Teenage binge-drinking: Why it’s so dangerous for young people to overindulge in alcohol
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in six adults partake in binge drinking and 25% do so at least once a week.
Yet it is most common among young adults aged 18 to 24 – leading to emergency situations such as a Reported Saturday at the University of Massachusetts. More than 30 college students were taken to the hospital after they participated in a TikTok-fueled drinking binge.
As part of the trend, students prepare and drink “blackout rage gallons” or “Borgs,” which contain a mixture of alcohol, electrolytes, flavorings and water. As of Monday, “BORG” videos on TikTok had amassed 81.5 million views and counting.
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More than 3,900 people under the age of 21 die each year Excessive alcohol consumptionAlcoholism is a very real danger for young people.
Dr. Eric Collins, A New York City-based Addiction Psychiatrist and Chief Medical Officer at RecoveryEducation.com said that while drinking is dangerous for everyone, the effects of the behavior can be even more dangerous for young people.
“The mind of Adolescents and young adults are not fully developed, making them more vulnerable to impulsive, emotionally driven behaviors that are the most common cause of alcohol-related injuries and death,” he told Fox News Digital in an email.
“Furthermore, young people may not have developed a significant tolerance to drinking, making them more vulnerable to the toxic effects of alcohol at any given blood alcohol concentration,” he said.
What is alcoholism?
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines “drinking as a pattern of drinking that results in a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% – or 0.08 grams of alcohol per deciliter – or higher.”
For a woman, this equates to four or more drinks in about two hours; For a man, that would be five or more drinks.
Blood alcohol rises sharply for young adults (three drinks for girls and three to five drinks for boys) in the same time frame.
Every year, more than 3,900 people under the age of 21 die from drinking too much alcohol.
“A ‘drink’ is defined very specifically. Often, when people make a mixed drink, it qualifies as more than one drink if it contains more than one shot of alcohol,” Bruce Bassey. , MD, an addiction psychiatrist, said. Jacksonville, FloridaIn an interview with Fox News Digital.
Short-term effects of adolescent drinking
Dr. Bassey warned that young people who drink alcohol are more likely to have impaired thinking and engage in risky behaviors, such as driving under the influence or engaging in unprotected sex.
“Binge drinking can lead to blackouts, during which the person is conscious but unable to remember what happened during the episode,” he said.
If you are drinking too much alcohol, you need to know
A potentially life-threatening consequence of drinking alcohol is alcohol poisoning or alcohol overdose, which occurs when the body cannot work fast enough to filter the amount being consumed.
As a result, certain areas of the brain begin to shut down, as explained on the NIH website.
Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include vomiting, mental confusion, passing out, seizures, difficulty breathing, slow heart rate and low body temperature.
In severe cases, permanent brain damage or even death can occur.
Cognitive decline, disease are possible long-term effects
Because the adolescent brain is still developing, Dr. Bassey said drinking alcohol can lead to long-term cognitive decline.
“Exposure to high levels of alcohol during this time can disrupt the development of the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for decision-making, impulse control and emotional regulation,” he explained.
“The later a young person waits to drink, the lower the risk of developing an alcohol use disorder.”
Mental problems such as Depression, anxietyAttention deficits and insomnia can also occur in teenagers who drink alcohol, Bassey added.
Long-term physical health is also affected.
Just one drinking session can weaken the immune system. Over time, according to the NIH, regular alcohol abuse can cause liver damage as well as several types of cancer.
Negative social effects are also possible.
Dr. Bassi said, “Excessive drinking can lead to decreased academic performance, strained relationships with family and friends, and legal problems.”
And the pattern of behavior may extend into adulthood. Dr. Collins warned that the effects of repeated drinking during adolescence can make the brain more vulnerable to development. Alcohol use disorder Later in life.
Quick treatment, long-term support is key
If a young person is engaged in potentially dangerous drinking, Dr. Bassey recommends going to the emergency room to ensure safe detoxification from alcohol.
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“In the ER, treatment for alcoholism may include addressing any immediate medical concerns, such as alcohol poisoning or injuries sustained during the episode,” he said.
“The person can be given fluids and electrolytes to prevent dehydration and treat any injuries or medical conditions.”
Once the body has processed the alcohol and the person is out of imminent danger, people can then consider therapy or alcohol treatment programs.
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Dr. “More intensive treatment options may include medication-assisted treatment, residential treatment programs or outpatient treatment programs,” Bassey said.
Overall, experts agree that avoiding underage drinking is the best protection against the serious risks of alcoholism.
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“The later a young person waits to drink, the lower their risk of developing an alcohol use disorder,” said Dr. Collins.