People who binge drink may not think they have a problem with alcohol if they go long periods without it. The tendency to consume large amounts of alcohol, even if on occasion, can be problematic, however. Binge drinking can harm people in many ways, including physically, mentally, socially, and legally. People who are concerned about the amounts of alcohol they drink should call 800-861-9454 or complete the short form for help and support.
Drinking Binges Defined
When people hear the word "binge," they might think of a person spending days on end consuming substantial amounts of alcohol and ignoring all responsibilities. While that is a drinking binge, the definition of it includes far less drastic behaviors. In the United States, consuming four or more drinks in a short time is considered a binge for women; for men, it is five or more drinks, according to the CDC.
Five drinks may not seem like a binge, especially when you consider a large man drinking a six-pack throughout the evening after work. A person can quickly exceed the recommended weekly limit with this amount of drinking, though, which increases the chance he will develop alcohol-related health problems. Also, because it takes about two hours for the body to metabolize each beverage, a person can become legally drunk when he consumes several within a short time. Drunkenness takes an additional toll on the mind and body and can have many consequences.
College Binge Drinking
"Drunkenness takes an additional toll on the mind and body and can have many consequences."Binge drinking is a major concern on college campuses. For some students, college is an introduction to alcohol and the freedom to stay out late and let loose. In certain subcultures, such as fraternities, binge drinking is widely accepted and even encouraged at times. The stress and demands of college can make partying all the more tempting, as well.
Heavy drinking can be incredibly harmful and disruptive to these students' lives. A single night of binging can diminish a person's ability to think abstractly for as long as 30 days. Paired with hangovers and problems that often arise because of heavy drinking, this impairment makes it difficult for people to excel academically.
Students who binge drink are more likely to get into fights, suffer injuries, and get into trouble with the police. Binge drinking may also increase a student's risk of being sexually assaulted.
Heavy drinking can lead to blackouts and alcohol poisoning. During blackouts, people often do things they wouldn't ordinarily do-and, generally, they cannot remember doing those things once they sober up. This can strain relationships with others and cause anxiety for the person who cannot recall events. College students who recognize a problem with their drinking habits can call 800-861-9454 for help.
This type of drinking also increases a person's chance of developing heart and liver problems, and it can increase a person's blood pressure. Those who start binge drinking in college can do a considerable amount of damage to their bodies by the time they reach middle age.
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Treatment for Binge Drinkers
A person who binge drinks is not necessarily addicted to alcohol; however, it can lead to an alcohol dependency. A dependency is when a person has cravings, suffers from withdrawal symptoms when not drinking, has a high tolerance, and cannot limit herself when drinking. Binge drinkers, on the other hand, may only have trouble controlling the amount they consume.
People who have any difficulties with alcohol should consider getting professional help. A binge drinker who does not have alcoholism has the option of trying to drink in moderation, and a therapist can assist the person with developing better self-control and identifying issues that undermine it. People who are still unable to drink in moderation after getting help are encouraged to stop alcohol use altogether.
If you or someone you know could benefit from treatment for alcohol abuse such as binge drinking, please fill out the form or call 800-861-9454. This 24/7 hotline will help you find a qualified treatment center, and the call is free and confidential.