Are you or any of your loved ones is worried about Binge drinking? Do you want to know about the effects of binge drinking and ways to get over it? It’s the right time to go through an eye read on this post.
What do we mean by Binge Drinking?
The National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism Or NIAAA, identifies binge drinking to be when the blood alcohol content or BAC of a person reaches .08, which is roughly 5 drinks for men and 4 drinks for women in a span of 2 hours.
As per the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration or SAMHSA, binge drinking is defined as drinking more than five and above drinks at one time in the last one month. For females, the number of drinks consumed at one time in the last month is four and above. The difference in the number of drinks in males and females is based on the fact that the metabolic rate for alcohol in the two genders is different due to their different body structure.
8 Effects Of Binge Drinking:
Binge drinking can have negative effects and it can affect ones’ health and work performance. Binge drinking can result in a number of serious, negative effects on the body as well as the brain. Let us take a look on some of them.
Alcohol poisoning is one of the serious effects of binge drinking. Here, the affected person may become extremely confused, disoriented, unresponsive, have shallow breathing, and can even pass out or go into the coma stage. Drinking too much in a short time period can affect your breathing, cause irregular heartbeats, increase body temperature, adversely affect gag reflex, and can also result in coma and even death. This can be life threatening and it usually requires emergency medical treatment. Binge drinking is one of the most common cause of alcohol poisoning.
Negative Effects On Heart Health:
Binge drinking also has negative effects on heart health. Some of the negative effects of Binge drinking, on heart health include hypertension, heart stroke and even heart attack.
Fetal Alcohol Effects:
Fetal alcohol effects, is also a condition associated with binge drinking during pregnancy. It is estimated that about 1000 babies are born with Fetal alcohol effects or FAE every year. There may be a variety of mental, physical as well as developmental disabilities in the baby in case they are born with Fetal alcohol effects.
One more effect, or in fact, negative effect of binge drinking is that it can result in neurological damage. Neurological damage may range anywhere from deafness to even brain damage. In case of the neurological damage, there is a destruction or degeneration of the brain cells which leads to brain damage.
Another effect of binge drinking is sexual dysfunction. Binge drinking causes either increased sexual desire leading to inappropriate sexual behaviors or at times the individual will not find pleasure, have desire, or get aroused for sexual activity due to binge drinking.
Diabetes Related Issues:
Alcohol can also contribute to the conditions that lead to diabetes. Thus, binge drinking can also cause diabetes related problems. Alcohol can have an effect on the blood sugar level. Moderate level of alcohol can result in a rise in the blood sugar level, however; if you drink in excess, it can actually lead to a drop in blood sugar, which can particularly, be dangerous for individuals with type 1 diabetes. Alcohol, especially beer and certain wines, also have high amounts of carbohydrates, which can increase the level of blood sugar in the body.
Apart from this, alcohol is high in calories, so if you have type 2 diabetes and are trying to lose weight, then consuming alcohol excessively can make your task really difficult.
Other Effects Of Binge Drinking:
Some of the other effects of binge drinking include gastritis, pancreatitis, and liver disease. Apart from this, binge drinking can also significantly affect an individual’s sense of judgment putting him at high risk of serious incidents like motor vehicle accidents, complete blackouts, falling and injuring, inappropriate sexual behaviors, contracting STDs, unintentional pregnancy, and indulge in violence.
Long-Term Adverse Effects Of Binge Drinking:
There can also be some long-term effects of binge drinking on the person’s brain and the body. Some of these include, irregular heartbeats, alcoholic hepatitis, hypertension, heart muscle weakness, Cirrhosis, cancer of the liver, compromised immune system, chronic pancreatitis, mood swings, memory problems, and learning disability.
Furthermore, addiction to alcohol is another long term effect of alcohol abuse which may affect the individual’s life both personally and professionally.
Ways To Get Over Binge Drinking:
Individuals indulge in binge drinking for numerous reasons; however, there are different ways to get over this habit to include:
Give a thought on people or events where you like to indulge in binge drinking. Once you have an idea about this, avoidance of such environments can do a world of good in abstaining from alcohol. Also avoid visiting bars or pubs and try to avoid people who also have a habit of binge drinking. This way you can get over your problem of binge drinking.
If you are unable to restrict alcohol completely, you can try setting a limit on how much you drink. You might consider reducing the amount you actually drink, by only drinking on certain days like weekends, or during certain hours, like night or evening, or by avoiding particular types of alcohol. Moreover, it is also advisable to ask family or friends to help you monitor your alcohol intake.
You can set a goal of staying sober for a specific period of time and if you are able to accomplish this then reward yourself with a small gift. Try and increase the number of days you are sober and give rewards. Within some time, you will find it yourself that you are much happier without drinks rather than when you were into binge drinking.
Garner Support From Friends and Family:
Getting over binge drinking requires not only lot of patience from you also full support of your family and well-wishers. They can also provide compliments and even reward you when you achieve the goal of staying sober.
Find Healthier Alternatives to Cope with Alcohol Withdrawal:
Try and find healthy ways of coping with negativity that is a part of alcohol withdrawal like stress, depression, or anxiety. If you are able to get through this period then it will become that much easier for you to stop binge drinking. Replace drinking with options like exercising, adopting new hobbies, and mingling with people who do not have a habit of drinking.
Attending Detox Program:
A detox program is extremely beneficial for individuals who are completely dependent on alcohol and want to get over this habit. A detox program helps you overcome the withdrawal symptoms. In cases of binge drinking, the withdrawal symptoms can be very serious causing delirium tremens, seizures, confusion, visual hallucinations, and also possibly death. However, detoxing through a detox program allows you to cope up with the withdrawal symptoms and if required medication administration can be used as a mode of treatment.
Some habitual drinkers may require medications to get over this habit. The medications not only take care of the withdrawal symptoms but also cut down cravings. The most preferred medications for alcohol dependency are naltrexone and disulfiram. However, it is the discretion of the physician as to whether you need medication to treat your habit of binge drinking.
If you or any of your dear ones is binge drinking and wants help, do reach your family and friends for support, try out all possible ways to get over it; most importantly attend a detox program and also talk to your doctor about the issue.
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