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Friday, August 28, 2015

An Open Dialogue About Blackout Drinking

Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol can lead to serious problems, both mentally and physically. Young adults, notably college aged, commonly consume vast quantities of booze in a short amount of time between Thursday and Saturday, what is known as binge drinking. The practice of binge drinking is associated with bad decision making, such as drunk driving. Making sound decisions is difficult when binge drinking, because at a certain point the lights are on but nobody’s home - commonly referred to as a “blackout.”

After 25 years of drinking to the point of blackout, a personal essays editor at Salon decided to write a memoir of her time as a blackout drinker, CNN reports. Sarah Hepola’s new memoir, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget, is candid look at what a life with memory gaps is like. She hopes the book will open the dialogue about blackouts and bring to light some of the consequences that can result from blackout drinking. Sarah Hepola has five years of sobriety.

Aaron White, PhD, senior adviser to the director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) points out that it can be difficult to know if someone is in a blackout, according to the article. "They're very common, frighteningly so."

"So you could be talking to somebody and having a conversation with them about something that happened the day before or a month ago or a year ago and everything seems fine," White said, "but while you're having that conversation, the information about that conversation is falling into a void.

"Unless you give somebody a memory test, you're probably not going to know."

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