Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

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 Is 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 And Mental Health Services Administration or SAMHSA, binge drinking is defined as consuming 5 or more drinks on the same occasion on at least 1 day in past 30 days. For women, binge drinking is defined as drinking 4 or more drinks within the same time period. This more specific definition account for the fact that men and women usually metabolize alcohol at different rates, because they have different body types.

8 Effects of Binge Drinking & Ways To Get Over It

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:

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, heart rate, body temperature and gag reflex, and 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.

Neurological Damage:

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.

Sexual Dysfunction:

Another effect of binge drinking is sexual dysfunction. Sexual dysfunction, also known as sexual malfunction or sexual disorder, is the difficulty experienced by a person or a couple during any stage of a normal sexual activity, including physical pleasure, desire, arousal, preference or orgasm.

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 impair an individual’s judgement, putting the person at higher risk of problems, such as, motor vehicle accidents, blackouts, falls, engaging in sexual behaviours, contracting sexually transmitted diseases, unintended pregnancy, and being the perpetrator or the victim of physical abuse.

Long-term 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 heartbeat, hypertension, alcoholic hepatitis, weakened heart muscle, Cirrhosis, liver cancer, weakened immune system, chronic pancreatitis, mood changes, memory and learning impairments, increased risk of mouth cancer, throat cancer, cancer of esophagus and breast cancer.

Moreover, with binge drinking, there is also a risk of developing an addiction to alcohol and the person may develop a dependence on alcohol, that is really a great problem.

Ways To Get Over Binge Drinking:

People binge drink for several reasons. There are several ways to get over binge drinking. We have mentioned some of them below.

Change Your Environment:

First think where, when and with whom you spend most of your time binge drinking. Once you know this, you can try to avoid these environment or can remind self to avoid drinking. Also avoid visiting bars and restaurants and limit socializing with people who also are engaged in binge drinking. This way you can get over your problem of binge drinking.

Set Limits:

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.

Reward Your Accomplishments:

You can use positive reinforcement to reach your goal, like doing something for yourself or rewarding self with a gift when you get through a period of time or days without binge drinking. This reward will help keep you going.

Take Support From Family And Friends:

You must take support from your family and friends to quit or cut down on your alcohol use. They can also provide compliments and other rewards to you when you do well in this goal.

Find Alternative and Healthier Ways Of Coping:

You need to find some alternative and healthier ways of coping with negative feelings, like stress, depression, boredom or anxiety that makes you drink in excess. Replace drinking alcohol with healthier options such as doing exercise, self-care, adopting new hobbies, self-care, and connecting with others.

Attend A Detox Program:

If you are physically dependent on alcohol and if you attempts to quit, then you may begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. In cases of binge drinking, the withdrawal can be really dangerous and may result in delirium tremens, which include seizures, confusion, visual hallucinations, and also possibly death. However, detoxing under the supervision of a detox program allows for the withdrawal symptoms, to be closely monitored and managed through medications, if required.

Consider Medication:

In some cases, patients of binge drinking may be prescribed with medications by doctors, so as to ease withdrawal symptoms and also manage cravings for alcohol.

Medications, such as acamprostate, naltrexone and disulfiram, may be prescribed by your doctor. You can speak to your doctor to determine if medication is actually a good treatment for you.

Conclusion:

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.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: November 6, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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