Firstly, what is binge drinking? Binge Drinking is a pattern of alcohol consumption that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. This typically happens when men consume 5 or more drinks, and women 4 or more drinks, in about 2 hours. This form of drinking may seem like a “normal” part of college life or partying, but the truth is, it is extremely dangerous.
Alcohol poisoning occurs when someone absorbs alcohol rapidly, for example by excessive drinking. It is the poisoning of the body with alcohol. Symptoms range from nausea and vomiting to seizures and coma. In extreme cases, it can be fatal.
Why Do People Binge Drink?
People binge drink for many different reasons, but binge drinkers often report that it makes them feel:
- Out of control
- Socially accepted
For some, excessive drinking is a way to cope with stress, boredom, anxiety, or problems in their lives. It may provide an escape or relief from painful thoughts and feelings.
Unfortunately, in our society binge drinking is normalized and accepted. This is dangerous immediately, as well as long-term. It can lead to alcohol use disorder, other substance abuse problems, and health problems.
What Should I Know About Binge Drinking?
Binge Drinking is the process through which a person consumes a considerable amount of alcohol in a single 2-hour period quickly raising their blood alcohol concentration. That means about 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for guys. In the long term, binge drinking will have an increased risk for serious health effects like pancreatic cancers, liver disease, and some other cancers.
Why is Binge Drinking Dangerous?
Excessive drinking can cause many problems, some being life-threatening. These include:
- Getting hurt: binge drinkers are more likely than other people to do things like fall or get injured.
- Becoming victimized: binge drinkers have a higher risk of being assaulted, robbed, and sexually assaulted.
- Accidents: binge drinking increases the chances of car accidents and poor decision-making behind the wheel.
- Body harm: binge drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning, which is a dangerous health condition that can be fatal.
Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning or Overdose
Alcohol poisoning can lead to death and can happen to binge drinkers or any individual with high blood alcohol levels.
Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning:
- Inability to remain conscious
- Slowed breathing or irregular breathing
- Clammy skin, low body temperature
- Slowed heart rate
An individual does not need to exhibit all of these symptoms to be critically ill. If you suspect someone has overdosed on alcohol, act quickly. Call 911 and stay with the person until medical personnel arrives. You can help answer questions on their behalf, like how much they have drunk and if they have taken other drugs in combination.
Binge Drinking and Alcohol Abuse
Binge drinking can lead individuals to binge drink again and again. And binge drinkers who binge drink regularly are more likely than others to have alcohol problems later in life, including alcoholism and alcohol abuse.
Symptoms of Alcohol Abuse Disorder
- strong alcohol cravings
- Inability to cut down on alcohol
- Alcohol use causing problems at home, school, and/or work
- Continuing to use alcohol despite social and interpersonal issues
- Avoiding activities due to alcohol use
- Using of alcohol in illegal or dangerous situations like driving
- Continuing to use of alcohol despite having physical health or mental health issues
- Rising alcohol tolerance, meaning the need to use more alcohol to feel its desired effects
- Withdrawal symptoms when one attempts to stop using alcohol
If binge drinking is a problem for you or someone you know, there are many options available to help stop binge drinking and start on the path to recovery.
Harm Reduction Center can help those suffering from binge drinking disorder, alcohol abuse disorder, or alcoholism. Don’t wait another day, contact the professionals at our Boynton Beach location, so you can get help now.