What is Binge Drinking?
Binge drinking is a destructive pattern of consuming a great deal of alcohol in a short amount of time. This kind of alcohol abuse can lead to dire consequences. Addiction to alcohol may be one of the outcomes. The majority of binge drinkers are young adults. Because research shows that younger people who binge drink are more likely to develop alcoholism, the risk is greater for young adults who engage in binge drinking.
Alcoholism is a disease that can cause an uncontrollable urge to drink. As a result of drinking alcohol excessively, alcoholics can lose relationships, jobs, and good health. If binge drinking is an issue for you or a loved one, you may be dealing with a risk for alcoholism. Fortunately, treatment for alcoholism is available.
Effects of Binge Drinking
One of the biggest dangers of binge drinking is that it can lead to alcohol addiction. However, there are many more dangers associated with binge drinking. Binge drinking can put a person’s relationships with family members, friends and employers at risk. Binge drinking can also cause legal troubles. Altogether, binge drinking can have a negative impact on a person’s quality of life.
There are many short-term negative effects of alcohol abuse, alcoholism and binge drinking including:
- Distorted hearing and vision
- Slurred speech
- Impaired judgement
- Vomiting and nausea
- Lack of coordination
- Impaired balance
- Alcohol poisoning
There are also many long-term negative effects of alcohol abuse, alcoholism and binge drinking including:
- Unintentional injuries like broken bones, head injuries and bruises
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Babies born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome as well as other disorders
- Relationship problems
- Financial issues
- Legal issues
- Liver disease
- Unintended pregnancies
- Loss of employment
- Jail time
Binge Drinking Facts: What You Need to Know
Binge drinking happens when a person’s consumption of alcohol results in .08 BAC or higher. Typically, this means four drinks in two hours for women and five drinks in two hours for men. 38 million adults in America currently participate in binge drinking activity. Here are some other binge drinking facts:
- Binge drinking is the most common with 18 – 34-year-olds.
- Every year, 80,000 deaths are caused by binge drinking in America.
- Binge drinking makes up 90% of all underage drinking.
- Men are twice as likely to binge drink than women.
How to Stop Binge Drinking: Identifying the Problem
Before you can talk to a loved one about their binge drinking or before you can address your own binge drinking, you need to be aware of the signs of drinking problems. If you or a loved one exhibit these symptoms and signs, you may have a drinking problem:
- Odor of alcohol on the breath
- Lying about drinking behaviors
- High tolerance for alcohol
- Slurred speech
- Hidden alcohol around the house
- Drinking at inappropriate times (while driving or at work, for example)
- Blackouts or impaired memory
- Dangerous behavior like having unprotected sex or driving drunk
- Scheduling days around drinking
- Irritability when not drinking
- Dramatic changes in behavior and personality when drinking
Treatment for Alcohol Addiction in Washington
Once you have determined that you or someone you love has a drinking problem, the next step is to look into treatment options. If you are recovering from an alcohol addiction, you always want to begin your recovery journey with medically-assisted detox. If you stop drinking suddenly, there can be extremely uncomfortable or even dangerous withdrawal symptoms. It’s important that you have the necessary medical supervision while going through the detox process.
After detoxing, you need to enroll into a treatment program so that you can treat all the psychological, emotional and mental aspects of your alcohol addiction. Once you have completed a treatment program, it’s important that you attend regular recovery meetings with a group like Alcoholics Anonymous or SMART Recovery so that you make sure your recovery lasts in the long term.
In the Pacific Northwest, The Recovery Village at Ridgefield is the perfect place to receive treatment for alcohol addiction. Convenient to Tacoma, Washington; Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon and Eugene, Oregon, The Recovery Village at Ridgefield offers medically assisted detox, residential treatment programs, partial hospitalization programs, outpatient treatment programs and aftercare. Reach out to us today if you are considering seeking treatment for your alcohol addiction.