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Binge Drinking: A Concerning Behavior

Binge Drinking Among Teens is Concerning

Binge DrinkingAh, high school. The good ol’ days. Passing notes to friends, waving at your crush in the cafeteria, and knocking back 10 to 15 beers at parties. Wait…knocking back 10 to 15 beers?

It’s true: USA Today reports that high school binge drinking is a concerning.[1] They state that one in 10 high school seniors engage in extreme binge drinking, consuming as many as 10 or more drinks in one session.1 This dangerous behavior leads many teens to be hospitalized with injuries, alcohol poisoning, unintended pregnancy, and liver damage.1 They’re setting themselves up for a future of dependence.1

Research Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, Megan Patrick, headed a study on extreme binge drinking in adolescents. Patrick and colleagues reviewed data from a national sample of 16,000 high school seniors who had filled out questionnaires regarding their behaviors and drinking habits.1

What is Binge Drinking?

Binge drinking is defined at consuming five or more drinks in a period of two hours.[2] A drink is 12 ounces of beer, four ounces of wine, one mixed drink, or a shot glass of liquor.1

Who is at Risk of Binge Drinking?

Patrick and colleagues found that boys were more likely than girls to binge drink, and that the behavior was more common among white students than black students.1 High school seniors with college-educated parents were more likely to binge drink, but those who did not have college-educated parents were more likely to engage in extreme binge drinking.1 Binge drinking is more popular in rural areas, and those who partake are more likely to move on to drugs.1

President of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Jan Withers, states that parents are the voice of reason.1 Parents who state that they love their child often and advise them to make healthy choices, as well as setting boundaries with underage alcohol consumption, decrease their child’s risk of becoming a binge drinker.1 The time is now—talk to your teen.



[1] Hellmich, N. (2013, September 16). 1 in 10 high school seniors are extreme binge drinking. USA TODAY. Retrieved September 17, 2013, from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/09/16/extreme-binge-drinking-seniors/2809739/

[2] Fact Sheets-Binge Drinking. (n.d.). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved September 17, 2013, from http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/binge-drinking.htm

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