We have a serious problem. In the wake of other topics and issues, the epidemic of young teenage women, and young women in general, binge drinking has been overlooked. Right now, the CDC is reporting that one in five young high school girls, and one in eight women engage in binge drinking. By definition, binge drinking is having four or more drinks, including beer, wine, and hard liquor, at one time. This is a serious issue, and if not addressed properly, can cause numerous health issues for women as they age. Binge drinking can put women at higher risks for breast cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, heart disease, and unintended pregnancy. Binge drinking is not only dangerous in the moment, but its long-lasting effects can be lethal.
Women do not have the same metabolism as men. Women's bodies are smaller and a drink effect's a woman's body differently than it does a man's body. In our culture of over-consumption, women often think they can match men drink for drink, when the reality is, they usually can't. Another problem is that alcohol is not looked upon as seriously as other risky behaviors are. Over-consumption of alcohol is often forgotten about, or is often looked upon as commonplace. Television and movies do not help to curb this issue; they portray drinking as fun and exciting. T he truth is that the over consumption of alcohol is not what it appears, and it can lead to consequences which cannot be foreseen.
Alcohol impairs judgment and reasoning skills. When binge drinking, a young woman might find herself in situations she would avoid if sober. Additionally, 90% of drinks consumed by young people occur while binge drinking. This statistic is terrifying, because it means that virtually all alcohol consumed by young people occurs all at once, and not, for example, by having one drink. The out of body effect of drinking can seem appealing, but in reality, it is deadly and deceiving.
Education is a key to addressing the risks involved with regards to binge drinking. Parents need to be on guard and teach their children that alcohol is every bit as dangerous as other drugs. Binge drinking, though not necessarily a precursor to life-long alcohol addiction, can lead to alcoholism if not addressed. The rates of male binge drinking have fallen over the last 10 years; but the rates for young women have not, and this needs to be taken seriously.
Young women need to realize that alcohol consumption has serious consequences. Having fun in the moment is not always as innocent as it appears. A moment can come and go in a flash, leaving a person in utter disrepair. Ladies, it's time to get serious about what alcohol is doing to our bodies. It is nothing to toy with.