News Brief By Ted Midthun
What some may feel is an initiatory rite when it comes to college, binge drinking brings serious consequences. According to researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health (UAB), the negatives outweigh any benefit to drinking in excess. Binge drinking is defined as having four drinks for women in two hours and five drinks for men in two hours. While many know the information on how much alcohol determines a drink for each type of beverage, many do not understand, or undermine the penalties that can arise. Megan McMurray, a researcher at UAB, explains that alcohol is a depressant and harms many bodily functions. This impairment can lead to slower breathing, vomiting, seizures and irregular breathing.
While alcohol may be a part of the college cultural experience, there are many alternatives and habits that minimize the risk of effects from binge drinking. Peter Hendricks, associate professor at UAB, explains that “alcohol leads to impulsive decisions and can be addictive.” Hendricks recommends that those who are of legal drinking age should consume no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. Some suggestions that may reduce the harm of alcohol use include alternating each drink with water, avoid taking shots or drinking too quickly, staying away from mixed drinks, and always staying with your drink. While alcohol can be appropriate in moderation, binge drinking causes serious health imparities and comes with many costs that do more harm than good.
University of Alabama at Birmingham. "The dangers, risks of binge drinking." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 March 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160311125324.htm>