High risk drinking is one of the most common, and dangerous problems that exist in almost all parts of the world. This one addiction has led to the loss of many lives. Read on to know about the health and safety risks that this habit poses …
Getting involved in high risk drinking kills several hundred college students each year, causes injuries that are several times more in numbers, and leads to many many cases of sexual assaults, and academic failure … Approximately, 50 percent men, and 39 percent women in the United States of America are involved in binge drinking, the majority of them being Whites.
High risk drinking is also termed as binge drinking, extreme drinking, or even industrial strength binging. Everyone of us has heard of an accident due to ‘high risk drinking’. Be it an automobile accident, a date rape, or even physical assault to the extent of murders, most of these incidents are a result of drinking beyond one’s capacity. Alcohol is indirectly linked with the arousal of physical and sexual aggression; and consuming alcohol beyond the standard limits, leads to consequences that could also prove to be fatal at times.
How Much Drinking is ‘Risky Drinking’?
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has explained high risk drinking. A person is said to be a high risk drinker, when a person’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) has reached as high as 0.08% or more, due to consumption of a certain number of drinks in a single sitting. Generally, binge drinking for a man is when he has consumed 5 or more standard drinks, whereas for women, it is 4 or more drinks within a five-hour period. Mentioned under are the ideal quantities for a standard drink.
- Beer: 10 oz
- Wine: 5 oz
- 80 Proof Spirits: 1.5 oz
Therefore, when we ask how much alcohol is too much, one should calculate according to the aforementioned quantities.
Types of High Risk Drinkers
For most high risk drinkers, drinking is a lifestyle choice which usually occurs due to the ‘everyone does it’ attitude. British researchers have identified 9 different types of high risk, or heavy drinkers. According to The Telegraph, these heavy drinkers are as follows.
- De-Stress Drinkers: These drinkers use liquor to take the stress off their minds and calm themselves down. These generally include men and women from middle class families.
- Depressed Drinkers: These drinkers use drinking as a way to fight with the depression and anxiety that they are dealing with!
- Border Dependents: These drinkers consider pub to be their home away from home! In fact, they make their way to the pub as often as possible to indulge in binge drinking.
- Macho Drinkers: Very similar to the former category, these drinkers are usually men from different age groups, who want to spend some time in a pub drinking, just to stand out from the rest of the crowd!
- Re-Bonding Drinkers: Such drinkers use alcohol as a medium to be in touch with the people who are close to them and hold importance in their life!
- Boredom Drinkers: As the name suggests, these drinkers consume alcohol for passing their time and getting rid of the boredom!
- Community Drinkers: These drinkers drink in huge friendship groups. They drink due to the sense of belonging towards the community.
- Hedonistic Drinkers: These drinkers are generally divorced people with no responsibilities of kids and family. They drink to abandon control so that they can stand out from the rest of the crowd.
- Conformist Drinkers: These drinkers drink to find a definite meaning and structure in their individual lives. Mostly middle class men and women belong to this category!
Threats Resulting from High Risk Drinking
If you go through the binge drinking statistics, you will be surprised to know that in the United States alone, population under the age of 21 consumes 90% of alcohol in the form of binge drinking. Also, the teenage drunk driving statistics show that 60% of teen deaths in road accidents occur due to drunk driving! Shocking isn’t it? Mentioned below are some of the most commonly known threats that can prove to be a curse to both, the society and the binge drinker.
- A Threat to the Society: Extreme drinking is mostly done for the fun of it, the fun, which ultimately leads to addiction! Do you realize how threatening can it be for the people around you? There are so many cases wherein people have driven a car over a pedestrian, and then ran away ultimately leaving the person alone to die. Many people have also met with accidents leading to severe injuries, traumas, and even death! Studies also show that heavy alcohol consumption also leads to aroused sexual behavior, eventually leading in cases like date rape, unprotected sex, contraction of STDs, sexual assaults, and casual sexual activities. Apart from that, extreme consumption of alcohol can also lead to aggressive behavior, both sexually and physically.
- A Threat to Your Own Self: Not only can a non-controllable alcoholic, prove to be a threat to others, but also to his own self! If you are a binge drinker, ask yourself, have you ever experienced blackouts and memory loss, wherein you have absolutely no memory about what you did when you were immensely drunk, as if that page of your life has been wiped out of your memory? Have you ever noticed bruises and wounds on your body and you have no idea where they came from? Sounds familiar? Well, this is just the beginning because things can get a lot more worse with time. The memory loss can become a permanent ailment and the medical term for this is Alcoholic Dementia.
- As mentioned earlier, alcohol also leads to extreme aggression which can lead to fatal consequences. Some people (mostly teenagers), indulge in extremely dangerous activities like car racing, bike stunts, swimming in the nights, etc. These activities can prove to be highly life-threatening. Binge drinking behavior has also been observed in college students resulting in campus property damage. Also, research states that population indulging in heavy drinking are more prone to indulge in ‘risky sexual activities’, which in turn, puts one under the risk of contracting STDs.
Be it a lifestyle choice, or some other reason, high risk drinking should be avoided as it is not only a matter of the drinker’s health, but also the question of the safety of people who are around. There should be adequate support and awareness in the society about the risks involved in high risk drinking, otherwise the drinkers wouldn’t understand the severity of the situation. Everyone can contribute in some way or the other. I have done my bit. So, what is your stand on this issue?