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The Risks of Binge Drinking

Binge drinking is regularly defined as consuming an excess of drinks within a given time period – five or more drinks within two hours for men, and four or more drinks within two hours for women. The trend appears to be rising around the world, leading many to wonder about the short-term and long-term health effects that come with it. Blackouts, impaired judgment, and increased risk of sexual assault only begin the list. Increased risk of cirrhosis, tuberculosis, brain damage, hypertension, heart damage, and cardiac arrythmias are all associated with binge drinking as well. The World Health Organization’s study on binge drinking found the following:

“Besides the adverse social impact on family members, relatives, friends and co-workers, people’s drinking can also impact on strangers, who can be victims of road traffic accidents caused by a drunk driver or be assaulted by an intoxicated person. A report on one carnival season in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, found that at least 16,800 people were reported hurt in fits of violence, street fights, car crashes and accidents from excessive drinking. Intoxicated people commit many crimes where the victims are unknown to the perpetrators, including homicide, robbery, sexual assault and property crimes. The wellbeing of others can also be affected by verbal threats, noise and nuisance from intoxicated people. Again, these offences often also impact the drinker if she or he is arrested and punished.”