|Binge drinking could hurt body, wallet|
|Written by Katie Klein, Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Thursday, 27 October 2011 18:46|
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine added up the cost of binge drinking to be around $2 per drink.
The CDC took into account medical expenses and other costs to society. The study, which is the first such federal estimate in more than a dozen years, looked at lost work productivity, money spent on incarceration of drunk drivers and other factors.
Estimated drinking costs neared $224 billion in 2006, the most recent year that all important statistics were available. Binge drinking is most associated to the research, in which five drinks are consumed on one occasion.
Excessive alcohol consumption, including binge drinking, can have many negatives effects, according to Dr. Jean Swearingen, medical director for Student Health Services.
“Such effects can include an increase in injuries, unwanted sexual contacts, increased susceptibility to illness, problems with academics, relationships, legal issues, liver damage, obesity and associated high blood pressure, diabetes risks and many others,” Swearingen said.
Both short-term and long-term excessive alcohol use can lead to serious illness or even death, Swearingen added, either from acute alcohol poisoning, injury that occurs when intoxicated or damage to body organs, such as the brain, liver and heart.
Officials for the CDC noted while there can be some healthy benefits associated with drinking alcohol, such as a glass of wine each day, excessive binge drinking is not linked to any benefits.
One of the things binge drinking can be linked to is a possibility of a DUI added to a driver’s record. ISU Police have noticed an increase in the number of student related offenses but do not necessarily blame binge drinking.
“It could certainly be a contributor to the increase, but I think it has more to do with the staffing levels finally being up to where we were five years ago,” Aaron Woodruff, chief of police for the ISUPD, said. “It’s taken us this long to get our staffing levels back up and when you increase your staffing, you have more officers out on patrol.”
According to Woodruff, the best way to fight off the increased numbers of DUIs is to educate the students on different programs throughout ISU, such as the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness.
“In 2010, ISU implemented Alcohol Wise, an online alcohol education program required for all incoming freshmen and transfer students both fall and spring semesters. Our compliance rate is over 95 percent for both years. Health Promotion and Wellness coordinates the implementation of Alcohol Wise,” Kerri Calvert, coordinator for the office, said.
Calvert added a person may be a problem drinker, rather than a binge drinker, which could have more problems.
“A person with a drinking problem would have trouble stopping once they start drinking. Also, many of their activities revolve around alcohol and if alcohol isn’t going to be present at an activity, they will probably choose either not to go or to bring their own alcohol to the event,” Calvert said.
For those who are looking to help a friend, or in need of personal help, students have different places they can reach out to. Student Counseling Services and Student Health Services cater to on-campus students.