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6:12 am
Sat January 12, 2013

CDC Report: 1 in 5 High School-Aged Girls Binge Drinks

A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study shows 1 in 5 high school-aged girls binge drink. The CDC says the behavior could have long-term health effects.

Dr. Michael Windle, a professor in Emory’s Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, says the report is helpful in providing a big picture look at binge drinking among young women.

“This study is very important in highlighting some of the correlates that we see that are very significant, and the associated problems, in terms of increasing other risky behaviors, such as engaging in sexual activity, often unprotected sex, things of that sort, that may lead to sexually transmitted diseases or teen pregnancy.”

Some of Windle’s own research has examined the effects of binge drinking by following men and women from age 15 into their early 30s. What he found is that a much higher percentage drink during a period of adolescence. But he says some continue to binge drink beyond that period.

“We do find there are other correlates that predict that. Those include things like: other substance use, particularly marijuana use, engagement in a broader range of antisocial and delinquent activities and higher levels of depression.”

To reduce binge drinking, Windle says there needs to be a widespread educational effort to inform the public about the long-term consequences of the behavior.