What is Binge Drinking?
For teenagers, alcohol is not less than a drug that devastates their rest of the life. Statistics of U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reveal that in America alone, 4,750 kids below 15 years of age take their first drink. Instead of knowing that alcohol consumption is illegal and understanding its severe consequences, they do it secretively. Experiments have explicitly stated that such teenagers under 15 are 5 times more likely to fall prey of alcohol consumption in contrast to adults. Another drastic outcome of tasting alcohol at this age is that they consume far more alcohol than adults over shorter period of time. This stage is referred as Binge Drinking.
Binge drinking is often overlooked issue in United States. Research has stated that teens consume more alcohol than drugs or tobacco. Though the percentage of heavy alcohol consumption has declined from 2002 to 2014 according to national survey of SAMHSA but still 5 million youngsters between 12- 20 years are binge drinkers apart from 1.3 million heavy drinkers. Statistics reveal that approximately 77% of underage drinkers drink in a group while 6.3% drink in isolation while the rest of the youth reported that they drink with one or the other person.
Risks Factors associated with Binge Drinking
There are a number of reasons for binge drinking like high level of impulsiveness, aggressive nature, behavioral issues, novelty seeking and an impatient tendency to consider negative consequences immediately without analyzing facts patiently. Following are the risk factors associated with binge drinking-
- Binge drinking is alone accountable for 4,300 deaths in underage youths.
- Millions of emergency rooms are engaged with underage alcohol addicts because of injuries and related conditions.
- Sexual involvement, unwanted, unintended and unprotected physical activity with multiple sex partners.
- Drinking while driving, physically hurting others while being drunk and encountering with legal issues.
- Increased intimidation of sexual and physical assault
- Increased number of suicidal and homicide tendencies
- Loss of memory
- Involvement in drugs
- Long life severe effects on brain development during teenage years
- Increased risk of heavy drinking in later part of life. Such teenagers are exposed to drinking 5 times more alcohol than other alcohol abuse.
Underage drinking Campaign
Understanding the severe impact of binge drinking and alcohol addiction, SAMHSA developed public awareness in regards to health education. SAMHSA looks for bright future of the future generation and engages parents, caregivers, schools and communities so that underage drinking can be prevented. The parents should start talking about the dangers of alcohol with kids as soon as they are 9 years old. The primary objective of the alcohol campaign is-
- Developing awareness among parents in regards to prevalence and risks of teenage drinking.
- Developing awareness, knowledge and confidence in parents and equipping them to deal with such situations with optimistic state.
- Assisting parents in taking actions so that underage drinking can be prevented.
This is a considerable level of public health challenge. Medical research states that underage youth may develop impaired brain or their brain may be susceptible to long term of depressing consequences because of alcohol usage. In order to treat binge drinking problem, wholehearted support of parents, schools, families, communities and health care system is required at various levels.