On Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report that chronicles an under-addressed problem in the U.S.: binge drinking among women and girls. Though viewed only as an activity—done at parties—and not necessarily as a lifestyle, or an addiction problem, the CDC’s report makes it clear that addressing binge drinking among women should be a major concern for alcohol prevention groups and alcohol addiction centres across the country.
Binge drinking, as defined in the CDC’s report, is when a person consumes four or more alcoholic drinks in one sitting. The organisation found that approximately one in eight American women (18 years and older) binge drink, while one in five secondary school-aged American girls binge drink.
Women’s bodies, which process alcohol differently than men’s, feel the effects of alcohol after consuming less the amount of alcohol than a man. This means that while binge drinking, women could be more at-risk for sexual assault.
The CDC’s numbers also speak to problematic drinking trends among the country’s youth, and the organisation warns that alcohol consumption habits—even alcohol abuse—are changing among young people, and becoming more dangerous.
“We’ve watched a shift from girls drinking beer to distilled spirits,” David Jernigan, director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Maryland, U.S, told USA Today. “They are experimenting with the strongest form of the drug available.”
According to the CDC, binge drinking is responsible for 23,000 deaths among women pe year. With this recent report, the organisation is declaring binge drinking a serious issue facing the U.S., one that could increase the number of those women seeking treatment in alcohol recovery centres.