Report: Binge drinking higher among women

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Women line up outside the bars on Wednesday nights at Sally’s Saloon and Eatery and on Thursday’s at Bullwinkle’s Saloon for free drinks.
And, according to the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, based out of Georgetown University, when it comes to binge drinking, more underage women than men are lining up.

Sophomore Spanish major Erin Rogers said many younger women don’t know what the definition of binge drinking is.

“People define (binge drinking) differently,” Rogers said.

Boynton Health Service defines a binge as five or more drinks in one sitting.

Also, the study reports that more high school students and younger are also downing drinks. According to the study, each day 5,400 people younger than 16 take their first sip of alcohol.

And Spuds MacKenzie, the spokesdog for Bud Light, could be doing more to harm than just drinking out of the toilet.

Long-term studies show a direct link between alcohol advertising and underage drinking. Young people who listen to alcohol advertisements are more likely to drink more heavily than their peers who don’t, according to the report.

Underage girls are more likely to reach for hard liquor, in the form of a gin and tonic or a sex on the beach, than boys, who prefer beer instead, the report said. Even 12th-grade girls are more likely to choose distilled spirits over beer.

Dana Farley, director of health promotions at Boynton, said some of the negative effects of binge drinking include having a hangover, doing poorly on a test and missing class.

More serious negative effects include getting into fights, being the victim of a crime and driving under the influence, he said.

It also could include being violated sexually or taking advantage of someone sexually, he said.

“The more intoxicated they get, the more their judgment is impaired,” Farley said.

He said students don’t realize how intoxicated they are and do things they will regret later.

A person can tell if they’re drinking too much if they are experiencing blackouts. Blackouts are not a normal part of drinking, Farley said.

Farley said Boynton has an addictions counselor available to students.

Most students who see the counselor are not chemically dependant on alcohol, but are seeing how it negatively affects their lives.

Marco Pravetoni, a student from Italy who is working on his doctorate in pharmacy, said he has noticed girls drink more in America then they do in Italy.

“They drink more because guys buy them more drinks,” Pravetoni said.

Also drinking is cheaper in the United States than in Europe, Pravetoni said, and Italy doesn’t have an equivalent to “ladies night,” during which women can drink for free for a period of time.