Many remember (or don’t) the crazy times they had in college. Unfortunately, major binge drinking in young adulthood has proven to lead to such issues as drug and tobacco use, alcoholism, alcohol poisoning, liver damage, accidental injury or death, and even alterations to the developing brain structure.
Now there is a new study by researchers at Indiana University and Purdue that finds that this risky behavior does not end at graduation. The study examines data from 1,100 young adults ages 18 to 25 in 10 Indiana counties (Cass, Clark, Floyd, Knox, Lake, Madison, Marion, Porter, Scott, and Vanderburgh) that are indentified as high risk for underage drinking and prescription drug use.
How is binge drinking defined
Binge drinking is defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism as a pattern where the drinker’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) routinely reaches or exceeds .08 percent.
Much much higher rate here in Indiana
While 25.1 percent of young adults age 18-24 across the country engage in binge drinking, this same age group in Indiana engages at binge drinking at a rate of 38.5 percent.
No longer aging out
The report finds that young people do not age out of this behavior by their mid-20s as they used to as recently as the 1990s. While the demographic has many differences within it, this shift is generally attributed to a variety of factors, including:
- People are no longer getting married and starting a family soon after college
- Rather than getting married, these students may live together, much as they did in college
- There are increased educational opportunities to extending college beyond the traditional four years
- Choosing to focus on career, some 20-somethings earn a good income while remaining single
Bad behavior puts your future at risk
The health risks have been outlined above, but binge drinking can also involve bad behavior and poor judgment. This can lead to such legal problems as an OWI/DUI, drug possession or addiction.
If you or a child faces charges stemming from binge drinking, it is important to contact an attorney with experience handling criminal defense issues. Bad judgment calls can happen, but the trick is to not let them jeopardize long-term prospects. When appropriate, an attorney can also work with the courts to focus on a sentence that is more rehabilitative.