What Is Binge Drinking?
A binge drinking problem occurs when people engage in activities that are dangerous to themselves or other people while excessively consuming alcohol. The binge drinker is an individual who exhibits a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. With a BAC of that caliber, the individual is sure to be intoxicated.
What differs the binge drinker from the alcoholic is that the alcoholic will consume his beverage of choice daily. However, the binge drinker consumes his beverage about four times per month, in large quantities, in a short amount of time. Hence, the word binge—which means to consume or engage in an activity in excess in a short period of time. When an individual binges, he remains abstinent from that same activity for longer than he engages in it.
In most cases, the individual is not dependent on alcohol but drinks with the intent to become obliterated, which ultimately can lead to a plethora of negative side effects including alcoholism.
Depending on the severity of the binge drinking problem, the physical conditions of the individual will range in nature. People who are intoxicated encounter many physical as well as mental dilemmas. Some of the short-term effects of binge drinking are:
- Slurred Speech
- Breathing difficulties
- Impaired judgement
Evidently, some of the effects of binge drinking last longer than others but every action eventually leads to a consequence.
Binge drinking becomes dangerous on many accounts. Most people who fall victim to this usually have very little self-control while drinking alcohol. Aside from the short-term behavioral defects of drinking, there also lies numerous health risks to the mass consumption of alcohol.
Major health risks associated with binge drinking include:
- Risk of heart attack or stroke
- Liver disease
- High blood pressure
- Sexually transmitted disease
- Alcohol dependence
- Alcohol poisoning
- Permanent damage to the brain
It is clear there are many obstacles a binge drinker may face during and after his participation in the consumption of alcohol. Although the effects are quite clear, it is the cause of the binge drinking problem that is somewhat lost in translation.
What Are the Causes?
There is little-known evidence as to what directly causes a binge drinker to surface. It could be the result of many things, mostly dependant on the drinker’s age—particularly between the ages of 18 and 34. Although binge drinking is closer associated with young adults, it’s been found that most alcohol use externalizes through underage drinking, which leads to some of the more common causes of abuse such as peer pressure, socializing, curiosity, or the assertion of dominance.
Most mature, legal drinkers are not going to feel the need to behave as their younger counterparts. However, this does not mean that they do not fall into the binge drinking bracket.
The reasons leading to the binge drinking problem are endless. Professionals suggest that genetics, family background, environment, and easily accessible alcohol can increase the chances of you or someone you know becoming a binge drinker.
Why Is Binge Drinking Dangerous?
Participation in the binge drinking problem has most likely not materialized in the mind of an individual who consumes alcohol. Since the topic is unconventional, people are becoming less aware of the real problems that arise from binge drinking. The truth is, it’s becoming an extremely familiar matter of discussion amongst individuals in today’s society.
Not only will it affect the drinker, but it will also affect anyone surrounding them during or after the time of intoxication.
While the individual is not yet classified as an alcoholic, he is, without a doubt, taking the necessary steps that ultimately lead to alcoholism. The drinker is putting himself at risk for some highly unpleasant side effects associated with his bout of intoxication. The effects of binge drinking not only impact the mind but also the body in both short and long-term periods.
How to Handle a Binge Drinking Problem
When you or someone you know is currently displaying the symptoms of a binge drinker, necessary actions in treating them must occur before it’s too late. Denial appears most often when finding out you or your loved one has a problem with drinking. It might not be obvious due to the individual either hiding it well or denying entirely that he has an issue when it comes to the consumption of alcohol.
Like other diseases, binge drinking is serious, but it is also curable. It takes time and dedication to discover and address the issues that coincide with an individual’s intoxication. It’s important to address the dangers of binge drinking and what it can lead to, especially in the lives of those afflicted.
Treating a binge drinking problem will be easier considering the individual is not yet dependent on alcohol. There are lower risks in terms of withdrawal from bingeing. Also, it might be clearer to the individual when it is laid out to him or her while in the period of abstinence, which occurs more frequently than if he was in full-fledged alcohol addiction. It’s important to address the dangers of binge drinking and what it can lead to in the lives of those afflicted to help guide the individual through his issues and why he began to binge drink. Ultimately, it is an unhealthy habit and evidently leads to dangerous side effects that could be everlasting.
Struggling With Binge Drinking?
Binge drinking is associated with the early stages of alcoholism. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism or binge drinking, it’s time to ask for help. Call The Palm Beach Institute at 855-534-3574 or contact us online where trained medical staff is available 24/7 to assist with any questions relating to substance abuse. It’s never easy to admit you or a loved one has a problem, which is why we are here to help assess the situation and guide you into a life of sobriety.