A survey conducted by the American Osteopathic Association has found that a significant portion of the middle-aged US population could be living with an issue with alcohol.

Online Survey Results Indicate Widespread Alcohol Problem

Harris Insights & Analytics, the company behind the Harris Poll was responsible for conducting the online survey, which took place between March 25-27, 2019. The survey results found that of the 1,969 adults age 21 or older who participated, 1,183 consumed at least one alcoholic drink over the course of a typical week.

• According to the researchers, 33 percent of Americans in the 35-44 age group who drink at least one alcoholic beverage weekly also confirmed at least one statement that would make an addiction specialist consider an intervention.
• Nine percent of adults in this age group continue to drink even though their alcohol use has already had negative consequences on their relationships, career or education.
• Seven percent of people aged 35-44 and 10 percent of those in the 45-54 age group said they binge drink regularly. Binge drinking is defined as consuming five drinks (or more) in two hours for men and four drinks (or more) for women within a two-hour period.

Health Consequences of Binge Drinking

The main goal of binge drinking is to become intoxicated. There are a number of dangers associated with this state, including:

• Alcohol poisoning
• Diarrhea
• Dizziness
• Lack of judgment
• Loss of coordination
• Vomiting

Alcohol poisoning is another health consequence of binge or heavy drinking. Alcohol is a depressant, which means it slows down the central nervous system. Breathing and heart rate are affected in this way. Blood alcohol levels continue to increase, even if the intoxicated person has lost consciousness. Alcohol poisoning is a medical emergency, which can be fatal if untreated.

Along with the dangers listed above, binge drinkers are at higher risk for a number of unintentional injuries. Someone who is under the influence is more likely to fall, burn themselves, be involved in a motor vehicle accident or drown.

Malissa Barbosa, D.O., a board-certified family physician and fellowship-trained addiction specialist, commented in a statement that we worry about young people in college, and putting themselves in danger from excessive drinking; however, the behavior has “become pervasive among adults too.” She went on to say that the time has come to have serious conversations about the impact that excessive drinking had on all age groups in our society.