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Underage Binge Drinking

A rising trend with serious consequences.

1 Your Role
I want to learn about treatment options for:

2 Basic Information
The Person is:
years old

graduated high school

3 Condition Information
Caron Treatment Centers accepts patients aged 13 years or older. For more information on services available to those 12 and under, please learn more about Caron's Student Assistance Program.
What is binge drinking?

Binge drinking is defined as having four drinks for women or five for men within a period of a few hours. It is an alarming underage drinking trend that has parents, school officials and health experts concerned.

Many teens believe that underage drinking and binge drinking are normal, expected and harmless. Largely due to this misconception, the chances of a student becoming a binge drinker more than doubles between the beginning and end of high school. For many, underage drinking and binging continue in college years.

A frequent binge drinker is a person who binged three or more times in the past two weeks. Binge drinking seems to be most prevalent in white, middle or upper class teens.

Effects of binge drinking.

Binge drinking can be extremely dangerous, particularly for inexperienced, underage drinkers. Consequences of binge drinking can include heightened risk for alcohol addiction; dangerous driving decisions; unprotected sex; and damage to the liver and kidneys. Binge drinking may also lead to alcohol poisoning, which sends many teens to the emergency room every year.

Binge drinking tends to harm girls more than boys. A study from the University of California, San Diego and Stanford University found that underage girls who binge drink show diminished activity in brain regions linked to memory (compared to non-drinking teenagers.) The study also concluded that women might be more vulnerable than men to neurotoxic effects of underage drinking and heavy alcohol abuse during adolescence.

Another study by Susan Tapert of the University of California, San Diego found that binge drinkers’ white matter—the part of the brain that transmits signals—was abnormal compared to non-drinking teens' white matter, suggesting that underage binge drinking could affect thinking, learning and memory.

If your teen needs help overcoming binge drinking, please explore Caron’s programs or contact us