Binge Drinking Bigger Problem than we Think

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The CDC today announced today that binge drinking is a "huge public health problem" in the U.S., yet most of us don't know it's a problem because 80% of binge drinkers are not alcoholics.

More than one in four high school students and adults ages 18 to 34 in the U.S. engage in dangerous binge drinking, putting themselves at increased risk of health problems, according to a report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Every year more than 33 million American adults binge drink.
Drinking too much, including binge drinking, causes more than 79,000 U.S. deaths in the United States annually, due to vehicle crashes, violence and the risk of HIV transmission and sexually transmitted diseases. Binge drinking is defined as having four or more drinks within a couple of hours and is a bigger problem than we think.

"Although most binge drinkers are not alcohol-dependent or alcoholics, they often engage in this high-risk behavior without realizing the health and social problems of their drinking. States and communities need to consider further strategies to create an environment that discourages binge drinking," said CDC's alcohol program leader and co-author of the report, Robert Brewer.

According to CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, it is the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States and it "increases many health risks, including fatal car crashes, contracting a sexually transmitted disease, dating violence, and drug overdoses."

The CDS did two surveys and questioned people and found that they took on an average eight drinks in a binge drinking session, which is ahead of the official limit. The CDC also reported that binge drinking is more prevalent in Whites and Hispanics as compared to Blacks. The problem is also present more in the high-income group.

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