What do you mean by heavy drinking?
For men, heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming an average of more than 2 drinks per day. For women, heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming an average of more than 1 drink per day. (CDC)
What is Binge Drinking?
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism ( http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/), binge drinking is defined as a pattern of alcohol consumption that brings the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level to 0.08% or above within 2 hours.
5 or more drinks on a single occasion for men
4 or more drinks on a single occasion for women (CDC)
Binge drinking has all of the potential problems that go with drinking, but dramatically more so. With binge drinking you can significantly put yourself at risk for:
Bodily harm • Brain damage even death from alcohol poisoning • Serious injury even death from car accidents Engaging in behavior that later on they will really regret • Wrecking a college career • Serious legal trouble • Lasting health effects
Why do some people react differently to alcohol than others?
Individual reactions to alcohol vary, and are influenced by many factors, including but not limited to
- Race or ethnicity.
- Physical condition (weight, fitness level, etc).
- Amount of food consumed before drinking.
- How quickly the alcohol was consumed.
- Use of drugs or prescription medicines.
- Family history of alcohol problems. 9 (CDC)
Primary Effects of Binge Drinking
- Cold, clammy, pale, or bluish skin
- Slow or irregular breathing (less than 8 breaths a minute or 10 or more seconds between breaths).
- A severe and potentially fatal physical reaction to an alcohol overdose
- Is the most serious consequence of binge drinking. When excessive amounts of alcohol are consumed, the brain is deprived of oxygen.
- The struggle to deal with an overdose of alcohol and lack of oxygen will eventually cause the brain to shut down the voluntary functions that regulate breathing and heart rate.
Frequent and prolonged use of alcohol is detrimental to the body (especially to unborn fetuses) and can cause fatal medical problems, including liver damage and heart disease. Long term damage starts with the following effects: