Think binge drinking is just a young person issue? Think again. Binge drinking means men drinking five or more alcoholic drinks within a short period of time or women drinking four or more drinks within a short period of time.

It is estimated that more than 38 million U.S. adults binge drink, about four times a month, and the largest number of drinks per binge is on average eight. This behavior greatly increases the chances of getting hurt or hurting others due to car crashes, violence and suicide. Drinking too much, including binge drinking, causes 80,000 deaths in the U.S. each year and, in 2006, cost the economy $223.5 billion.

According to the CDC, the age group with most binge drinkers is 18 to 34 years. The age group that binge drinks most often is 65-plus years. The income group with most binge drinkers is more than $75,000. Finally, the income group that binge drinks the most often and drinks most per binge is less than $25,000.

Doctors say the older generation may be more prone to drink because of certain circumstances. "Older folks tend to get more isolated as they grow older, families tend to disperse, they have more time on their hands so to speak," says Dr. Kurt Klauburg, a geriatric psychiatrist with Phoebe Putney Hospital. However, alcohol affects the older generation in a different way, with effects lasting longer than in younger people. Everyone has what's called a blood brain barrier, meant to keep out harmful chemicals like alcohol. The older you get, the more permeable this barrier is and things cross over in larger amounts.

Binge drinking is a dangerous and costly public health problem. Binge drinking is about more than just the number of binge drinkers. The amount and number of times binge drinkers drink are also important to address. Most alcohol-impaired drivers binge drink. Surprisingly, most people who binge drink are not alcohol dependent or alcoholics. More than half of the alcohol adults drink is while binge drinking. More than 90 percent of the alcohol youth drink is while binge drinking.

You can help by choosing not to binge drink and helping others not to do it. Drink in moderation when you do drink. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines on alcohol consumption recommend no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men. Pregnant women and underage youth should not drink alcohol.

Event canceled

The Bridal Dress Show and Reception planned for tomorrow has been cancelled. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Thanks for help

This year, 2012, is the 40th anniversary of Meals on Wheels in Garden City. Many thanks to the RSVP volunteers and Duane Riley who delivered Meals on Wheels last week.

Are you interested in helping with Meals on Wheels? Substitute drivers are always needed. If you would like to help, call Patti at 272-3620 or 260-6282.

Scheduled activities

Thursday begins with TOPS at 8:30 a.m., followed by art class at 10 a.m. Gentle exercise begins at 11 a.m. The Ambassador Singers practice at 1 p.m. Yoga begins at 6:30 p.m.

Friday begins with line dancing at 8:30 a.m. A nurse from St. Catherine Hospital will be here from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Bridge starts at 12:45 p.m. We will serve root beer floats to all dads beginning at 2 p.m.

Saturday, the pool room is open from 1 to 4 p.m.

Sunday is Father's Day. Duplicate bridge will meet at 2 p.m.

Monday begins with walking at 8:30 a.m. The Humdinger Band practices at 12:30 p.m. Double pinochle begins at 12:30 p.m. The RSVP Committee meets at 1 p.m. The Upbeats Band practices at 3 p.m. Duplicate bridge meets at 7 p.m.

Tuesday, gentle exercises will begin at 11 a.m. Pitch begins at 12:30 p.m. Bridge starts at 1:15 p.m.

June 20 begins with line dancing at 8:30 a.m. Pinochle begins at 12:30 p.m. Life Writing is at 1 p.m. Completely Unraveled meets at 1 p.m. The dance at 7:30 p.m. will feature the "Last Resort." The recommended donation is $5 per person. Bring finger food for the break.

Lunch menus

Lunch is served at noon.

Thursday: Beef tips on noodles, tomato slices, green beans, wheat bread, citrus fruit.

Friday: Chicken strips, parsley potatoes, five-way vegetables, wheat roll, strawberries and peaches.

Monday: Salisbury steak with gravy, creamed peas, spinach salad, wheat bread, peaches.

Tuesday: Oven-fried chicken, scalloped potatoes, Harvard beets, wheat roll, creamy fruit salad.

June 20: Swiss steak and tomatoes, baked potato, carrots, wheat bread, strawberries.

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