Summer is officially here and the 4th of July holiday is upon us. For many that conjures up images of backyard BBQs, fireworks and parades. Often those BBQs are flush with beer and assorted alcoholic beverages as many get an extra day off work for the holiday. This makes July 3rd a popular if not seemingly acceptable day for binge drinking.
However, binge drinking occurs far more often than holidays. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a whopping one in six U.S. adults binge drink about four times a month. Did you know that binge drinking is defined as consuming four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men over a short period of time? The CDC found that those people who were thought less likely to binge drink actually engage in this behavior more often and consume more drinks when they do.
North Shore demographics fall right in line with national binge drinking estimates: binge drinking is more common among those with household incomes of $75,000 or more. While binge drinking is more common among young adults aged 18–34 years, binge drinkers aged 65 years and older report binge drinking more often—an average of five to six times a month. It’s especially a problem for our young population; more than 90% of the alcohol youth drink is while binge drinking.
At LifeSkills Authorities we treat individuals and families who suffer from effects of alcohol abuse. A number of clients' problems started with binge drinking - be it themselves or their high school aged students. Binge drinking can lead to serious problems - ripping apart families, or as the precursor to more chronic alcohol and substance abuse issues. injuries and diseases, including car crashes, violence, and sexually transmitted diseases. Over time, binge drinking also can lead to liver disease, certain cancers, heart disease, stroke, and many other chronic health problems. The chance of getting sick and dying from alcohol problems increases significantly for those who binge drink more often and drink more when they do.
This summer holiday have fun and keep our community safe by adhering to healthy standards. U.S. Dietary Guidelines on alcohol consumption suggest that if you choose to drink, do so in moderation— no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men. Of course, pregnant women and underage youth should not drink alcohol and no one who has been drinking should get behind the wheel. 4th of July holidays are more fun for everyone when people around us are safe, healthy and coherent.
Michael Plahn is the Founder and Program Director of LifeSkills Authorities, a company uniquely designed to help families and individuals with issues around addiction, substance and alcohol abuse, depression and mood disorders. Michael helps families across Chicagoland and the United States to find solutions for their families recovery needs, with a specialization in helping at-risk young people to obtain treatment for substance abuse issues. LifeSkills Authorities is located in Glencoe, IL.