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Dangers of Binge Drinking

From the Show: Health Radio
Summary: Binge drinking kills more than 1,400 teens a year and contributes to thousands more deaths through alcohol-related accidents.
Air Date: 6/22/15
Duration: 10
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Lisa Lowery, MD, MPH
LoweryDr. Lisa Lowery is a native of Grand Rapids and a graduate of Ottawa Hills High School. She attended Michigan State University receiving her Bachelors of Science Degree in Microbiology, with Honors. Dr. Lowery then went on to receive her medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School.

After medical school, she completed a combined Internal Medicine and Pediatric Residency program at Spectrum Health-Butterworth Michigan State University/Grand Rapids Campus. Her desire to work with young people led her to complete a sub-specialty research fellowship in Adolescent Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Her research during her fellowship concentrated on sexually transmitted diseases and reproductive health. While at the Johns Hopkins, she obtained a Masters of Public Health in the Department of Population and Family Health Sciences with a Certificate of Concentration in Maternal and Child Health.

Currently, Dr. Lowery is an Adolescent Medicine specialist at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital-Spectrum Health Medical Group. She has been on faculty since July 2004. Dr. Lowery also serves as Adolescent Medicine Section Chief; Division Chief of HDVCH Pediatrics Specialties; and Associate Program Director for the Combined Internal Medicine Program Michigan State University/Grand Rapids Campus. She is an Associate Professor Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Department of Pediatrics and Human Development.

She is the President of West Michigan Medical Society/National Medical Association and serves on the Grand Rapids Urban League Board of Directors. She is involved in her community through her church home, True Light Baptist Church, and numerous other community and professional organizations, including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Dangers of Binge Drinking
With high school and college graduation season in full swing, young teens and adults might be tempted to engage in binge drinking without fully understanding the dangerous consequences.

More often than not, young adults typically aren't likely to consider the downsides of drinking. You might think you're just drinking "socially," but you're completely unaware of how much you've actually had to drink.

When you're starting to "feel it," you may easily have consumed three or four drinks in a short period of time. This puts you at increased risk of alcohol poisoning, which, if you pass out or try to "sleep it off," can lead to death.

What are some other risks of binge drinking?

Other risks and effects young adults should know about binge drinking include:

  • You are at risk for not getting medical attention because your friends don't want to get into trouble.
  • Drinking any alcohol under the age of 21 is illegal. You can get arrested.
  • A hangover, throwing up or passing out are likely.
  • You may have to go to the hospital.
  • Death can occur from alcohol poisoning or aspirating vomit.
  • A crash could kill you or your friends.
  • Addiction to alcohol is a serious, sometimes lifelong problem.
  • The gross factor: ping-pong balls and cups used in drinking games like beer pong carry bacteria such as E. coli, listeria, staph and salmonella.

Lisa Lowery, MD, MPH, shares the risks and dangers of binge drinking.