Let's Deal with Drinking Alcohol

You know this better than anyone: social pressure is powerful. When it comes to drinking alcohol, your friends and peers may believe that alcohol is what “brings the party.” Studies have shown that young people are more likely to drink the more they are exposed to alcohol use in movies and advertisements. Every kind of music, entertainment, sport, and media paint a pretty picture of drinking. These factors, along with your parents, your own level of self-confidence, relationships, and insecurities, influence your decisions, including your decision about drinking alcohol.

Binge Drinking

Binge drinking is consuming a lot of alcohol over a short period of time. Binge drinking is a serious risk for anyone who drinks alcohol. It can be deadly. Binge drinking in the U.S. is defined as the act of consuming at least once in the previous two weeks:

  • Five or more alcoholic beverages in a row by males
  • Four or more alcoholic beverages in a row by females

Young adults are especially vulnerable to the deadly effects of binge drinking, which kills more than 1,400 youths a year and contributes to thousands more youth deaths through binge-related accidents and driving deaths.

Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol poisoning, which often results from binge drinking, occurs when a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is so high that it is considered toxic or poisonous.[1] This is caused through excessive alcohol consumption. Common symptoms of alcohol poisoning include:

  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Slow breathing
  • Irregular breathing
  • Hypothermia
  • Bluish skin color
  • Paleness[2]

Top Drinking Risks

While drinking may seem fun, there are many risks associated with drinking that have long-term consequences. Some of the most common drinking risks include:

  • Failing to receive medical attention because your companions are afraid of consequences
  • Having a hangover
  • Throwing up or passing out
  • Going to the hospital
  • Developing an alcohol dependence or addiction
  • Aspirating vomit
  • Dying from alcohol poisoning

Tips for Avoiding Drinking Risks

  • Do not drink if you are under 21. It’s illegal.
  • Recognize the risks to health, safety, and LIFE are real.
  • If you suspect that a friend has consumed alcohol (or another controlled substance), get him or her out of the situation.
  • Talk to your parents about drinking and choosing not to drink to help gain a healthy attitude and understanding.
  • Call anytime. Call your parents, or the parents of a friend, to pick you up and remove you from a dangerous situation. You are wanted home safe, regardless of what situation you may be in.
  • Do not get into the car of someone who has been drinking.
  • If you or someone you care about has problems with alcohol, talk to a trusted adult.


[1] What Is Alcohol Poisoning? How Dangerous Is Alcohol Poisoning? Medical News Today, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/215627.php

[2] Facts About Alcohol Poisoning, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, http://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/OtherAlcoholInformation/factsAboutAlcoholPoisoning.aspx