Drug Aware­ness Topic of the Month: Binge Drink­ing


With the hol­i­days fast ap­proach­ing the Harm Re­duc­tion Pil­lar of the Swift Cur­rent and Dis­trict Drug Task force would like to re­mind ev­ery­one to prac­tice safe drink­ing habits while en­joy­ing the hol­i­day sea­son. What is Binge Drink­ing? Binge drink­ing is de­fined by hav­ing many drinks on one oc­ca­sion. This would be five or more drinks for a male, or four or more drinks for a fe­male. What is a con­sid­ered one drink? One stan­dard drink is a sin­gle: 12 oz. can/341 ml 5% al­co­hol beer, or a 5 oz./142 ml. glass of 12% al­co­hol wine, or 1.5 oz/43 ml of 40% al­co­hol liquor. What hap­pens when you Binge Drink? Gen­er­ally the in­ten­tion when binge drink­ing is to be­come in­tox­i­cated or drunk. This oc­curs be­cause in­di­vid­u­als are drink­ing faster than the body is able to elim­i­nate. Gen­er­ally it takes the body a lit­tle over one hour to break down and elim­i­nate one stan­dard drink Risks of Binge Drink­ing? - Get­ting into fights or be­ing as­saulted;

- Hav­ing un­wanted and/or un­pro­tected sex;

- De­vel­op­ing or wors­en­ing de­pres­sion and other men­tal health prob­lems;

- Hav­ing black­outs (los­ing all mem­ory of where you are and what you did); - Hang­overs; - In­creased risk to sui­cide; - Get­ting in­jured or killed while driv­ing;

- Get­ting in­jured or killed due to a fall;

- In­creased risk to dy­ing from al­co­hol poi­son­ing;

- Chok­ing on your own vomit;

- In­creased risk of ar­rest and other le­gal prob­lems.

Over a longer term, re­peated binge drink­ing can in­crease risk of:

- Dam­age to stom­ach, pan­creas, liver and brain; - De­vel­op­ing can­cer; - De­vel­op­ing an ad­dic­tion to al­co­hol. Some signs to watch for al­co­hol poi­son­ing are: - Dis­ori­en­ta­tion or con­fu­sion;

- Pass­ing out and not be­ing able to be wo­ken up; - Slow, ir­reg­u­lar breath­ing; - Bluish or pale, cold, clammy skin; - Slowed heart rate; - Vom­it­ing while passed out. What do I do if some is passed out from al­co­hol poi­son­ing? - Gen­tly roll the per­son to his or her side, tilt­ing the head back and tuck­ing the top hand un­der the chin to keep the mouth open and air­way clear. This helps re­duce the risk of chok­ing if the per­son vom­its. Bend the per­son’s top leg and bot­tom arm to sup­port this po­si­tion.

- Do not leave the per­son alone.

- Call 911 if you can­not wake the per­son, es­pe­cially if he or she is vom­it­ing or has vom­ited. Safe Drink­ing Tips - Pace your­self by al­ter­nat­ing al­co­holic drinks with soft drinks or wa­ter. Eat be­fore you drink and while you are drink­ing.

- Know your limit and keep to it. Do not let oth­ers push you be­yond it. - Drink slowly. Don’t chug. - Stop drink­ing be­fore you feel drunk.

- Do not mix al­co­hol with medicines, il­le­gal drugs or en­ergy drinks. - Count your drinks. - Never leave your drink unat­tended.

- Plan ahead. Ar­range a safe ride prior to go­ing out. NEVER DRIVE if you con­sume any amount of al­co­hol.

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