A new report on the prevalence of teen binge drinking and the harms associated with it:
The latest study published in the January issue of “Pediatrics” based on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study indicates that binge drinking is common among high school students and is linked to a greater participation in several other risky behaviors.
The new study conducted by CDC scientists, Binge Drinking and Associated Health Risk Behaviors Among High School Students, found that 45 percent of high school students admittedly reported to alcohol consumption within the last month. The survey found that 64 percent of these students also reported binge drinking.
Binge drinking is defined as consuming five or more alcoholic drinks in a row within a few hours of time.
The study found that the probability of teenage binge drinkers to be tempted to get involved in other risky behaviors was much higher than that of the nondrinking teens.
These risky behaviors included sexual activity, smoking and physical fighting to name a few.
Although those students who denied any binge drinking were involved in many of the other risky behaviors, the extent to which they were involved was much lower than those students who admitted to binge drinking.
According to CDC researcher, Jacqueline Miller, MD, “Our study clearly shows that it’s not just that students drink alcohol, but how much they drink that most strongly affects whether they experience other health and social problems.”
The CDC researchers indicated the following comparisons between nondrinking and binge drinking teenagers from their study, with teen binge drinkers being:
- Greater than five times more likely to be sexually active with one or more partners.
- Smokers with 19 times more likelihood to smoke cigarettes.
- Almost four times as likely to engage in physical fights.
- Eleven times more likely to become a passenger in a vehicle being driven by another who has been drinking alcohol.
- Almost four times more likely to date rape or a victim of violence by the opposite sex.
- Four times more likely to attempt suicide.
- At greater risk to use drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine.
The survey also indicated that binge drinking among these teenagers was more common with boys than girls.
The binge drinkers self-admittedly reported poorer grades in school as well.
Overall, the survey included reports of both public and private school students across the entire U.S.