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New Standards Set For Binge Drinking

January 8, 2014, 9:50 PM by Matt Holsen

New Standards Set For Binge Drinking
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

It's not unusual for many to consume several adult beverages on a night out with friends, but where do you draw the line? You may be surprised to learn the Centers for Disease Control says more than 38 million Americans drink too much.

For a lot of people, four to five drinks in a three-hour period is pretty typical for a night on the town.

"Do I think four drinks in a long evening is binge drinking? Personally, no I don't," Tallgrass Recovery Executive Director Dennis Ford said.

But in a new report, the CDC says that's the new standard for binge or excessive drinking. While it's not alcoholism, it can cause a host of health and social problems. Ford says the report could lead to a big change in the way people think about drinking.

"Is it good that the CDC said this, if you look at what they've done with smoking, maybe so," Ford said.

While the report does set new recommendations, the best part could be that it might start a life-saving conversation between you and your doctor.

"It contributes more to the cost of health care in the United States and it's one of the least treated," Ford said.

Excessive drinking leads to 88,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. It also leads to liver disease, infections and an increased risk of cancer. Yet, just one in six adults talks to their doctor about their drinking habits.

"You know you go to a doctor today he's going to ask you if you smoke, he's going to tell you if you're overweight, tell you if you're eating the wrong kind of foods. Alcohol should be included in that same thing," Ford said.

Researchers say that conversation could reduce a binge drinker's consumption by as much as 25 percent.

The CDC recommends no more than two drinks a day for men and no more than one drink a day for women.

Read the full report from the CDC online.

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