This report covers the topic of Healthy People 2020 and their focus on reducing the amount of binge drinking in adults over the next 10 years. This paper will cover the current situation, the improvability of the metric, the inclusiveness of the metric, a review of the literature related to the topic, a statistical comparison between Michigan and the rest of the United as it relates to the metric and any recommendations.
Current Status & Impacts
Per the Health People 2020 website, the current amount of adults that binge drink at least once every 30 days stands at 27.1%. The current goal between now and 2020 is to reduce that amount to 24.6%, or a reduction of exactly 10% of the current value. The ways in which people imbibe to excess includes drinking a lot of alcohol, even beer, in a short period of time. Other examples include taking shots and/or drinking drinks that are very high in alcohol such as Everclear and Sambuca (HealthyPeople 2020, 2013).
The impact to families and individuals from this dangerous habit is extensive. One immediately example of a consequence is alcohol poisoning and other deleterious effects from drinking a massive amount of alcohol in a short period of time. The legal limit in terms of being drunk on alcohol is 0.08% BAC but many people give above the 0.1 and 0.2% marks quite often. Getting above 0.3% to 0.4% percent can be fatal (HealthyPeople 2020, 2013).
Other effects stem from abusing alcohol over protracted periods of time. Effects of this include damage to the intestines and liver. Other examples include becoming mentally and/or physically dependent on alcohol. People that drink alcohol to excess often have problems getting and/or keeping employment, they are much more likely to be violent to others including family and they often have unstable if not dangerous lives in general. Another raging concern relative to any drinking to excess is people that binge drink driving drunk, although this is also true of people that drink a large amount over a wider time period which is still binge drinking even if the time horizon is longer. Getting drunk on purpose, in a manner of speaking, is always binge drinking but some people do it at a much more frenetic pace than others.
Improvability, per the assignment parameters, pertains to taking current practice and aligning it more with what is known to work based on evidence from prior history. In terms of that, the big key is to set good examples (parents, mentors, friends, etc.) and educating the public on what can truly go wrong if binge drinking is happening, even if it's fleeting and rare. In terms of the Quality Chasm report, there are a number of things that can be pointed out and explained. As far as safety, it can be explained and drilled home that drinking to excess, especially in a brief period of time, can be dangerous to deadly and real-life examples of this should be offered and explained. It need not be graphic or knee-jerk, but it does need to be candid and honest and should be catered to groups that are most vulnerable, such as the depressed and younger people who are still in "party mode" (HealthyPeople 2020, 2013).
As far as effectiveness, the above paragraph includes the most important lesson, that being that proven methods to drive down the rates of binge drinking, even if brash and perhaps shocking, should be done. As far as patient-centeredness, people that actually have a scare with alcohol need to have it reinforced how they got there and what can (or will) happen if they do not stop immediately. As far as timeliness, getting to kids and young adults as they reach the most vulnerable points in life (e.g. college) is key but, as noted before, following up with people that are exposed to alcohol binge drinking's bad effects is key. As far as efficiency, the actions and words that reach the most people (and reach the most vulnerable/open people) will have the most effect and should be done as it's not possible to convince or even speak to everyone. As far as equity, all at-risk groups should be hit whenever possible but the key is to reach the most people, however that manifests itself,…