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1 in 4 U.S. Teens and Young Adults Binge Drink: CDC
Date:10/5/2010

he brains of teens who drank heavily showed damaged nerve tissue compared to those who did not.

These findings are particularly worrisome in light of the current CDC report, which reveals that high school students tend to binge drink whenever they consume alcohol.

"Ninety percent of the alcohol consumed by high school students is consumed in the course of binge drinking, and more than half of the alcohol consumed by adults is consumed in the course of binge drinking," Frieden said.

Among drinkers, one-third of adults and two-thirds of high school kids binge drink, Frieden said.

"If excessive alcohol consumption every day is problem drinking, what is the occasional stint of up to five drinks at one sitting? The answer for many might be 'a party,' and that's just what makes binge drinking so dangerous," said Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine.

"While it resides in the realm of social acceptability, it is, in fact, a major cause of alcohol-related death, and the major cause of such deaths among adolescents and young adults. No party is worth the cost of a young life, full of promise," Katz added.

"Avoiding that cost starts with awareness. Adults need to know, and show, that a drink or two is fine -- five or six is not. They need to pass on that awareness to their children. The tragic problem with not knowing when to say 'when' . . . is that you may never get another chance," according to Katz.

Men are more than twice as likely to binge drink as women (21 percent compared with 10 percent). In addition, binge drinking is more common among whites (16 percent) than among blacks (10 percent).

While the report indicates that binge drinking is common, it is probably even more widespread than this report found.

"There really is a substantial under-reporting of binge drinking and alcohol consumption," said the CDC's Brewer. "Even though we are reporting
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