Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Do you have a son or daughter leaving for college soon?  As a parent, it is hard to let go of our children, but every parent faces the "empty nest" sooner or later.  So, while you are out shopping for supplies for the dormitory, there is an important talk you need to have with your son/daughter.  Binge drinking...

The term “binge” drinking refers to the heavy consumption of five or more alcoholic drinks in a row by males and four or more drinks by females. A unit of alcohol is one standard drink:
  • Half a pint of beer - 3-9% alcohol by volume (ABV);
  • A small glass of wine (125ml) at 8% ABV;
  • A pub measure of liquor (25ml) at 40% ABV;
Despite laws in every State that make it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase or possess alcohol, teens report that alcohol is easy to obtain and that many high school and college students drink with one goal in mind – to get drunk. About one-third of high school students and 45% of college students report binge drinking.

*“Highlights of SAMHSA’s 1998 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse include:
  • About 10.4 million adolescents ages 12 to 20 reported using alcohol. Of those, 5.1 million were binge drinkers and included 2.3 million heavy drinkers who binged at least five times a month.
  • Nearly 9 percent of boys and 7 percent of girls ages 12 to 17 reported binge drinking in the previous month.
  • White, non-Hispanic youth ages 12 to 17 reported the highest frequency of binge drinking (9 percent) as compared with 6 percent of Hispanic and 3 percent of black, non-Hispanic youth.
  • Binge drinking among youth ages 12 to 17 appears to occur most frequently in the north central region of the United States and in metropolitan areas.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the four leading injury-related causes of death among youths under the age of 20 are motor vehicle crashes, homicides, suicides and drowning. Alcohol is involved in many of these deaths.

  • They drink to get drunk;
  • They’re curious;
  • They want to know what it’s like to drink alcohol;
  • The status associated with drinking;
  • They believe it will make them feel good;
  • They may look at alcohol as a way to relieve stress;
  • Peer pressure.
  • College students are more likely to binge drink, especially freshmen away from home for the first time;
  • If they were binge drinkers in high school, they are three times more likely to binge in college;
  • Binge drinkers are more likely to be white, male students;
  • Attend school in the northeast part of the country;
  • Be associated with fraternities, sororities or athletic activities;
  • Live in frat or sorority houses or dorms.
  • *"Alcohol poisoning – a severe and potentially fatal physical reaction to an alcohol overdose – is the most serious consequence of binge drinking. When excessive amounts of alcohol are consumed, the brain is deprived of oxygen. The struggle to deal with an overdose of alcohol and lack of oxygen will eventually cause the brain to shut down the voluntary functions that regulate breathing and heart rate."
  • Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include:
  • Vomiting
  • Unconsciousness
  • Cold, clammy, pale, or bluish skin
  • Slow or irregular breathing (less than 8 breaths a minute or 10 or more seconds between breaths)

  • Of schools with high binge drinking rates, 34 percent of non-binge drinkers reported being insulted or humiliated by binge drinkers;
  • 13 percent reported being pushed, hit, or assaulted;
  • 54 percent reported having to take care of a drunken student;
  • 68 percent were interrupted while studying;
  • 26 percent of women experienced an unwanted sexual advance.
  • Frequent binge drinkers were eight times more likely than non-binge drinkers to miss a class, fall behind in schoolwork, get hurt or injured, and damage property;
  • Nearly one out of every five teenagers (16 percent) has experienced “black out” spells where they could not remember what happened the previous evening because of heavy binge drinking;
  • More than 60 percent of college males and almost 50 percent of college females who are frequent binge drinkers report that they drink and drive;
  • Binge drinking during college may be associated with mental health disorders, such as compulsiveness, depression, anxiety or early deviant behavior;
  • In a national study, 91 percent of females and 78 percent of the males who were frequent binge drinkers considered themselves to be moderate or light drinkers.
  • Group Counseling - Teens respond very well to group counseling. Individual counseling may be helpful as well, but it can be difficult to get teens to open up in a one-on-one situation.
  • Education About Teenage Alcoholism - Education is an extremely important part of the treatment of teenage alcoholism. Teens rarely understand the dangers of drinking alcohol. They need to be educated about the health risks they face when they drink.
  • Family Counseling - Family counseling is a crucial part of the treatment for teen alcoholism. Family counseling is geared towards repairing the relationship between parents and teens. Parents and teens need to learn healthy communication skills. Family members need to learn how best to support teens in recovery.
  • Medical Treatment - Teens that have been drinking heavily may need to detox. Detoxing should always be done under medical supervision.
We all know that TV and movies glamorize drinking; very seldom do they show any consequences of drinking, so teenagers don't realize how dangerous drinking can be. As parents, we have to talk to our teens, and explain to them that drinking too much alcohol too fast in a very short period of time is like writing their own death certificate. Take it from someone who knows, with teens, you have to be blunt and give them all the facts. This is one discussion you can't afford to put off having with your teen, especially if he/she will be living on campus.



I am Harriet said...

They don't get it- just as we didn't when we were teens.

Stopping by from SITS to say hello!

Kmphillips73 said...

As the parent of teens this is all very troubling to me. All we can really do is our best and the rest is up to them, unfortunately.

Tamra Augostino said...

Stopping by from SITS and Twittermoms.

It's a very scary world. It's also so hard as a teenager to feel accepted and to stand up for what's right.

We need to work harder as a society to give the teenagers something to do other than binge drink. We need to let them know that they CAN have fun without getting drunk.

ParentingPink said...

Great article - very informative. Though my daughters are young, I worry about these trends in the future.

Country Mouse, City Mouse said...

Hi, I am here from Twittermoms. I am a new follower, I look forward to seeing you back over at my place.

Dee-Zigns Handcrafted Jewelry said...

Horrible reading this but we need to know and be aware. Thanks for the info.
PS I tagged you on a post today ;).

Together We Save said...

Thanks for the post. It is way to scarey out there. I have 2 teens now and we talk all the time about the dangers of alcohol and drugs.

Melissa {adventuroo} said...

I don't have teens yet but this frightens me already!

Yankee Texan said...

Great article - lots of information.

Unknown said...

Ugh, binge drinking is terrible. There's no reason for it beyond peer pressure from douchebag friends. :/


Alcohol poisoning symptoms said...

keep the great info coming.

Funny Drunk stories said...

This article have been helped me to realize more things regarding the problems creating from drinking and their related issues.

Carolin Newmeyer said...

The brunt of the influence stems from peer pressure, and the best way to balance it is for parents to be with their kids when they're not in school. Remember that being strict may only elicit the opposite reaction from kids, so when it comes to drinking and other substance abuse, it is best to tread lightly.

Cheap Cosplay Costume said...

Its really an excellent post. I really enjoyed a lot. Thanks for sharing this.

ReviewsSheRote said...

great post---full of wonderful information

it's great to "BE" ™ said...

Thanks for your insightful post... WOW the Northeast... I wonder why? That popped out at me because I live in the Northeast. I wonder if there are more colleges in a smaller vicinity, and thats why? Do you know?

Christine D. | The Plumed Nest said...

drinking scares me!! i blacked out once, funny thing about it it was on my 30th bday! those martinis are dangerous, they are little and packed and easy to drink! i am also not a "drinker" and even less so since then - like a few times a year maybe. then i learned blacking out is because your body starts to shut down things that are less important, like memory, in order to keep the rest of you going. as in alive. scary. no thanks. i now have a 2 drink limit no matter how small or tasty they are. i also talk to my son about the dangers of drinking. i am definitely not opposed to it, but like what happened to me, can easily happen to anyone. and kids NEED to know that! fun can turn into serious horrible consequences with just one choice. good for you for talking about it!

Kristine said...

Same thing with Christine. I first took alcoholic drinks at 14 years old with my high school classmates and got drunk! I didn't like the feeling, so I've never took alcohol that much since then. As a teenager at that time, curiosity and peer pressure were the reasons why I took alcohol. I'm from the Philippines, by the way, and visiting from Voiceboks. :)

Mommy Roxi said...

As a young (mid-20s) Mom, I have a lot to share to my son when he grows up and goes to high school or college. We live in a country where getting alcohol isn't hard to buy, even for minors.

My husband and I had our first drink probably at age 14? Not getting drunk, you know just having a couple of drinks and getting that tipsy feeling. It was only in high school when things got heavier you can say.

Our thinking is when we educate Jacob on drinking, etc. is that better he learns it from us, that from other friends so that he doesn't go out there curious.

The Detox Diva said...

We did the same thing when we were teens and so did our parents. I think my saving grace was being exposed to wine at a very early age. Being allowed wine diluted with water or fruit juice allowed me to feel grown up. Being able to go out at 16 and order a beer meant it wasn't taboo. Binge drinking is a North American (or British) phenomenon. Going to school in Spain made it less likely. I still had my moments of peer pressure when I went back home but it was much rarer. Making it less of a stigma would really help!

Unknown said...

This is such an important post! My brother is in his Sophomore year in college, and I worry about him. I'm pretty sure he's smart enough not to cave into peer pressure, because he never did in highschool, but I'm afraid that he might drink because of the stress he puts on himself. A lot of times when we do things we know aren't the best for us, we have a way of justifying it for ourselves.

Kailash Chand said...

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