SHERMAN, TX-Binge drinking has become more prevalent among American adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17% of those surveyed admitted to doing it at least once in the past month.
The CDC states that 1 in 6 adults in the U.S. engage in binge drinking, 1 in 4 of them are college students who consume an average of nine drinks per session. Wednesday, I spoke with one Texoma man who experienced first hand the effects of long-term binge drinking.
"Plain and simple for me, I just like to drink. I thought it was fun. Everyone I knew did it."
College student Jerrod Renau said he's been struggling with alcoholism since he was 18. He said he didn't drink every night, but he couldn't put the bottle down once he started.
"I was a binge drinker, not an everyday drinker. You know on the weekends, some during the week, probably on average of 15-20 beers at a time," he said.
Renau said the habit cost him his job, his family and he also got in trouble with the law.
"Yeah, I've ended up in jail. I've had a couple of DWI's. it's been a long time, it's been ten years or so now. I think about it a lot you know, that I could've hurt somebody behind the wheel and I'm not proud of that," he said.
The CDC reported that binge drinking is most prevalent in the 18-34 year old age group, with some people consuming an average of nine drinks at a time. Four to five drinks is considered binge drinking.
Arthur Horn with Four Rivers Outreach said he's seen more people like Renau walked into the center over the past year.
"Drinking is a real problem in our society today. Most people look at it as a legal issue. You know, people, it's legal to drink so it's not something you're gonna get arrested for drinking, unless you're driving. It's ruining lives," he said.
Horn thought the increase has something to do with the social environment.
"Probably binge drinking went up because of the economy and that it's probably one of the cheaper things you can do for entertainment is drink, especially when you're in college," he said.
After a 16-year struggle, Renau has been sober for four months and he said the consequences of binge drinking just aren't worth it.
"I would say it's not a good thing. It destroys your liver, it destroys your throat, it's just not a good thing. It makes you unaware of the decisions that you make."
The CDC also reported that even though binge drinking is more common among young adults, those aged 65 and above tend to consume alcohol more frequently.