April is Alcoholism Awareness Month

Binge Drinking is a Growing Concern

Recent research brings to light further evidence that binge drinking is a bigger problem than previously thought. According to a recent research study conducted through the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA), more than 38 million US adults binge drink at least four times a month. This behavior greatly increases the chances of automobile accidents, all types of violence, and suicide. Drinking too much, including binge drinking, causes over 80,000 deaths in the US each year. In 2010, it is estimated that binge drinking and alcohol abuse cost the economy over $223.5 billion.

Binge Drinking is a Bigger Problem Than Once Thought

Binge Drinking is defined as men drinking five or more alcoholic drinks within a short period of time or women drinking four or more drinks within a short period of time. Binge drinking is about more than just the number of binge drinkers. The amount and number of times binge drinkers drink are also important to address:

  • Age group with most binge drinkers: 18-34 years
  • Age group that binge drinks most often: 65+ years
  • Income group with most binge drinkers: more than $75,000
  • Income group that binge drinks the most often and drinks most per binge: less than $25,000
  • Most alcohol-impaired drivers binge drink

Everyone Can Help Prevent Binge Drinking

For most people who drink, alcohol is a pleasant accompaniment to social activities. Moderate alcohol use is not harmful for most adults. Nonetheless, a large number of people get into serious trouble because of their drinking. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Choose not to binge drink and help others not to do it.
  • Always drink in moderation. The US Dietary Guidelines on alcohol consumption recommend no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men. Pregnant women and underage youth should not drink alcohol.
  • Support effective community strategies to prevent binge drinking.
  • Support the minimum legal drinking age of 21.

Take the Alcohol Quiz

Read the following statements and answer Yes or No.

Do you think a party or social gathering isn’t fun unless alcohol is served?

Have family members, friends, or coworkers ever commented on your drinking?

Do you have friends you drink with?

Do you look forward to your next drink?

If you only drink after work or on weekends, do you think you couldn’t have a problem?

Are family members or friends beginning to avoid you?

Have you unsuccessfully tried to cut down or quit using alcohol?

Do you hide your use from other people?

Are you beginning to distrust and avoid some people?

Do you get up the day after drinking and not remember what happened the night before?

Do you have health problems as a result of your drinking?

Looking for an Answer?

If you answered Yes to three or more questions, it may be a sign that alcohol is starting to take over your life. The HealthQuest EAP has helped hundreds of State of Kansas employees and their family members successfully deal with alcohol related problems. Call us confidentially at 1-888-275-1205 (Option 7).