Binge Drinking Defined
- Binge Drinker: Male who consumed 5 or more drinks in a row; Female who consumed 4 or more drinks in a row.
- Occasional Binge Drinker: Students who binge 1 or 2 times in a two week period.
- Frequent Binge Drinker: Students who binge 3 or more times in a two week period
Facts About Binge Drinking
- Frequent binge drinkers were 8 times more likely than non-binge drinkers to miss a class, fall behind in schoolwork, get hurt or injured, and damage property.
- More than 60% of college men and 50% of college women who binge drink report that they drink and drive.
- Binge drinking during college may be associated with mental health disorders such as compulsiveness, depression or anxiety, or early deviant behavior.
- In a national study 91% of women and 78% of men who were frequent binge drinkers considered themselves to be moderate.
- Binge drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning.
Binge Drinking on a College Campus
- According to a 1997 national study nearly half of all college students surveyed drank four or five drinks in one sitting in the previous two weeks.
- 39% of college women compared to 50% of college men binge drank within a two week period.
- Frequent binge drinkers consume 72% of all alcohol that college students drink.
- Each year, college students spend $5.5 billion on alcohol (mostly beer). This is more than they spend on books, soda, coffee, juice and milk combined. On a typical campus the average student will spend $466 annually on alcohol.
Alcohol Poisoning: What can happen?
- Victim can choke on their own vomit
- Breathing slows down or stops
- Heart beats become irregular of stop
- Hypothermia (low body temperature, leads to cardiac arrest)
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar, leads to seizures)
- Irreversible brain damage
- Many times the victim because of binge drinking does not realize that he/she has taken a fatal dose until it is too late
Critical Signs of Alcohol Poisoning
- Mental confusion, stupor, coma, or person cannot be roused.
- No response when pinching the skin.
- Vomiting while sleeping.
- Slow breathing (less than eight per minute).
- Irregular breathing (10 seconds of more between breaths).
- Hypothermia (low body temperature), bluish skin color, paleness.
- Know the danger signs.
- Do not wait for all symptoms to be present.
- Be aware that a person who has passed out may die.
- Don't try to guess the level of drunkenness, call 911 if in doubt.
What to Do if You Suspect Alcohol Poisoning
- Call 911 or the Emergency Medical Number.
- Stay with the victim.
- Keep the victim from choking on vomit.
- Tell emergency medical technicians the symptoms and if you know how much alcohol the victim drank. Prompt action may save the life of a friend, or your own.
Common Myths About Alcohol Poisoning
- Drinking black coffee will help.
- Taking a cold shower will help.
- Walking it off will help.
- Sleeping it off will help.
- These conventional treatments do not help: pumping the stomach, syrup of ipecac to induce vomiting, activated charcoal, narcan (to reverse the effects of central nervous system depressant).