Alcohol can be fun (if you're 21 and older, of course). However, when drinking it's important to take into account how much you're drinking and for how long. Drinking can lead to serious consequences if not done responsibly (binge drinking being one of them). 

When starting college, no one really warns you about binge drinking. There aren't any signs in the bars or at parties that give 'tips' or 'fun facts' about how to stay safe while drinking. Most people tend to think they've become "pros" with their body, in the sense that they know how much alcohol they can take from experience. But rather than risk that trial and error, it's best to just know the facts before hand. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, binge drinking typically occurs "when men consume five or more drinks, and when women consume four or more drinks, in about two hours." This amount of drinks causes the person to become too impaired to think straight and "will produce blood alcohol levels far above the legal driving limit of 0.08%," says the University of Rochester Medical Center.

The URMC states that, "People who often engage in binge drinking are more likely to develop a drinking problem," and it creates a several other problems. Examples of these problems may include: accidental injuries, alcohol use pattern, loss of control, and a lack of brain development.

Binge drinking doesn't just affect those who are drinking, but other factors as well. According to the CDC, "Drinking too much, including binge drinking, cost the United States $249 billion in 2010, or $2.05 a drink, from losses in productivity, health care, crime, and other expenses. Binge drinking was responsible for 77% of these costs, or $191 billion."

Ways to Avoid Binge Drinking

Even though the temptation is there to drink, with the constant stress and anxiety of classes only tempting you further, it's best to know the ways of avoiding an even more stressful situation.

Here's a list of ways to avoid binge drinking provided by the Project Turnabout Centers for Addiction and Recovery.

1. Be aware of the health consequences of binge drinking. 

2. Avoid situations and possible triggers for binge drinking.

3. Understand what a standard drink is. 

4. Consume slowly. 

5. Choose to drink soda or other non-alcoholic beverages.

6. Go out with friends who have similar consumption limits in mind. 

7. Stay away from alcopops.

Or more simply keep track of your drinks and understand when you've met your limit. 

Regardless of where your night takes you, enjoy it and always drink responsibly.