THE MEANING OF BINGE DRINKING
Binge drinking occurs when you consume too much alcohol in a single timeframe. But what exactly qualifies as a binge? The volume of alcohol consumed in one drinking session that qualifies as binging is significantly higher than what a person would drink on average. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that raises blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dl or more.
Usually this happens following 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men, all in a time span of 2 hours. Binge drinking isn’t yet considered a disorder by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). For now, this type of drinking points to a behavioral pattern that poses a risk factor for developing alcohol dependence.
Binge drinking is not the same as alcoholism. However, continuous binge drinking may indeed lead to alcoholism. Most people who engage in this practice aren’t dependent on alcohol. Still, binge drinking is thought to be the most deadly, and costly pattern of consuming alcohol. Excessive alcohol use potentially puts your health at serious risk. Binge drinking correlates to many health conditions, like:
- Alcohol dependence
- Violent/aggressive behavior
- Mouth, throat, esophagus, colon, liver, or breast cancer
- High blood pressure, liver or heart disease
- Memory loss or learning difficulties
- Risky sexual behavior.
- Accidental injuries (burns, falls, car crashes, alcohol poisoning, etc.)
There are various reasons as to why people may start binge drinking; they all can be very different. Some people begin as a means of stress relief, to fulfill curiosity, or simply because they already have existing alcohol problems. Common reasons for drinking excessively at once include:
- Self confidence – Introverts or those who are shy may find it difficult to communicate with others; alcohol helps you lose inhibitions, and thus can boost your self confidence.
- Changing your image – Men might binge drink to achieve feelings of strength, dominance, or a macho image; both genders claim to feel sexy when drinking.
- Curiosity – Desiring to know how and what it feels like; mainly happens after hearing someone brags about a wild night out.
- Forgetting problems – Used as a coping mechanism, and therefore avoiding dealing with the underlying issues.
- Fun – A common event at parties (drinking games such as pennies, beer pong, etc.)
- Peer pressure – Stems from acceptance issues and a want to fit in, but can result in health, school, and work problems.
- Rebellion – A psychosocial developmental phase (experienced most by teens and college students); used to rebel against parents in order to break the rules, and display independence.
- Socialize – Some friends bond through their drinking habits; sometimes the only way to get into a certain crowd or group of people is through drinking.
If you are showing any of these signs, you may need to reach out for help. At Asana Recovery, we understand that it isn’t easy recovering from addiction; through our daily work we constantly help those struggling the most. Although some may believe they can contend alone, rehabilitation programs are necessary in the fight to break dependency. The road ahead might be a difficult one, but can be traversed if supported by the right team. Counseling and aftercare can assist you in identifying the roots of your addiction and teach you how to better handle life without it.
There are always supervised detoxification and residential treatment programs at Asana Recovery, that are offered in a relaxed yet disciplined environment. We’re committed to ensuring each person’slong-termm recovery, and also guiding you on the path to a healthier future. Call us at (949) 438-4504 to learn more information about our drug and alcohol addiction treatment program today!