Report: Girls nearly as likely to binge drinkThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says binge drinking by women and girls is an under-recognized problem.
By: By Shamane Mills, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says binge drinking by women and girls is an under-recognized problem. It is, however, on the radar screens of schools and colleges around Wisconsin, a state known for its high rate of binge drinking among the general population.
Binge drinking on college campuses usually receives the most attention, but it also occurs in lower grades. The 2011 Wisconsin Youth Risk Behavior Survey shows high school girls are binge drinking nearly as much as boys. Steven Fernan is with the Prevention and Wellness Team for the Department of Public Instruciton, "24 percent of high school boys reported they had a binge drinking episode in the last 30 days. When we look at girls, it's 21.5 percent. So with that in mind, they're closing the gap."
On campus, anecdotal accounts indicate that a substantial portion of alcohol consumed is hard liquor. Whether its beer or something stronger, Will Chapman, the Alcohol Conduct coordinator at UW Madison says binge drinking can be dangerous, "If a student continues to drink beyond five (drinks) that's when the risk of alcohol poisoning is much more increased. The person can experience the depressive effects of alcohol where their nervous system has been focusing so much on just keeping them breathing if they get sick they are not likely to have a normal gag reflex if they vomit they can choke or their breathing stops."
Among the general population nationwide, Wisconsin ranks first in binge drinking; a report last year by the CDC showed one quarter of Wisconsin adults report that they binge drink.