ALCOHOL

WHAT WE KNOW

Alcohol affects your body and brain. It can impair your judgment.

Drinking alcohol can have enormous negative consequences.

You don’t have to be the one who’s drinking to get hurt.

Just hanging out with people who are drinking leads to increased risk of being seriously injured, involved in a car crash, or affected by violence. At a minimum, you may have to deal with people who are sick, out of control, or unable to take care of themselves.

Women are affected more by alcohol than men are because women have less water in their bodies (water dilutes alcohol) and more adipose tissue (fat), which is not easily penetrated by alcohol, keeping the alcohol in the bloodstream.


* A Note on Terminology
Binge drinking – People in the substance abuse prevention field disagree about whether to use “binge drinking” or another term such as “high-risk drinking.” People who support use of a definition of binge drinking (four drinks in a row for women and five for men) argue that a specific amount is necessary to measure the phenomenon of heavy, sustained, problem drinking. Those concerned about the use of the term binge drinking say that this definition is not consistent with the common understanding of a binge or a “bender” that may last days. They also say that setting a specific number of drinks does not take into account the drinker’s body mass and the time period over which the drinks are consumed. These are important points, but because use of the term binge drinking has become so common in discussions of teen and college drinking, we have continued to use it. Students should recognize that binge drinking” or high-risk drinking or “drinking to intoxication” are all labels for a pattern of heavy, sustained drinking that is extremely dangerous.

1 American Medical Association. “Fact Sheet: Effects of Alcohol on Brains of Adolescents.” www.amaassn.org/ama/pub/category/9146.html

Click here to view recent statistics on special occasions and driving under the influence -- information resulting from a recent SADD/Liberty Mutual Teen Driving Study.

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