The most common drug abused by adolescents in the country is alcohol. In fact, underage drinking has become a huge problem. Children between the ages of 9 and 13 years old have admitted to drinking and this behavior becomes worst during college. Most of these adolescents are even guilty of binge drinking.
In the past, binge drinking was a term used to mean drinking heavily over a couple of days. Today, this term means heavy consumption of alcoholic beverages in a short span of time. In the United States, binge drinking refers to the act of consuming five or more drinks in a row by men, and four or more drinks in a row by women. This behavior can result in dire consequences among individuals, especially teenagers. This behavior results in increased risk-taking, impulsivity, and heightened anxiety.
The Risks of Binge Drinking Among Teenagers
Many teenagers fail to think about the negative effects of drinking. Adolescents need to understand that when they drink, their mood changes. They might begin to feel anxious and irritable; thus, they are more likely to get into a brawl when they are drunk. In addition, alcohol can also induce symptoms of depression which makes them want to drink more, and this becomes a deadly cycle.
Teenagers who drink are also more prone to high-risk behaviors, such as drunk driving. Teenagers think that they are still excellent drivers despite being drunk. If fortunately they avoid getting into an accident, there is still a huge risk of getting pulled over. According to the DUI attorneys at Suhre Law & Associates, getting arrested for DUI will result in severe punishments which include a hefty fine, possible time in jail, and license suspension.
But these consequences are not enough to raise awareness among teenagers. Teens also need to understand that binge drinking can result in life-threatening consequences, such as alcohol poisoning. The high amount of alcohol consumed in a short period of time can result in seizures, choking, irregular heartbeat, and in worst cases- death.
Signs Of Alcohol Poisoning And First-Aid Treatment
If you or a friend has been consuming huge amounts of alcohol, it is very important to watch out for signs of alcohol poisoning:
- Slow or irregular breathing
- Rapid pulse
- Pale skin or bluish skin
- Unconsciousness and extreme confusion
- Low body temperature
- Slurred speech
- Slow reflexes
If you notice your friend exhibiting any of these signs, here’s what you need to do:
- Call 911 or any local poison control center.
- Stay with your friend.
- You should turn your friend onto his side to prevent choking. Remember that choking is the most common cause of death among those with alcohol poisoning.
- Observe your friend’s breathing. You should be prepared to apply CPR if needed.
- Keep your friend awake. Do not let him pass out.
You should also remember not to give him coffee to keep him awake. Caffeine will make him more dehydrated. In addition, do not put him under a cold shower, and more importantly, do not let him drink any more alcohol.
Once in the hospital, the medical staff will monitor your friend’s condition until all the alcohol has left his system. Other treatments include:
- Inserting a tube into his windpipe to help him breathe
- Fitting a catheter to his bladder to help drain his urine
- Pumping his stomach by flushing fluids into a tube which is inserted into your friend’s mouth or nose.
Alcohol poisoning is life-threatening and the treatment is unappealing. To avoid suffering from such consequences, you should avoid binge drinking. You should also make sure that your friends drink in moderation.
Kris Hopkins is a healthcare professional who have helped nurse those with alcohol poisoning. She aims to raise awareness regarding the dangers of binge drinking.