Covering Medicine: 6 people a day die from binge drinking

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – If you’re a man, and you have five or more drinks in two to three hours, you’re binge drinking. If you’re a woman and have four or more drinks in that same time frame, you’re in trouble, too.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 38 million Americans admit to binge drinking. They say it’s actually more like eight drinks in a couple hours, and they do it on average four times a month, putting their lives at risk.

Jo Willey is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist at Peninsula Outpatient Center in Knoxville. She helps a lot of people through their struggles with alcohol.

WATE 6 On Your Side met with her to get her take on what you can do if someone in your family has this problem.

“It’s, I think, how we do that. I see this, ‘I’m concerned that you are staying out later. I’m concerned that things don’t match. I’m concerned that I’m noticing more drinking. I care about you, I care about us. I’m concerned. How are you feeling about it?’ And open the dialogue between the two of you or as a whole family,” she explained.

The CDC study says while college students often get blamed for binge drinking, it’s not their group who dies from drinking too much.

Jo Willey
Jo Willey

The report says it’s white men from the ages of 35 to 64 who die of alcohol poisoning. They are men who often feel the pressure to succeed.

“If that is happening in men, that is happening in every man’s family. It’s also happening in women, affecting women’s families. I think this particular study really shows us what men can pay attention to,” said Willey.

However, she says college binge drinking is under reported.

“Collecting the data, if you will, on what this age group is doing isn’t necessarily included in many studies because it’s hard to get or is considered acceptable. Or the signs that were indicated in this study are not the questions asked or seen by peers. And I do think that could affect the outcome and statistics of that study.”

Alcohol poisoning occurs when your liver can’t keep up with the amount of alcohol in your body. If your blood alcohol level  becomes too high, it has a severe impact:

Respiratory distress could occur.  Your heartbeat and gag reflux could slow down. You could pass out or stop breathing. You could choke or have arrhythmia. You could slip into a coma and die.

For more information on help that is available in East Tennessee:

  • Peninsula Outpatient Center – Blount
    210 Simmons Street
    Maryville, TN 37801
    970-9800
  • Peninsula Outpatient Center — Knox
    1451 Dowell Springs Blvd.
    Knoxville, TN 37909
    970-9800
  • Peninsula Outpatient Center – Loudon
    423 Medical Park Drive, Suite 400
    Lenoir City, TN 37772
    970-9800
  • Peninsula Outpatient Center – Sevier
    1104 Foxwood Drive
    Sevierville, TN 37862
    970-9800

More online: Peninsula Outpatient Center

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