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Inside IBH: Holiday Cheer or Serious Problem?

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has begun an effort to educate people about the dangers and huge economic cost of binge drinking, which they estimate at over $225 billion per year. According to the CDC, binge drinking is a growing problem that has been studied less than alcoholism.

Here are a few facts that may surprise you about binge drinking:

  • Binge drinking means drinking five or more alcoholic drinks within a short period of time for men and drinking four or more drinks within a short period of time for women.
  • While we often associate this behavior solely with college students, people between the ages of 18 and 34 do the most binge drinking.
  • The income group with the highest number of binge drinkers is those making over $75,000 a year.
  • There are about 18 million alcoholics and regular alcohol abusers in the United States, but there are 38 million binge drinkers. That’s about 15% of the population.
  • Most binge drinkers are not alcoholics. They consume alcohol on average four times per month.
  • The highest average number of drinks consumed during at least one of those drinking sessions is eight.
One fact that won’t surprise anyone: Auto crashes, accidents, violence, and suicide are key risks for binge drinkers.

The CDC has more information about binge drinking as well as advice on tackling the issue on their website

If you are concerned about yourself or a family member’s behavior, you can also contact Lehigh’s Employee Assistance Provider, Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH) at 1-800-395-1616 for free, confidential guidance.

Reprinted with permission from the April 2012 IBH Frontline Employee Newsletter

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