Binge Drinking – It’s Not What You Think!
You’re just going out and having a good time, right? Everyone parties on the weekends, right? Sure, you don’t feel great in the morning, but that happens to everyone, right? Wrong.
Binge Drinking: What it Really Looks Like
Binge drinking is not limited to what you might be picturing in your head. Blacking out, vomiting, being hungover in the morning, or generally making a fool of yourself at that party are not the only examples of what binge drinking really is.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines binge drinking as:
- “A pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dL. This typically occurs after 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men—in about 2 hours.”
Meanwhile, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines binge drinking as:
- “Drinking 5 or more alcoholic drinks on the same occasion on at least 1 day in the past 30 days.
For many people, that critera seems all too easy to meet at just one birthday party of backyard bonfire.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have gathered some statistics on bing drinking:
- One in six U.S. adults binge drinks about four times and month and consumes about eight drinks per binge
- Approximately 92% of U.S. adults who drink excessively report binge drinking in the past thirty days
- Although binge drinking is commonly thought of as a problem only among college students, 70% if binge drinking episodes involve adults age 26 years and older
- Binge drinking is twice as prevalent among men than it is among women
- Binge drinkers are 14 times more likely to report alcohol-impaired driving than non-binge drinkers
- It is estimated that about 90% of the alcohol consumed by minors under the age of 21 in the United States is in the form of bing drinking
- More than half the alcohol consumed by adults in the United States is in the form of binge drinking
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, binge drinking is contributes to a multitude of health problems, such as:
- Unintentional injuries (e.g., car crashes, falls, burns, drowning)
- Intentional injuries (e.g., firearm injuries, sexual assault, domestic violence)
- Alcohol poisoning
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Unintended pregnancy
- High blood pressure, stroke, other cardiovascular diseases
- Liver disease
- Brain damage
Although it may be scary to take that step, if you suspect you may have a drinking problem, there are many benefits to seeking the help of an inpatient program. Among other perks, you would benefit from:
- 24 hour supervised care
- No outside distractions from the recovery process
- Being surrounded by like-minded people with similar goals
- An understanding, supportive environment
Binge drinking is not just a party on the weekend with a hangover the next morning. It is a serious affliction that many suffer through alone. That suffering is needless, and there is help available.