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Unintended Consequences of Binge Drinking

“Binge drinkers are not necessarily alcoholics,” says LHSFNA’s Management Co-Chairman Noel C. Borck, “but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a problem. Although binge drinkers often believe that they handle alcohol just fine, sometimes, they are tragically wrong.”

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LHSFNA Management
Noel C. Borck

Defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as four to five alcoholic beverages consumed over the course of two hours, binge drinking creates mayhem. It is responsible for more than half of the 80,000 alcohol-related deaths that occur in the U.S. every year.

New CDC research finds that binge drinking is a bigger problem than previously thought. More than 38 million adults (13.7 percent) binge drink an average of four times a month. Eight drinks consumed at one sitting is not unusual. The problem is not confined to adults. The 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that nearly one quarter of American youth aged 12 or older routinely binge drink. These young people reported that they had had five or more drinks on the same occasion on at least one day in the month prior to the survey.

Alcohol and Work

Excessive use of alcohol can lead to heart disease and cancer (the leading causes of death among LIUNA members) and to cirrhosis of the liver. It can also contribute to workplace accidents, which is why most workplace policies forbid drinking on the job. Heavy drinking off the clock can also affect the workplace. It can lead to hangovers the next day, conflicts with coworkers, absenteeism, showing up late or leaving early and to still more workplace mishaps.

“Knocking back a few may seem like a harmless activity but it can easily ruin many lives,” says Borck. “Be responsible when you drink. If you or someone you know is having a problem with alcohol, help is available.”

The Fund has a number of publications and posters about the dangers of alcohol (and drugs). They can be ordered through the Fund’s website. Click on Publications.

[Janet Lubman Rathner]

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