Binge drinking is pervasive common among 18 to 21-year-olds... and if you're in college, chances are that you've done it before. So what does it mean to binge drink, anyway? There is currently no international consensus on how many drinks constitute a 'binge,' but the term is often taken to mean the following: for a man, consuming 5 or more standard drinks, or 4 or more drinks for a woman, in about 1 to 3 hours. However, these numbers vary significantly based on weight and numerous other variables.Binge drinking is prevalent on almost every college campus, and is often incorporated into many college activities, from sporting events to parties and random Tuesday nights.Unfortunately, people who binge drink on a regular basis often suffer negative consequences as a result, like missed classes, poor grades, or trouble with the police. As well, regular binge drinkers are considerably more likely to drive drunk or to have unprotected sex -activities that have some potential consequences of their own. Here is another sobering statistic: each year 1,400 college students die from alcohol poisoning associated with binge drinking. The best defense against the consequences of binge drinking is obvious - don't binge drink. However, many people won't make that choice. If you are among them, you can make your experience safer by alternating your alcoholic drinks with water or sports drinks. This will help slow the rate at which you absorb the alcohol into your blood stream. And eating something with a bit of fat before you start drinking-like a grilled cheese or a slice of pizza-will help you metabolize alcohol at a slower, more controlled rate. You can also reduce the chances of unintended consequences by making sure that someone in your group remains sober enough to keep track of everyone else. Bottom line? 70-percent of college students admit to binge drinking at least once a week. If you're among them, take steps to be as safe as possible about your actions!
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Last Updated:December 20, 2012