INFOGRAPHIC: How binge drinking is taking over the youth

With extended deadlines for bars and nightclubs looking increasingly likely, city doctors are taking a close look at the growing trend of binge drinking

Dr Mahesh Mylarappa, Consultant, emergency medicine, Columbia Asia Hospital, clearly remembers the case of a 24-year-old boy who landed up in his emergency room, accompanied by his parents. He was showing aggressive behaviour and "was in such bad shape that we had to physically restrain him". After a battery of questions, the doctor found that the young man had been going through de-addiction therapy for the last four months. That day, however, he met a few friends and started drinking again. The alcohol, combined with his de-addiction medication, resulted in deranged kidney and liver function.

"There has been a rise in such cases lately. We get close to three cases every week. Youngsters land up in the emergency ward as an immediate result of binge drinking. A majority of them are teenagers. Drinking is the most common form of substance abuse due to ease of availability," said Dr Mylarappa.

The longterm ill-effects of binge drinking are notoriously insidious. A Stanford University School of Medicine study, published on October 2, found a malfunctioning enzyme that could see binge drinking increase the odds of alcoholism.

A study published last month in the American Society of Human Genetics found that binge drinking leads to premature ageing. Researchers on that study found binge drinking causes epigenetic changes to DNA that triggers accelerated biological ageing.

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