August marches on, the temperature is climbing, and students from the local universities are beginning to trickle back into this not-so-tiny college town. As students begin to gather in classes and parties, a particular tendency of young American adults begins to resurface: binge drinking. The National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as “as a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dL.” This pattern emerges differently for men and women. BAC typically reaches this level or higher in women who drink 4 or more drinks in two hours and in men who drink 5 or more drinks in two hours.
At a college party, a concoction of hormones, peer pressure, and youthful naiveté, students are a population segment most vulnerable to binge drinking. What is often chalked up to “just kids being kids” can have serious immediate and long term health effects.
UT Study Reveals Negative Health Effects of Binge Drinking
Research conducted by the University of Texas at Austin suggests that each year in the U.S. around 80,000 people die as a result of binge drinking habits. Binge drinking is most popular with young and young-working age groups, though the demographics are widening. The study, conducted over a span of 20 years found that the habit of binge drinking considerably shortened the participants’ life-span. Occasional heavy drinking was found to double the odds of a 20-year mortality compared to moderate drinking. In effect, the study found that it is the rate at which alcohol is consumed rather than the amount of alcohol that has a more harmful long-term effect on health. Beyond long-term consequences, binge-drinking contributes to harmful immediate behavior like drinking and driving, alcohol overdose or dependence, and impaired decision making.
Austin: The U.S.’s 5th Drunkest City
Austin, we need to talk. In 2013, Austin was named the 5th drunkest city in the U.S. Texas as a whole saw 1,300 drunk driving deaths in 2013. Travis county alone prosecuted 5,546 DWI cases last year. Austin’s drinking problem extends beyond college students, but we can begin by emphasizing alcohol education and moderation as a health mandate for our students, many experiencing independence for the first time. If your student is heading off to school soon, be sure to talk to them about the short and long-term effects of binge drinking and how to have a safe and fun college experience.
If you have been the victim of a DWI car accident contact an Austin personal injury lawyer; Jason McMinn and Justin McMinn will be happy to evaluate your case quickly and without cost. Call us at 512-474-0222, use the live chat on our website, fill out the form on this page, or email firstname.lastname@example.org