Binge drinking does not equate with alcoholism. When individuals binge drink, they drink until their blood-alcohol level exceeds 0.08 percent, which means about five drinks for a man or four drinks for a woman in a four-hour period. The real statistic is the amount one can drink before death sets in.
People may consider binge drinking a fairly innocuous activity, but it can lead to serious health problems. While binge drinking generally ends with a terrible hangover, the effects extend far beyond temporary discomfort. In the short term, binge drinking can result in nausea and vomiting or even alcohol poisoning. Drinking large amounts of alcohol also increases blood pressure, which can lead to major health issues down the road.
In the long term, binge drinking can cause liver and brain damage, as well as heart problems and sexual dysfunction. Researchers have also linked alcoholism to various forms of cancer. Most individuals associate binge drinking with college students and young adults; however, according to researchers, incidence is higher in individuals aged 65 and over.
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