Risks Of Binge Drinking
Many people don’t think about the negative side of drinking. Although they think about the possibility of getting drunk, they may not give much consideration to being hung-over or throwing up.
You may know from experience that excessive drinking can lead to difficulty concentrating, memory lapses, mood changes, and other problems that affect your day-to-day life. But binge drinking carries more serious and longer-lasting risks as well.
The Dangers Of Binge Drinking
Drinking large amounts of alcohol within a short period of time poses many risks. Not only are there health risks to binge drinking, there are many behavioral risks as well. Some dangers of binge drinking include:
- Blacking out
- Liver damage
- Anxiety and depression
Possibly one of the largest dangers of binge drinking is running the risk of alcohol dependency. The more a person drinks, the more their body is able to tolerate and therefore will require more alcohol to become drunk. This tolerance building is a fast-track to alcohol dependency. If you find yourself or a loved one binge drinking frequently, it is important that you seek help so that an addiction does not form. The sooner you are able to stop frequent binge drinking, the better the chances you have of an easy recovery.
Effective Compassionate And Comprehensive Treatment
Here at Genesis Recovery, were here to help you regain control of your impulses and mend the parts of your life that addiction has harmed. If youre struggling with alcohol challenges, our treatment programs can help you learn how to live without reaching for the next drink. Our expert staff members strive to provide you with compassionate yet comprehensive and effective care.
Alcohol doesnt have to control your life. Contact us today at 619-797-7319 if you or a loved one are looking for a rehab center that truly cares about getting you on the path to long-term recovery.
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Anyone Can Binge Drink
Although binge drinking is more commonly seen in the 18-35 age group, anyone can do it. It may be more frequently seen in young people and college students, but it can and does affect anyone.
Although in the past, American adults who binge drink were usually male, there has been a recent increase in the number of women who admit to binge drinking.
Dangers Of Binge Drinking
The most significant danger associated with binge drinking is the risk of alcohol poisoning. According to the Centers for Disease Control, six people die each day due to alcohol poisoning. When the central nervous system and liver become overwhelmed with high levels of alcohol, it can reach a state of toxicity known as alcohol poisoning.
Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include:
- Loss of physical coordination
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Blue-tinged lips or fingertips
In addition to alcohol poisoning, there are other dangerous effects, both short-term and long-term, of binge drinking,
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Binge Drinking & Alcohol Abuse: Signs Of A Problem
Although not everyone who binge drinks has an alcohol abuse problem, binge drinking can increase a persons risk of developing alcohol use disorder .4 AUDs diagnosis is based on characteristic patterns of problematic alcohol use to have taken place during a 12-month period. Several of these diagnostic criteria include:5
- Having strong cravings for alcohol.
- Inability to cut down on alcohol use.
- Significant efforts to get alcohol, drink alcohol, or an increased amount of time needed to recover from drinking alcohol.
- Alcohol use causes an inability to complete tasks at home, school, and/or work.
- Using alcohol despite alcohol causing social and interpersonal issues.
- Avoiding social, work, and other activities due to alcohol use.
- Continued use of alcohol in hazardous situations such as while driving.
- Use of alcohol despite having health or psychological issues related to alcohol use.
- Alcohol tolerance, which is shown by the need to use more alcohol to feel its desired effects.
- Withdrawal symptoms when one attempts to stop using alcohol.
How To Get Help
Binge drinkers who are finding themselves in more and more trouble can find help. Even those who have encountered only minimal predicaments may need an outside agent to help them move on with their lives. It is possible for many binge drinkers to regain a healthy relationship with alcohol, or to put the bottle down for good.
If you or a loved one is in a binge drinking cycle, find a licensed mental health specialist, a counselor who specializes in addictions. These can be found either on a one-on-one basis or within a treatment setting. They can help you assess the situation create a plan to help you curb your binge drinking.
Help is available. Call a professional today.
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What Are The Consequences And Health Effects Of Binge Drinking
While drinking any amount of alcohol can carry certain risks , crossing the binge threshold increases the risk of acute harm, such as blackouts and overdoses. Binge drinking also increases the likelihood of unsafe sexual behavior and the risk of sexually transmitted infections and unintentional pregnancy. These risks are greater at higher peak levels of consumption. Because of the impairments it produces, binge drinking also increases the likelihood of a host of potentially deadly consequences, including falls, burns, drownings, and car crashes.
Alcohol affects virtually all tissues in the body. Data suggest that even one episode of binge drinking can compromise function of the immune system and lead to acute pancreatitis in individuals with underlying pancreatic damage. Alcohol misuse, including repeated episodes of binge drinking, over time contributes to liver and other chronic diseases, as well as increases in the risk of several types of cancer, including head and neck, esophageal, liver, breast, and colorectal cancers.
Binge drinking can be deadly. Roughly 95,000 deaths resulted from alcohol misuse in the United States between 2011 and 2015, and almost half were associated with binge drinking.6 Binge drinking also is costly. Researchers estimated that binge drinking accounted for 77 percent of the $249 billion economic cost of alcohol misuse in 2010.7
Most Individuals Who Binge Drink Are Not Alcohol Dependent Meaning They Dont Physically Or Mentally Need Alcohol To Function
However, if binge drinking becomes a significant pattern, one has a higher risk of developing a dependency. In addition, those who have a predisposition to addiction and partake in drinking abusively may find themselves in a cycle of binge drinking and addiction.
Young adolescents already have an increased risk of dependency because of alcohols effect on the maturing brain, but individuals enrolled in a full-time college program are two times as likely to abuse alcohol. With the alarming number of college students drinking at house parties, sporting events, and get-togethers, there is a new concern about binge drinking and addiction.
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Is Binge Drinking Considered Alcoholism
Binge drinking does not necessarily mean that a person is an alcoholic or suffers from severe AUD.6 However, binge drinking may increase the risk of a person developing AUD sometime in their life. Monitoring how a person uses alcohol, including the amount of alcohol consumed, may help determine if a person is binge drinking.7
Why Is It So Hard To Stop Drinking
There are a number of factors that make it hard for people to stop drinking.
- Availability. Alcohol is legal and widely available, especially to people over the age of 21. People who have a problem with alcohol can find it hard to stop because the substance is easy to get, unlike street drugs such as cocaine or heroin.
- Drinking culture. Because alcohol is legal, it is accepted in many different social settings, including parties, networking events, business meetings, social outings, and more. People are exposed to alcohol in these settings, and drinking is seen as a way to help people loosen up and socialize. Peer pressure can be strong, and it can be hard to say no when someone offers you a drink.
- Self-medicating. Many people use alcohol to deal with unresolved mental or emotional issues such as anxiety, depression, and trauma. They begin to rely on alcohol to numb the symptoms of these conditions and have a hard time giving it up as a result.
- Addictiveness. People who drink alcohol on a regular basis can become addicted to it. Drinking becomes compulsive and hard to control, and people may continue to drink to stave off withdrawal symptoms.
Binge Drinking By Youth
The MLDA is associated with rates of binge drinking by youth. Binge drinking by youth in the United States declined after drinking ages were raised to age 21 nationwide and has been stable at levels lower than the early 1980s. Binge drinking is a major problem at many colleges. Binge drinking among US college students has been fairly steady for the past 10 years. Between 1997 and 2006, the proportion of college students reporting binge drinking ranged from a high of 41.7% in 2004 to a low of 38.5% in 2003. The percentage of college students who reported being drunk in the past 30 days shows similar fluctuations and results between 1991 and 2006, with several ups and downs during that period . Overall, the proportion of 19- and 20-year-olds reporting binge drinking has fluctuated from a low of 31.7% in 1995 to a high of 37.0% in 1991 . The proportion of 12th graders reporting binge drinking in the last 2 weeks actually declined recently, ranging from 29.8% in 1991 to a high of 31.5% in 1998 to a low of 25.9% in 2007. Thus, though the MLDA-21 in the United States has not eliminated harmful drinking by those aged 20 and younger, it has reduced the problem and sustained a much lower rate than when the MLDA was lower .
FIGURE 95.5. Percentage of college students who reported being drunk in the past 30 days in the United States.
FIGURE 95.6. Percentage of 19- and 20-year-olds binge drinking in the United States.
Summary: Binge Drinking Vs Alcoholism
As we can see, there are some similarities between binge drinking and alcoholism, but also many important differences. There is also the potential for crossover. For example, someone who starts off as an excessive drinker at the weekend, may start to increase the number of days they drink: its a slippery slope.
Whether youre a binge drinker or an alcoholic you should consider getting professional support to ensure your recovery has the best chance of success.
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If You Have Tried To Limit Yourself To A Certain Number Of Drinks And Have Found That You Are Unable To Stop When You Want To You Might Have Crossed The Threshold Of Binge Drinking And Into Addiction
If you have gone into a bar or club and said you were going to stop at a certain time nut were unable to do so, you might be alcoholic. If you are unsure, you can certainly try these tests for yourself. Those who are not alcoholic are able to stop after a certain point and not obsessively crave that next drink. If you have decided to stop after a certain number of drinks but find yourself extremely uncomfortable and frustrated, you might suffering from addiction.
Fortunately, the sooner you recognize a potential problem and seek help, the easier it will be to begin your journey to recovery. If you think you are walking the tightrope between binge drinking and addiction, reach out to an accredited treatment facility where they can help you understand your situation and get the help you need.
Contact us today if you or your loved one is ready to reach out for help. We can start you on the road to recovery.
Alcoholism: Facts About Alcohol Addiction In Canada
Is alcohol addiction in Canada any different from anywhere else in the world? The facts will clear that out. Alcohol, whatever form or name it may come with, can be considered as the most abused form of substance in Canada. People may be drinking less now than before, but they still drink. Do you still drink until you cant hold it anymore?
Alcoholism continues to change the lives of people in more ways than they can imagine. It remains to be one of the serious issues for individuals and society in general. In recent years, binge drinking has become significantly popular, especially to the young. Drinking among underage children have actually become a real problem.
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How To Cut Back
So, where does that leave folks who wonder whether their drinking habits might signal a serious concern? One simple but highly effective self-test is to commit to cutting back for at least a month and then seeing how well you stick with it.
In my private practice, we had patients sign a contract stipulating that they would have at least one standard drink per week, but never more than two standard drinks in a 24-hour period, for a 30-day period, explains Dr. Hoffman.
Of those people that I had identified as probably being alcohol dependent, a few were able to white-knuckle it through week one, but I never saw anybody make it past week two. That pretty much illustrates the difference in a person with a serious substance use disorder: They cannot consistently moderate their use.
If you do take this tack, be sure to heed the standard qualification on drink size, defined as containing about 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol, according to the CDC. Thats about the amount a persons liver can process in one hour though that varies based on other factors such as body weight, gender, and genetics. Translated to the glass, a standard drink is the equivalent of 12 ounces of a regular beer at 5 percent alcohol 8 ounces of malt liquor at 7 percent alcohol, 5 ounces of wine at 12 percent alcohol, or a 1.5 ounce shot of hard liquor at 40 percent alcohol.
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How Does Binge Drinking Affect Adolescents
Brain development, once thought to taper off at the end of childhood, enters a unique phase during the adolescent years. Research indicates that repeated episodes of binge drinking during the teen years can alter the trajectory of adolescent brain development and cause lingering deficits in social, attention, memory, and other cognitive functions.8
Is Binge Drinking An Addiction
Binge drinking is relatively common in the United States, even though its highly dangerous. A person who binge drinks will drink many drinks over a short time. About 40% of college students admit to binge drinking during the school year, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. And while its common, a binge drinker is always in danger of alcohol poisoning or overdose if they mix drugs or medication with their alcohol use. A person who binge drinks may not drink alcohol every day. However, when they drink, they drink to get drunk.
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Here Lies The True Problem
When alcohol becomes the automatic response to life, the cycle of destruction has begun.
So, is binge drinking an addiction? There is a fine line between binge drinking episodes and addiction one leads to the other. The good news is that alcoholism is a treatable disease. If you or someone you know is suffering from binge drinking episodes, there is help. You are not alone. You can have freedom from that bondage.
References:Fact Sheet: Binge Drinking. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved March, 2017.
How Do You Know
There are a number of signs that you might have a problem with binge drinking. Some of these include:
- Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol on the weekends or at social events
- Consuming so much alcohol that you blackout
- Drinking four or five drinks in two hours or less
- Drinking more than you had planned
- Engaging in behaviors while drinking that you later regret
- Feeling tired or hungover after a night out drinking
- Worrying or feeling guilty about your excessive drinking
Binge drinking is most common in younger adults between the ages of 18 and 34. However, the CDC reports that binge drinking is also frequent in adults over the age of 35.
Binge drinking also occurs across all socioeconomic levels. Research suggests that households with incomes higher than $75,000 a year and with higher educational status binge drink more frequently, while people with lower income and educational status consume more binge drinks.
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Available Treatments For Alcohol Addiction In Canada
People struggling with alcoholism can always get help. Assistance is provided not just by the government, but by various groups, too. There are a number of resources where alcoholics can tap for help. All that they really need is to know for themselves that they want to put an end to their misery brought about by alcohol addiction. Help will always be available.
When you are ready to overcome this stage in your life, all you need is to tell someone about it. Support and assistance will always be on the way. The first step is to recognize that alcohol consumption has become a real problem. The real solutions will be available when you acknowledge that professional help is necessary for you to recover. Call Inspire Change Drug Rehab in Vancouver for addiction treatment programs.