Waushara County Health News

Binge Drinking is a serious but preventable Public Health Problem

 

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 percent or higher. This is about four or more drinks for women or five or more drinks for men in a two-hour period. According to the 2019 County Health Rankings, approximately one out of four adults in Waushara County reported binge or heavy drinking. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that excessive alcohol use can have serious short and long term health risks.

Short Term Health Risks include: Injuries including motor vehicle crashes, falls, drowning, and burns; violence, including homicide, suicide, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence; alcohol poisoning; risky sexual behaviors; miscarriage and stillbirth or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

Long Term Health Risks include: high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems; cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon; learning and memory problems; mental health problems; social problems; alcohol dependence, or alcoholism.

Not only can binge drinking hurt you, but it can take a toll on your family members and friends, too. Most people who begin to abuse alcohol won’t recognize these issues. They will often focus on what they think are the positive benefits of alcohol use. Most people who drink a lot are not alcoholics however, that shift can happen quickly.

 

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol dependence or alcoholism; there are resources that can help. You can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline 24/7 at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). Counseling services are also available through Waushara County Human Services. Please call 920-787-6550 for more information.