Binge drinking is a scary way to drink. Binge drinking is very dangerous to a person’s health and can cause serious damage quickly to a person’s body.
What is binge drinking?
Binge drinking is the modern epithet for drinking alcoholic beverages with the primary intention of becoming intoxicated by heavy consumption of alcohol over a short period of time.
Two large glasses of wine may not seem like very much. But drinking six units of alcohol in a short space of time – an hour, say – will raise your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and could make you drunk very quickly. Drinking the same amount over several hours and accompanied by food for example will not have the same effect on your BAC.
Some studies show that drinking a large amount of alcohol over a short period of time may be significantly worse for your health than frequently drinking small quantities.
Getting very drunk can affect your physical and mental health:
- Accidents and falls are common because being drunk affects your balance and co-ordination. You’re also more likely to suffer head, hand and facial injuries. Binge drinking has also been linked to self-harm .
- In extreme cases, you could die. Overdosing on alcohol can stop you breathing or stop your heart, or you could choke on your vomit.
- Nearly a third (29%) of alcohol related deaths are a result of alcohol related accidents. These deaths are more common among 16–34-year-olds.
- Binge drinking can affect your mood and your memory and in the longer term can lead to serious mental health problems.
More commonly, binge drinking can lead to anti-social, aggressive and violent behavior.
Am I a binge drinker?
Even if you don’t drink alcohol every day, you could be a binge drinker if you regularly drink:
- If you drink specifically to get drunk
- more than the daily amount in a single session
- If you drink quickly.
If you find it hard to stop drinking once you have started, you could also have a problem with binge drinking and possibly alcohol dependence.
Signs you may need help with your binge drinking
Binge drinking is very much related to alcoholism, but the presence of binge drinking doesn’t necessarily mean that a person has a severe alcohol addiction. The binge drinker may simply have unsafe drinking habits.
However, as alcoholism is a serious disease and alcohol abuse can damage the body even in a single binge drinking session, it’s best to recognize the signs of dependency.
- A person who is alcohol dependent may experience “shakes,” chills, and other physical symptoms.
- Alcoholics will also allow their habit to begin interfering with their families, careers, and other aspects of their day-to-day lives.
- Binge drinking will become regular, and binges may be extreme.
- Many alcoholics begin to develop a tolerance. This causes them to engage in more and more serious binge drinking sessions with greater consequences to their bodies and lives.
All binge drinking is best avoided, but binge drinking can become alcoholism when it occurs on any sort of a regular basis. It’s also important to note that there’s no “right” age to binge drink. While binging may be more common among certain social groups, for instance younger males, it’s dangerous and can lead to addiction at any age, so it’s important to seek treatment.