Teens + Binge Drinking
The Centers for Disease Control estimate that nearly 38 million or one out of every six Americans have participated in binge drinking. In the Jan. 10 issue of the CDC journal Vital Signs researchers surveyed 458,000 Americans who were 18 and older, asking them how much they had to drink in the past 30 days. The age group with most binge drinkers is 18-34 years.
– CBS, January 12, 2012, www.CDC.gov/vitalsigns
In a previous study by the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), researchers reported that 29.8% of those 12 and older reported binge drinking in the past month.
– National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2008-2009
Weld County Teens and Binge Drinking
According to the 2012 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey in Weld County:
- More than 22.5% of Weld County high school students binge drank by consuming five or more alcoholic beverages per occasion. This included 20% females and 25% males
- More Hispanic/Latino high school students (27%) than non-Hispanic White high school students (18%) binge drank in 2010
- More Hispanic/Latino females (22%)in Weld County binge drank than Non-Hispanic White females (18%). Also, more Hispanic/Latino males (32.5%) binge drank than non-Hispanic White males (18.5%)
- 12% of students in Grade 9 as compared to 30.5% in Grade 12 binge drank, supporting research that shows that binge drinking in the past 30 days for adolescents typically increases with age
- More students perceive that students are binge drinking than actually are. Among Weld County high school students, 63% believe a “typical” student at their school binge drank in the past 30 days. However, the actual percentage is much less than that—only 22.5%
- “Everybody” isn’t binge drinking, and it’s important to get the word out!
Binge Drinking is Dangerous
Drinking large amounts of alcohol (four of five drinks) in a short period of time is known as binge drinking. In Weld County, many teens are daring each other to drink a lot at one time. They’re also playing drinking games. This is extremely dangerous, because it can result in alcohol poisoning.
- The first symptom of alcohol poisoning is usually violent vomiting
- When teens over drink, it can result in a sleepy feeling, or even unconsciousness
- Binge drinkers can experience difficulty in breathing or even have a seizure
- Alcohol poisoning can create dangerously low blood sugar levels
- In extreme situations, alcohol poisoning can cause death
It’s important for parents to have a conversation with their children about drinking games, binge drinking and the dangers of alcohol poisoning.