Binge drinking can be dangerous on a variety of levels. Binge drinking may increase the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and other disorders. Additionally, it can affect your ability to pay attention, make decisions and control impulses. It also has the potential to increase your risk of accident, injury and becoming the victim of violence.
Binge drinking, like binge eating, refers to the consumption of a large amount of alcohol over a short period of time. A generally accepted definition of binge drinking is the consumption of five or more drinks in a row for men and four or more in a row for women. When this type of drinking occurs three or more times over a two-week period, the individual is a heavy binge drinker.
There are many reasons why people binge drink. Regardless of what the reasons are, the dangers are real.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, binge drinking can result in auto accidents, falls, drowning and domestic violence, as well as a host of illnesses. Learn more about this dangerous activity to help yourself or a loved one refrain from binge drinking.
Reasons Why People Binge Drink
It’s easier for most people to access alcohol than it is drugs. The increased availability paves the way toward excessive or binge drinking. Between liquor stores, bars and at-home liquor cabinets, alcohol is often readily available.
Approximately 90 percent of alcohol consumed by people ages 21 and under is consumed during binge drinking. Peer pressure is a big factor in excessive alcohol consumption as teens and young adults try to fit in.
Not Realizing the Dangers.
Because it’s not an illegal drug, some individuals have a false sense of security when it comes to alcohol abuse. They don’t see the dangers or refuse to believe them.
Stress Relief and Mood Enhancement.
After finding that one drink makes them feel better and helps relieve stress, some individuals decide that more alcohol will only make things better. This often causes a vicious cycle of creating additional stress and trying to solve it with the same thing…alcohol.
Risks of Binge Drinking
Effects on Day-to-Day Life.
Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol in a short time can impair your judgment, cause a lapse in memory, make it difficult to concentrate and impact your daily life at home, school or work.
Impaired judgment from binge drinking can lead to injury or death. A drunk driver behind the wheel puts her own life at risk, as well as those of any passengers, other drivers and even pedestrians in the area.
One of the most life-threatening risks of binge drinking is alcohol poisoning. Breathing problems, vomiting, seizures and passing out are just a few of the things that can happen when someone suffers this dangerous effect of binge drinking.
Impact on Physical and Mental Health.
Binge drinking can negatively effect the neurological development of a young person. High-calorie alcohol drinks can lead to overweight and cause high blood pressure.
How to Help Someone Who Binge Drinks
The serious consequences that arise from binge drinking make it imperative to get help immediately. If you or someone you care about binge drinks, seek professional help. Teens who are concerned about a friend or sibling, should speak with a trusted adult.
Binge drinking doesn’t have to occur repeatedly to result in serious harm. The first episode can lead to physical illness or an accident that seriously injures or claims the life of the individual or someone around him. Reaching out to a professional counselor is an effective first step toward obtaining help.