Research – Binge Drinking

Research – Binge Drinking


A New Scale of the U.S. Alcohol Policy Environment and Its Relationship to Binge Drinking

American Journal of Preventive Medicine: January 2014; 46(1):10-16
The goal of the study was to describe the development of an Alcohol Policy Scale (APS) designed to measure the aggregate state-level alcohol policy environment in the U.S. and assess the relationship of APS scores to state-level adult binge drinking prevalence in U.S. states. Adults were defined as 18 years of age or older. The findings suggest that the alcohol policy environment is an important determinant of drinking behaviors at the population level, and provide new evidence that population-based policies are an effective, modifiable means by which to reduce excessive drinking. Development of the APS establishes the groundwork for further studying the effect of the alcohol policy environment in the U.S. and for subsequently assessing the relative impacts of combinations of related policies for reducing binge drinking or other alcohol-related outcomes such as youth drinking, impaired driving, alcohol use disorders, alcohol-related economic costs, and alcohol-attributable mortality.

Adolescent alcohol exposure and persistence of adolescent-typical phenotypes into adulthood: a mini-review

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2014 Sep; 45:1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.04.012. Epub 2014 May 9.
Specific parts of the brain are maturing during adolescence, which leads to the question of how alcohol binging impacts development. A recent review of the science by researchers involved in this study found that when binge-levels of alcohol are given to rats during adolescence, many adolescent-typical behaviors and sensitivities fail to mature and end up persisting into adulthood. For example, adolescent rats and people show less sedation and social impairment to moderate and high doses of alcohol, but more learning impairment. When rats are exposed to binge levels of alcohol during adolescence and then tested in adulthood, they retain these adolescent-typical responses to alcohol rather than maturing into an adult response. Notably, the adult responses can be protective – people who are sensitive to alcohol sedation will fall asleep rather than continue to drink. Binge levels of alcohol in adolescence blocks certain aspects of brain and behavior from maturing, and may promote problematic alcohol use.

Adolescent alcohol exposure reduces behavioral flexibility, promotes disinhibition, and increases resistance to extinction of ethanol self-administration in adulthood.

Neuropsychopharmacology. October 2014, 39(11):2570-83. PMID: 24820536
Experimentation with alcohol typically begins during adolescence when binge-like consumption of large quantities is common. Researchers investigated the effects of repeated cycles of adolescent intermittent ethanol (AIE) exposure (postnatal days 28-42) by vapor inhalation on different aspects of executive functioning in the adult rat. Research findings indicate that binge-like exposure to alcohol during adolescence can lead to deficits in executive function and changes in behavioral control in adulthood.

Alcohol use, binge drinking continues to fall among underage, report finds

Washington Post, June 11, 2015

Anti-homophobia measures reduce binge drinking for all students

August 15, 2013

Beverage- and brand-specific binge alcohol consumption among underage youth in the US

Timothy S. Naimi, Michael Siegel, William DeJong, Catherine O’Doherty, David Jernigan
Journal of Substance Use 00:0, 1-7; Posted online on May 30, 2014
Binge drinking among youth most commonly involves spirits, and binge drinking is concentrated within a relatively small number of brands. Understanding factors underlying beverage and brand preference among binge drinking youth could assist prevention efforts.

Binge Drinking Levels among Youth

The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration released a study that shows that binge drinking levels across the United States remains high. Nationally, almost 23 percent of Americans had binged on alcohol within the past 30 days. These data were derived from the 2002-2003 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. To view a copy of the study, click on the link above.

College Students are Bingeing to Extremes

More than 24 drinks at a time not uncommon, study shows
News Release
September 2004

College students tend to binge drink less when their campuses are located in States where fewer adults over-imbibe

American Journal of Public Health. March 2005; Vol. 95, No. 3, pp. 441-446
A study by the Harvard School of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that students tend to binge drink less when their campuses are located in States where fewer adults over-imbibe. The study also found that campus binge-drinking rates were 31 percent lower in seven States that had four or more laws targeting high-volume sales of alcohol versus those that did not.

Facebook Displays as Predictors of Binge Drinking

From the Virtual to the Visceral

Bulletin of Science Technology Society, April 30, 2015; doi: 10.1177/0270467615584044
The purpose of the study was to understand the role that one’s own Facebook alcohol posts play in predicting binge drinking during the first year of college. Researchers found that binge drinking by college freshmen is not always planned, and Facebook could be a useful tool to identify problematic behaviour.

First Drink to First Drunk: Age of Onset and Delay to Intoxication Are Associated with Adolescent Alcohol Use and Binge Drinking

Morean, M. E., Kong, G., Camenga, D. R., Cavallo, D. A., Connell, C. and Krishnan-Sarin, S. (2014), First Drink to First Drunk: Age of Onset and Delay to Intoxication Are Associated with Adolescent Alcohol Use and Binge Drinking. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Doi: 10.1111/acer.12526

This research study evaluated the risk associated with age of onset (AO) and delay to first intoxication (Delay) in a high school sample. When considered simultaneously, both an early AO and a quick progression to drinking to intoxication appear to be important determinants of high school student drinking. In addition to continuing efforts to postpone AO, efforts designed to delay intoxication may modulate alcohol-related risk associated with early drinking.

Let’s not Lose our Investment in College Youth to Binge Drinking!

Campaign for a Healthy Alcohol Marketplace
February 2015

More Than Half of 12th Grade Binge Drinkers Drink Ten or More Drinks in a Row

Cesar Fax, Vol. 22, Issue 45
November 11, 2013

National Academies of Science, Institute of Medicine Report on Substance Use Disorders in the U.S. Armed Forces

The National Academies of Science issued a press release on September 17, 2012, about a report that highlights the need for improved substance abuse prevention and treatment of military service members. According to the report, about 20 percent of active duty personnel reported having engaged in heavy drinking in 2008, the latest year for which data are available, and binge drinking increased from 35 percent in 1998 to 47 percent in 2008. The report includes a recommendation for improved enforcement of regulations on underage drinking. A link to the report is included in this press release. The report was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense. Established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine provides objective, evidence-based advice to policymakers, health professionals, the private sector, and the public. The Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and National Research Council together make up the independent, nonprofit National Academies.

Trends in Extreme Binge Drinking Among US High School Seniors

JAMA Pediatrics, 2013; doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.3083
This study found that one in five high school seniors reports binge drinking in the last two weeks, and one in ten reports “extreme” binge drinking – having 10 or more drinks on one occasion. The surveys were completed by a nationally-representative group of U.S. high school seniors. In all, 20.2 percent of the teenagers said they’d had at least five drinks on one or more occasions in the past two weeks, 10.5 percent had consumed at least 10 drinks in a row and 5.6 percent at least 15 drinks. Researchers conclude that there’s a need for more policy interventions to reduce teenage drinking. That includes youth-specific policies, such as better enforcement of underage drinking laws, but also policies directed at the general population, including adequate alcohol taxes.

Vital Signs: Binge Drinking Among Women and High School Girls – United States, 2011

MMWR. January 11, 2013; 62(01); 9-13
The Center for Disease Control released a study that found that binge drinking is reported by one in eight U.S. adult women and one in five high school girls. The prevalence and intensity of binge drinking was highest among women aged 18-24 years. In 2011, more than one in three high school girls reported drinking and one in five reported binge drinking; most high school girls who drank reported binge drinking. The report suggests that more widespread implementation of evidence-based interventions such as those recommended by the Guide to Community Preventive Services and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, would be expected to reduce the frequency and intensity, and ultimately the prevalence of binge drinking among women and girls, and the harms related to it.


Medical Reviewer