HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – One in eight women in the U.S. admits to binge drinking according to the new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report goes on to state it's a serious problem and it could lead higher health risks for women.
According to the CDC, binge drinking puts women at a higher risk for breast cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, heart disease and unintended pregnancy. Woman who are pregnant and binge drink can subject their unborn baby to alcohol related disorders or even sudden infant death syndrome. Despite the list of serious risks, the reports shows more than 14 million U.S. women binge drink about three times a month.
Lee Carter is a drug and alcohol counselor at Coastal Carolina University. Carter says she's seen the growing trend among females during her professional career, but points out when it comes to alcohol abuse, a lot of the focus has been on men. Carter says it will take sobering studies like this one to show binge drinking is a big problem not exclusive to men.
"Get that conversation out there, that alcohol does impact women a little differently and we need to be aware of that and perhaps we need to be educating women a little differently than men."
Perhaps even more alarming, one in five high school girls admit to binge drinking. Carter says there are major issues young women should consider before downing a few cocktails in one sitting. On the short end it can foster poor decision making potentially leading to accidental injuries, violence, sexual assaults, and negative academic impacts.
The CDC study shows nearly half of all high school girls who drink alcohol report binge drinking. Carter says it's a big problem parents shouldn't ignore and smarter choices about alcohol consumption can start at the home. "It's about having those frank discussions. Maybe it's not your teen, but they're probably going to be around it and be in a position where they will have to make a decision about it. So the more information you can give them, the better," explained Carter.