Drinking in any excess is dangerous, but binge drinking is the most dangerous of all. Not only does it wreak havoc on the skin, weight, the brain and the liver, but also can have devastating long term effects on one’s family and friends. According to a new National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism from this week, women are more prone to binge drinking or drinking a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time with the intend of becoming severely intoxicated.

The original guidelines for “low-risk” drinking were created by NIAAA. They agree that more than 4 drinks a day is risky behavior. The reason that this is so alarming is that research has shown that alcohol-related problems happen to women with lower levels of alcohol consumption.

“Women are at a greater risk than men of engaging in drinking habits during college that are more likely to result in long-term harm,” the report suggests.

The weekly limits that have been suggested are designed to help prevent future health ailments such as liver disease or various types of cancer. According to another study, nearly 60% of men and 64% of women have reportedly drunk more than the suggested amount for each particular sex. While the main concern is with women, alcohol can have lasting health issues for men too.

According to the NIAAA, low-risk drinking means no more than 3 drinks on one day and no more than 7 each week. In order to stay in the low-risk range, you must follow each of the requirements – both daily and weekly. Heavy or at-risk drinking means consuming more than the daily and weekly suggestions. Binge drinking means drinking so much that within 2 hours of drinking you have reached the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC). For women, this is after about 4 drinks and for men, 5.

The Centers for Disease Control have reported in early 2013 that an increasing number of girls and women are binge drinking and this is an “under-recognized problem.” According to a new Vital Signs report, approximately 14 million U.S. women or more drink about 3 times a month and consume at least 6 drinks per binge. Nearly 23,000 deaths occur each year for girls and women with binge drinking. This type of drinking also increases one’s chances of unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, heart disease and breast cancer.

Unfortunately, despite these statistics and warnings nearly 1 in 8 adult women and 1 in 5 high school girls still embark on binge drinking. If you or a loved one has a problem with drinking, there is help available. Seek out a local alcohol treatment center that can tailor a customized plan for becoming sober. Begin your path to sobriety today!