Binge Drinking and Alcohol Rehabilitation
Binge drinking can be dangerous because it involves consuming large quantities of alcohol in a short amount of time. Binge drinking is a significant public health problem in the United States, particularly among college-aged adults (18-to-22). About 40% of American college students report binge drinking.
Binge Drinking Definition
Binge drinking refers to the ingestion of large quantities of alcohol within a short time span. It can result in a blood alcohol concentration (BAC), of 0.08 grams per deciliter or more.
A Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 grams per deciliter or higher for men is often reached after five or more alcoholic beverages. It is more common for women after consuming four or more alcoholic drinks.
BAC is the most common measurement of alcohol content in a person’s blood. However, breathalyzer and blood tests can help to determine standardized levels. The BAC refers to the amount of alcohol in one’s blood.
There are many factors that can affect how people perceive alcohol intoxication subjectively. These include the amount of alcohol they drink, their tolerance to alcohol, personal differences in alcohol metabolism, substance use, and other factors.
Binge drinking and alcohol abuse: Signs that there is a problem
While not all people who binge drink have an alcohol abuse problem, binge drinking can increase the risk of developing an alcohol use disorder (AUD). The 12-month-period characteristic pattern of problematic alcohol use is what determines if AUD has been diagnosed. These diagnostic criteria include:
- Strong cravings for alcohol.
- It is impossible to reduce alcohol consumption.
- It takes significant effort to obtain alcohol, drink alcohol, and recover from alcohol abuse.
- The failure to finish tasks at work, school, or home due to alcohol abuse.
- Use of alcohol, even though alcohol can cause social and interpersonal problems.
- Alcoholism causes a loss of social, work, and other activities.
- Continued consumption of alcohol in dangerous situations like driving.
- Even if you have mental or physical problems related to alcohol you still consume it.
- Tolerance to alcohol ( it is hard to consume enough alcohol to achieve desired effects).
- When one attempts to quit using alcohol, withdrawal symptoms may occur.
Is binge drinking considered to be alcoholism?
However, binge drinking does not necessarily indicate that the binge drinker is an alcoholic or has severe AUD. But binge drinking can increase the likelihood of someone developing AUD. It is possible to determine whether a person is binge-drinking by monitoring their alcohol use and the alcohol they consume.
Causes & Risk Factors for Binge Drinking
Binge drinking can be caused by various sociological and psychological factors. These factors include
- Socializing or living in a culture of heavy drinking, such as in colleges or families with heavy drinkers.
- Peer pressure, particularly among young adults.
- Easy access and low cost for alcohol
- Poor coping skills.
- Education goals are low.
- Anxiety and depression
Binge drinking has negative effects and health impacts
Alcoholism can have devastating mental and physical consequences. Alcoholism is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Every year, around 88,000 Americans (62,000 men and 26,000 ladies) die from alcohol-related causes. In the United States, an estimated 9,967 people are killed yearly by alcohol-impaired driving.
There are several short-term and long-term health effects that alcohol can have on your mental and physical health:
- Burns, falls, and car accidents can cause injuries.
- Alcohol poisoning.
- Domestic violence, homicide, sexual assault, and suicide
- Unsafe/unprotected sexual activities
- Unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases
- A weak immune system.
- Recurrent binge drinking can hurt brain development, as well as limit cognitive, attention, and social functioning.
- Issues during childbirth, birth defects, or fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
- High blood pressure, stroke, and heart attacks
- Liver disease, including cirrhosis and alcoholic hepatitis.
- An increased risk of colon, breast, liver, esophageal, mouth, and throat cancers.
Is it okay to occasionally binge drink?
Even if you do it occasionally, binge drinking can cause serious health problems. There is no safe amount of alcohol. However, you can take steps to increase your safety when drinking alcohol.
- Limiting alcohol consumption on any given occasion
- Instead of drinking heavily on one or two nights, spread drinks throughout the week.
- You can have several days without alcohol per week.
- Slowly consume alcohol and alternate alcoholic drinks with water or food.
- Avoid drinking alcohol on an empty stomach.
Statistics & Facts about Binge Drinking
Here are some statistics and facts about binge drinking:
- The U.S. saw an increase in binge drinking between 1993 and 2001, with an estimated 1.2 billion to 1.5 million adults.
- One in six Americans reports binge drinking.
- Males are more likely to binge drink than females (4 out of 5 binges).
- People with higher education levels and household incomes of $75,000 are more likely to binge drink.
How to stop binge drinking
Individuals who want to quit binge drinking as part of an alcohol abuse disorder have many options. This is due to the differences in alcohol abuse treatment centers and patient needs. Talking to a doctor or other alcohol rehab program provider can be a helpful first step if you’re struggling with binge drinking.
Rehab treats alcohol addiction, and many treatments for binge drinking are available for alcohol abuse disorder.
- FDA-approved drugs such as disulfiram, naltrexone, and acamprosate.
- Behavioral therapies (e.g. cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT)
- Outpatient rehabilitation
- Inpatient rehabilitation
- 12-step programs.
Find Alcohol Rehab Near Me
Professional help can be your best option to overcome an addiction that has developed from a drinking problem. Hathway Recovery is one of many alcohol treatment centers that can help people struggling to stop drinking.
Hathway Recovery alcohol rehab in California offers therapies to help you overcome your alcohol addiction or binge drinking habits. These behavioral and experiential therapies can help treat the addiction and any underlying conditions.