When it comes to drinking, men and women are not created equal. This disparity between the genders is even more concerning relative to binge drinking. While studies show that women suffer the consequences of drinking faster than men in general, women and binge drinking can be a deadly combination. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in eight women binge drink and it at least 23,000 women die annually in the United States as a result. Despite these staggering statistics, recent surveys indicate that binge drinking among women is far from abating. In fact, nearly 14 million American women binge drink at least three times a month.
Binge drinking is defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism as a pattern of alcohol consumption that bring blood alcohol levels or concentration (BAC) to 0.08 or higher. This represents drinking five or more alcoholic beverages for men and four or more for women; within a two hour period. Unfortunately, women who engage in binge drinking consistently put themselves at risk of alcohol poisoning and death by repeatedly exceeding safe drinking limits.
The effects of binge drinking on women goes beyond the immediate and visible signs of inebriation, black outs, severe hangover and the suffering caused by alcohol poisoning. Scientific study into the biomedical impact of alcohol on the female anatomy reveal that:
Because binge drinking is an irregular activity, people who engage in this practice are usually unaware of the harmful accumulative effects. According to the Center for Disease Control, these encompass a wide range of medical problems directly attributed to binge drinking that can be curbed with greater awareness and timely intervention.
The first step in the treatment process for an alcohol use disorder is to recognize the dangers as well as the need for treatment. Despite the fact that binge drinkers are most at risk of becoming a statistic of alcohol poisoning, binge drinkers are the least likely to admit that they have a drinking problem and therefore rarely seek help. Professional alcohol treatment can help to identify if there are any underlying issues such as genetic predisposition, a mental disorder or emotional connection that is contributing to binge drinking.
Various treatment options are available. The right option for an individual will be based on a number of variables such as how long they have been binge drinking, how often and whether the residual effects has already begun to manifest on a physical or psychological level.
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