Binge drinking is defined as excessive alcohol consumption on a single occasion that causes heavy intoxication within a short amount of time. This shouldn’t be confused with “heavy drinking,” which is a large number of alcoholic drinks consumed throughout one day or a week.
What Is Binge Drinking?
Binge drinking by UK definitions is when you consume 5 or more drinks within 2 hours as a man. For women, this is 4 or more drinks with 2 hours.
27% of British drinkers binge drink on their heaviest days.
While we all have our days where we drink more than we should, it can quickly become a hindrance to our lives. Not only can risk drinking cause mental health issues and health problems, but it can also be detrimental to our various interpersonal relationships.
You might not think you have a problem with alcohol. But the truth is, you may have some very unhealthy habits.
In this article, we’ll discuss what binge drinking is, what effects it has, and how you can get help with this issue.
Binge Drinking Effects
Binge drinking can have many bad effects on a person. Below are some of the effects.
When you consume so much alcohol in such a short duration, you’re basically overloading your body’s capacity to filter out toxins. Yes, alcohol is a toxin when you look at it from a chemical standpoint.
Your heart rate can drop quickly and your breathing can become shallow. Some people pass out and their gag reflexes don’t work as well, meaning they can choke on their vomit and possibly die.
If the alcohol poisoning is serious enough, you can slip into a coma and death is possible here as well.
Binge drinking can lead to blackouts. This is where you pretty much act as normal (so other people can’t tell you’re blacking out) but can’t remember either certain events or whole chunks of your night.
This can be dangerous because alcohol already lowers your inhibitions. When you’re blackout drunk, you may do something completely out of character (such as having unprotected sex with strangers) and not remember it afterwards.
Long-term effects of alcohol can put an incredible amount of pressure on your liver. Eventually, it won’t be able to keep up. It’ll become damaged and repair itself so many times that it can’t do it anymore.
As a result, you’ll develop liver diseases like fatty liver disease, cirrhosis, cancer, and more. With some diseases, they can be reversible if you stop consuming alcohol early on. But if you don’t, you’ll be doing irreversible damage to your liver, which means the decreased function in the future.
People who binge drink usually go on to develop arrhythmias in the heart. This is where your heart beats irregularly.
If you continue on binge drinking, you can also develop cardiomyopathy. This is a condition where it’s difficult for your heart to pump blood as normal. Eventually, this can lead to your heart failing completely.
Cardiomyopathy can’t be reversed, nor can it be prevented. But if you stop alcohol consumption ASAP, you can reduce the damage you’re doing to your heart.
Alcohol and Anxiety
You might turn to alcohol to help you loosen up in social situations, especially if you have lots of anxiety surrounding them. While it might feel like it’s helping your anxiety, it’s only temporary.
Alcohol can actually cause anxiety. So if you keep binge drinking, you’re just perpetuating this ugly cycle where your anxiety just keeps growing and your health keeps getting poorer.
Alcohol abuse and alcoholism have a real effect on public health too. Binge drinking can cause you to partake in risky behaviours. This puts a strain on things like public health services.
For example, in 2012, 5.1% of global diseases were due to alcohol abuse. Plus, over 3 million people died from alcohol-related conditions. This includes diseases, conditions, and accidents/injuries.
Not to mention that when people abuse alcohol, this has a profound effect on both social and economic aspects of society. In 2016, The Department Of Health issued new guidelines relating to the short term health risks from the units of alcohol on a single occasion.
How to Stop Drinking
If you are alcohol dependent or an alcoholic, it is not a good idea to quit cold turkey. This can result in some concerning withdrawal symptoms, such as tremors and seizures. In this case, it can be a good idea to seek out help from a rehabilitation centre.
Even if you only binge drink and regularly drink large amounts of alcohol, you can still benefit from a professional’s help. This will decrease the chance of you relapsing and help you stop drinking and stay sober.
In rehab, expert counsellors will not only help you detox but also find healthy ways to reduce cravings. They’ll help you identify your triggers, including past traumas that may be hindering you.
You’ll also attend group therapy sessions, which are very helpful because you get to hear from others who are in the same shoes.
After you’re done with rehab, you can also attend aftercare. You’ll basically receive all the same services as in rehab, except you’ll be transitioning back to your regular life. Many find aftercare invaluable as they get the strong support they need in one of their most vulnerable times.
Get Help for Your Binge Drinking Problem Today
After reading this article, you might’ve realised that you have an issue with alcohol. While things might seem dire, there is still hope.
As you’ve seen from the above section, you can always seek professional to help you stop and pick up healthier habits. It’s never too late to turn things around, so get on the path to a sober life by considering a stay in rehab.
Would you like some free advice on which steps you should take next? Then feel free to contact us today.