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Old 08-31-2010, 01:46 PM
Written By: Dr LeCrone
Default Binge Drinking Can Lead To Disaster

College days can be some of the most exciting and memorable times of a young person’s life. However, problems can and do arise when alcohol abuse and binge drinking occur during these years.

Normally, a female who consumes more than three to four drinks at one sitting and a male more than four to five drinks is considered to be binge drinking. One sitting is about two hours.

In addition to the harmful effects of alcohol, binge drinking can lead to more at-risk behaviors.

Drunken driving, sexual assault (date rape), memory loss (blackouts), alcohol poisoning, unplanned or unprotected sex, accidents and injuries, property damage and academic problems are several possible consequences of binge drinking.

Alcohol poisoning is one of the most severe consequences of binge drinking where the functions in the brain that control breathing and heart rate shut down and sometimes lead to death.

Following are some suggestions for avoiding binging and excessive drinking:

* Surround yourself with friends who avoid excessive drinking or don’t drink at all. Don’t let the expression “Let’s party” mean that a party must include alcoholic beverages. Remember the old saying “Don’t run with the wrong crowd,” and observe the laws on drinking-age limits.

* Plan ahead. If you decide to drink alcohol, set obligatory limits for yourself. Make drinking games and contests out of bounds. Leave your credit cards and all but a small amount of cash at home to limit spending on large quantities of alcohol.

* If you drink alcohol, drink slowly. Many experts cite drinking only one alcoholic beverage per hour as a way of reducing the risk of becoming intoxicated.

Never drink alcohol on an empty stomach. Start off by drinking of non-alcoholic beverages and reduce the risk of getting intoxicated quickly. When drinking alcohol, space drinks with no alcohol between drinks with alcohol.

* Volunteer to be the designated driver and do not drink any alcohol. Provide your friends with a safe way to get home and prevent some alcohol related accidents.

Most partiers love to have a designated driver and will probably not pressure you to drink.

Finally, remember that you don’t need alcohol to enjoy life and know that alcohol abuse can often lead to alcohol dependency, addiction and numerous health problems.

Be cautious when drinking any amount of alcohol and seek professional help if you find that alcohol is causing problems for you or others.

Harold H. LeCrone, Jr., Ph.D. Copyright © 2010

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