dinner with friends, and girls weekends.  Moderate alcohol consumption is defined for women as one serving of alcohol at one occasion.  Women’s bodies respond differently to alcohol then men.  The smaller size and ability to process alcohol leads to faster intoxication for women.  Not only do we need to be aware of our alcohol intake but we also need to talk with our daughters.  62 percent of high school senior girls who reported drinking alcohol in the last month had binge drinking episodes.  Let’s keep our teenage girls safe.

For more information please visit the CDC website – http://www.cdc.gov/VitalSigns/BingeDrinkingFemale/index.html

If you have any concerns, please schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider at 770 751 3600.

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