How much is too much?
When you are in your 20s and 30s, it's pretty common to have a wine night with your friends or significant other once or twice a week and going out and drinking even more over the weekend.
It could be a normal schedule that many young drinkers face, but what they do not realize is the damage that they could be putting on their bodies through the normalization of this binge drinking behavior.
The problem is, the binge drinking culture is becoming a way to socialize with your friends and even date in today’s world.
So what is binge drinking?
Binge drinking is a pattern of drinking when you consume at least 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men in the span of 2 hours. Not surprisingly, binge drinking is most common among adults between the age of 18 and 34 years old.
Though it is true that many people participate in this binge drinking behavior during their 20s, there always seems to be an excuse to drink heavily when you’re younger and just getting into the bar scene.
With graduations, friends' 21st birthdays, "thirsty Thursdays," bad days at work, break ups and just celebrating getting a good grade on your exam, there always seems to be an occasion for you to order that extra shot or to stay at the bar longer.
Sometimes people in their 20s and 30s use alcohol as a way to cope with financial problems or other stressors. Millennials are often targeted for engaging in this behavior. People are drinking and binge drinking to cope with stress, even though alcohol is a depressant that could (and does) make the situation worse.
In fact, the millennial generation, which ranges from ages 21 to 38 years old, drank so much wine to deal with stress or just enjoy a night out that they are changing the way wine is sold. This means the wine industry focuses their marketing efforts on younger adults. To boost their business, wine companies try to sell the next ‘trendy’ wine to those who want them. According to Bustle, millennials drank 42 percent of all of the wine that was consumed in the U.S. in 2015, and the figure does not seem to be decreasing.
So when did this drinking behavior become so normalized — especially for those in their 20s?
Although many studies show that drinking a SINGLE glass of wine a day is good for you, studies have never shown that having the whole bottle at dinner is a good way to socialize with others. It is recommended that, no matter what age you’re at, you limit your alcohol intake to 14 units of alcohol a week, which is a bottle and a half of wine. But the alcohol industry is thriving off of the heavy drinkers in the millennial generation.
The millennials often seek out quality and innovative flavors that can be the next ‘hip’ trend for the young drinkers. This trend will ultimately cause obesity from the empty calories consumed along with other health risks that even relate to your brain being damaged.
So, before you pick up that fifth glass of wine, extra mixed drink or shot, ask yourself, "Am I drinking too much?"
Grace Harrah is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationships topics.