Binge drinking has become a huge problem, not only on college campuses, but in society at large. Binge drinking is defined by the CDC as 5 or more drinks in a row within two hours by a man, and 4 or more drinks in a row within two hours by a woman. A staggering 90% of all alcohol consumed by those under 21 years old occurs in the form of binge drinking.
The dangers of binge drinking are many. Unintentional injuries such as auto accidents from driving while drunk (in fact, most alcohol-impaired drivers are binge drinkers), slip and fall injuries due to being intoxicated, accidental drownings, etc. Some binge drinkers become aggressive and violent, causing intentional injuries from firearms, sexual assault, domestic violence, and suicide. The very act of binge drinking itself can be lethal, since consuming so much alcohol in so little time can cause alcohol poisoning. Binge drinking causes other health problems as well, such as unplanned pregnancies, STDs, liver damage and disease, renal failure, and others.
A study published in JAMA Pediatrics September 16, 2013, reported that 20% of high school seniors self-reported binge drinking in the past two weeks. A shocking 6% said that they had imbibed 15 or more drinks. The study analyzed research data from 16,000 high school seniors from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.
These statistics in this JAMA report may be the untold part of some of the most disturbing stories in the news today. The sexual assaults that occurred by teens to teens at parties where binge drinking had occurred in Steubenville, OH and Maryville, MO point to the worst kind of personal injury that can result from this reckless act.
So what can be done to stop binge drinking and the injuries and health problems it causes? One suggestion is better enforcement of existing laws against underage drinking, both in the service of alcohol to minors and the sale of it. If teens and college students under 21 do not have easy access to alcohol, they will be less able to engage in binge drinking. Enforcing dramshop liability–holding establishments accountable if they serve someone who is obviously drunk, or if they allow the person to drive–is another way to try to decrease drunk driving accidents. If you have been injured due to an accident involving alcohol and think applicable laws may not have been enforced correctly or at all, see your Denver personal injury law firm.
Another way to help prevent binge drinking is to promote awareness of the problem in schools and throughout communities. Just as schools have regular assemblies about the hazards of drugs, and there are many PSAs about what doing drugs can lead to, there should be assemblies and PSAs concentrating on not just drinking, but this highly dangerous and disturbingly popular form of drinking. People think that because binge drinking is usually done at parties, it is a form of social drinking and therefore not a sign of addiction or alcoholism. However, this notion is false. Which is why a third suggested form of prevention of binge drinking is intervention and treatment. For more information, go to projectturnabout.org.
If you have been the victim of a personal injury due to an alcohol-related accident or incident, please contact Levine Law, you Denver personal injury law firm today. Our attorneys can review your case to ensure your rights are protected.