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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Binge Drinking Changes Your DNA

binge drinking

Here's yet another reason to seek help for binge drinking: It can mess with your very being - your DNA! 

So what does this really mean? Researchers from Rutgers University discovered that consistently overdoing it on alcohol can disrupt the natural effectiveness of two specific genes: PER2, which regulates body clock and POMC, which controls stress.

The researchers discovered that both genes were altered in binge and heavy drinkers and, in the heaviest drinkers, there was a reduction in the rate at which the genes created new proteins. According to, this basically means that binge drinking “stunted both genes.” 

And, what’s worse, these mutations may make it harder to quit. The researchers found that these long-lasting genetic changes sparked a greater desire to drink among binge and heavy drinkers. 

"We found that people who drink heavily may be changing their DNA in a way that makes them crave alcohol even more," Professor Dipak K. Sarkar, senior author of the study and director of the Endocrine Program in the Department of Animal Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, told "This may help explain why alcoholism is such a powerful addiction, and may one day contribute to new ways to treat alcoholism or help prevent at-risk people from becoming addicted.”

Binge drinking is defined as when a person consumes an excessive amount of alcohol in a short amount of time. For men, this means drinking five or more alcoholic beverages in two hours. For women, four or more drinks within a two-hour time period.

College Students and Binge Drinking: What You Should Know
A large percentage of college students participate in binge drinking – and not without consequences. For one, binge drinking can take a toll on the young and still-developing brain of college students, causing cognitive difficulties. (Your brain continues to change and develop up to age 25.) Binge drinking can also increase your risk of life-threatening alcohol poisoning and suicide.

Here are a few more ways that binge drinking can put your health – and the health of others – at risk.
  • Poor academic performance, including missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers and receiving lower grades overall.
  • Increased risk of injury - from minor cuts to broken bones to concussions.
  • More vulnerable to physical or sexual assault.
  • Higher chance of committing a crime, including vandalism, property damage and driving under the influence.
  • Greater risk of alcohol-related health complications like liver damage, high blood pressure, inflammation of the pancreas and other health complications.
  • Increased risk of an alcohol use disorder.
Getting Help for Alcohol Abuse
Is binge drinking becoming a problem for you or someone you love? Our young adult alcohol rehab can provide the tools you need to get and stay sober. Reach out to us today to find out how we can help you. To learn more about what a day in the life of Hope Academy looks like, call: 866-930-4673.

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