About one in eight women over the age of 18 binge drink.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a statement Tuesday that stated excessive drinking is a dangerous behavior that is under-recognized as a women’s health issue.
Joan Scully, a substance abuse coordinator and licensed clinical social worker at UF Counseling and Wellness Center, said the first step to recognizing binge drinking as an illness is to lower the stigma that comes with addiction.
For the 14 million American women who binge drink, the chances of breast cancer, heart disease, sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancy are heightened, according to the center.
“You can’t find that label on a bottle of vodka or a bottle of wine,” Scully said.
She said binge drinking needs the same level of social awareness that cigarette smoking has.
Despite these risks, women who binge consume six drinks in one sitting and drink three or more times a month.
Although males have historically been more involved with high-risk drinking, women are catching up, said GatorWell Health Promotion Services director Maureen Miller, who also specializes in alcohol and other drug prevention.
Miller said it’s important to use common sense when drinking.
“Be aware of how much you are actually drinking based on alcohol content, not number of drinks,” she said. “You are probably having more than what you really think.”
Carolina Garcia, a 20-year-old public relations junior, said she worries when she sees people overindulging
“I think it should definitely be made known,” she said. “People don’t see it as anything except socializing.”
Contact Alexa Volland at firstname.lastname@example.org.