Binge drinking is the excessive drinking of alcohol in a short time to the point of getting drunk. This pattern of drinking brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 g/dl or above, meaning it is beyond the legal driving limit. Unfortunately, bingeing on alcohol is an accepted practice across the United States, especially on college campuses.
The risks of binge drinking run far and wide. Everything from health emergencies to car accidents can occur when heavy drinking is involved. It may seem like a socially accepted celebration of some type, but it is a dangerous way that can cause serious repercussions.
Whether college-aged or not, the culture of binge drinking is often encouraged and supported by peers. For those who binge drink, the goal is to get drunk. That comes with its own set of issues like dizziness, vomiting, lack of judgment, and blackouts.
The impact that binge drinking has on individuals and society is severe and can lead to long-term troubles with health or the law.
Binge drinking doesn't only come with a risk of alcohol addiction. It has serious health consequences of its own.
Injuries and Accidents
Binge drinking leads to accidental injuries from car accidents, falls, and drowning. When under the influence of a great deal of alcohol, one loses their sense of danger and fear. This means they could make risky choices like driving while drunk, attempting wild moves, or even doing simple things like walking downstairs. Any of these can result in injury or even death of the person drinking or others.
The lack of control people experience during binge drinking unsteadies them. Their balance is off-center, leading to accidental injuries. Plus, the likelihood to continue drinking increases as one's judgment is reduced.
Violence and Legal Troubles
Binge drinking is always dangerous, but often in different ways for different people. While some people make bad choices or become unconscious, others may get angry or violent. They can obtain a false sense of confidence and become aggressive. A study from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) found that about 42% of all violent crimes that lead to police involvement in the United States were alcohol-related.
This violence brought on by excessive alcohol use can lead to physical or sexual assault or even homicide.
Many college students and graduates have stories about ending up in the emergency room after an intense night of drinking. These stories are often told with laughs, but the risk of alcohol poisoning is no laughing matter.
Ending up in the hospital due to binge drinking means an individual's body is reacting poorly and at risk of damage to the central nervous system. With this level of drinking, heart and respiratory rates decrease, the risk of choking increases, and a lack of consciousness and even seizures are possible. Without health care intervention, alcohol poisoning can lead to brain damage or death.
Furthermore, binge drinking at an age under 25 can negatively impact brain development. The more this occurs, the more likely a young adult is to have a lowered IQ, poor memory, and a lack of social skills and learning ability. What makes this so harmful is that these results may not be seen as binge drinking.
Alcohol addiction is much more prevalent than many people realize. Just because someone does not drink every day does not mean they are not addicted. Alcoholism comes in many forms, and one of them is binge drinking. A pattern of binge drinking can lead to more regular alcohol use as well.
Signs of alcoholism from binge drinking include:
- Lowered performance in school or at work
- Taking part in dangerous situations like driving while drunk
- Continued binge drinking regardless of physical, legal, or health consequences and concerns
Binge drinking is a type of alcohol abuse that leads to further problems later in life. When someone uses binge drinking to treat anxiety and become more social in public settings, the addiction stems from psychological issues as well. This can lead to mental health problems co-occurring with alcoholism, making it more challenging to treat.
This combination, known as a dual diagnosis, is best treated at a drug and alcohol rehab.
Long-Term Health Issues
The long-term effects of heavy drinking can be brutal and are often irreversible. It’s why seeking help at a drug and alcohol addiction treatment center is so vital.
The lack of control and judgment brought on by heavy drinking led to risky sexual behaviors that could result in an unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted infection. During a potential pregnancy, it can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, and fetal alcohol syndrome.
The effect alcohol has on the body is no secret. Using alcohol in high amounts increases the risk of liver disease, heart disease, and high blood pressure at younger ages. Plus, those who binge drink are more likely to have a stroke.
This is not as common, but regular binge drinking can lead to a significant risk of cancers.
Preventing Binge Drinking
All of these dangers of binge drinking, although terrifying, are preventable. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), excessive alcohol use can be prevented by:
- Increasing the cost of alcohol
- Making retailers liable for underage selling of alcohol and customer damage
- Limiting locations that are allowed to sell alcohol
- Restricting days or times alcohol can be sold legally
- Enforcing laws against underage drinking and driving while under the influence
Binge Drinking Is All About Wanting To Get Drunk
Binge drinking is not the same as partying. Having one or two drinks on a night out is not the same as drinking to excess. Binge drinking is drinking intending to get drunk. This is highly dangerous for many reasons ranging from trouble with the law to health concerns and even death. Binge drinking increases the odds of alcohol-related accidents and puts the drinker and others in grave danger.
If you’ve decided one too many is one too many for good, it may be time to consider alcohol detox. Finding a detox center can be difficult, however. DetoxNearMe.com allows you to browse thousands of reputable detox centers at your leisure. You’ll be able to find a detox center for your needs and budget quickly and easily. With DetoxNearMe.com, you’ll be able to say no … and mean it.
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