What Is Binge Drinking?
Table of Contents
What Does Binge Drinking Mean?
Curbing unhealthy alcohol consumption is a vital part of recovery. Binge drinking is excessive or extreme drinking in a short period of time (within a two-hour timeframe). Clinically, binge drinking is described as a pattern of alcohol consumption that raises an individual’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08% and above.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, binge drinking corresponds to five or more drinks for men and four or more glasses for women in less than two hours. The clinical considerations for binge drinking vary based on sex, age, and body weight.
Fewer drinks within two hours can raise blood alcohol concentration to unhealthy levels in adolescents. For teenagers, three drinks or more for girls and 3-5 or more drinks for boys.1
The Definition of Alcoholism
Alcoholism is a substance abuse disorder characterized by compulsive, uncontrollable drinking and emotional and physical dependence on alcohol. It can also be referred to as alcohol dependency or alcohol use disorder.
Binge Drinking and Alcohol Use Disorder - The Difference
Why Is Binge Drinking Dangerous?
Is Occasional Binge Drinking Okay?
No form of binge drinking is healthy. Occasional binge drinking or binge drinking every day can cause long-lasting damage to the human body. What is considered binge drinking may vary based on gender, age, liver function, and body weight.
Continual drinking to the point of drunkenness is also considered binge drinking. Binge drinking is not a healthy pattern of alcohol consumption because it increases the risk of alcohol dependence.
In addition, drinking heavily on an empty stomach can cause spikes in blood alcohol levels. One binge drinking session alone can lead to severe consequences such as road traffic accidents, alcohol poisoning, loss of consciousness, and motor & cognitive impairment.4
How Common Is Binge Drinking?
Preteens and Teens
What Are the Signs of Binge Drinking?
What Are the Effects of Binge Drinking?
Short-Term Effects of Binge Drinking
Short-term effects are observed soon after excessive alcohol consumption. Although recovery occurs, persistent occurrences can have lasting negatives.
Some of the short-term effects of binge drinking include:
- Low blood pressure
- Slower breathing
Having Poor Coping Skills
Coping skills are habits or skills formed over time to help an individual manage certain situations or stress levels. Coping skills can be healthy and helpful. However, alcohol dependence may have developed from regular binge drinking.
As a result, an individual begins to engage in binge drinking over time as a coping mechanism to numb pain or emotional stress, which can be highly unhealthy.
Excessive alcohol consumption might temporarily act as a distraction from life problems. This dependence makes it harder to actively deal with stress and trauma to overcome or put an end to them. In the long run, binge drinking can increase some symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and make treatment less effective.
Low Educational Goals
Depression and Anxiety
In the long term, binge drinking can cause problems to an individual’s mental health. This is because alcohol affects neurotransmitters in the brain. Episodes of binge drinking can disrupt brain chemistry, making bouts of mood disorders like anxiety and depression more likely.
What Are the Consequences of Binge Drinking?
Binge Drinking Can Result in Violent Behavior
Binge Drinking Can Affect Brain Development
Chronic Diseases & Cancer Unintentional
Unintentional Injuries Caused from Binge Drinking
How to Stop Binge Drinking?
FDA-Approved Medications Such as Naltrexone, Disulfiram, and Acamprosate
Many individuals are involved in binge drinking daily as a coping skill and means to deal with stress. The premise of CBT is to identify negative thoughts, behaviors, and emotions and replace them with positive ones. In behavioral therapy for a binge alcoholic, individuals learn how to stop binge drinking and avoid situations that make drinking more likely.
Inpatient rehabilitation helps individuals focus entirely on recovering in a new, controlled environment. For inpatient rehabilitation, the individual remains within the health care or treatment facility for the period of treatment and recovery.
This intervention is usually necessary for advanced-stage substance use in learning how to overcome binge drinking or quit binge drinking.
The 12-step program is designed for people to assist one another in maintaining abstinence from alcohol. The 12-step program follows a set of official guidelines for recovery to help an individual to recover from out-of-control behaviors like binge drinking.
Seek Help from Ripple Ranch
At Ripple Ranch Recovery Center, we provide treatment that works for various conditions of addiction or dependence. We help counsel and rehabilitate patients who desperately want to know how to quit binge drinking while carefully preventing relapses.
Our services are provided in a comfortable environment to ensure the comfort of everyone who walks through our doors.
- 7 https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/womens-health.htm#:~:text=Approximately%2013%25%20of%20adult%20women,consuming%205%20drinks%20per%20binge.&text=About%2018%25%20of%20women%20of,%E2%80%9344%20years)%20binge%20drink.&text=In%202019%2C%20about%2032%25%20of,of%20male%20high%20school%20students
- 8 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5695901/
- 9 https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2019-05003-006
- 10 https://publications.aap.org/pediatrics/article/136/3/e718/61049/Binge-Drinking?autologincheck=redirected
- 11 https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/alcohol/art-20044551#:~:text=Defining%20moderate,1.5%20fluid%20ounces%20(44%20milliliters)