Having a drink or two after work is deemed normal. Having a glass of wine with your meal is also acceptable. Family gatherings and corporate parties often promote alcohol consumption. From movies, through social media, to the local football game, people are constantly encouraged to enjoy another drink.
While this may seem harmless, it is in fact quite dangerous. What most people fail to recognize is that alcohol is a highly addictive drug. Though legal, the hazards of developing an addiction to alcohol are as valid as of any illicit substance.
Binge drinking is one of the precursors to an alcohol use disorder. This is not universal but often it is a clear indicator of substance dependency and possibly, addiction.
What Is Binge Drinking?
Though alcohol affects everybody differently, a standard formulation for binge drinking is available. It is defined as having four or more drinks in a row for ladies, and five or more – for males within two hours. The results of that are increased blood alcohol concentration at about 0.08 g/dl or higher, lack of appropriate judgment, vomiting, and other more severe conditions.
The Motivators Behind Binge Drinking
A variety of causes, scenarios, and circumstances could trigger someone to fall into the cycle of binge drinking. Often, one’s family, peers, and stress have a strong impact on their decision to engage in the destructive drinking pattern.
Some common reasons include:
· Seeking peer approval & validation
When you are at a party where alcohol is the main entertainer, it could be difficult to turn down the host’s kind offers. When your colleagues are going to celebrate your project’s success at the local pub, you may be enticed to join their beer pong tournament. These are all frequent scenarios in which people feel under pressure if they refuse to drink. Instead, they feel like their choices are either to become an outsider or conform.
By default, people are curious. When you are a teenager or young adult, experimenting is normal. The prohibited substances are more appealing than any other ones. One shot, followed by another one, and before you know it, you have engaged in binge drinking. You may want to test your tolerance at the next college event. Then, you could keep pushing your limit until one day you realize that your dependency has become quite serious.
The stressors of contemporary life are higher than ever before. This entices more people to seek asylum in alcohol and other substances. Numbing the negative emotions and short-term gains are the main drivers to binge drinking. The long-term damage one can experience is ignored until the issue is pressing, and potential addiction has formed.
The Aftermath of Binge Drinking
Prolonged exposure to any type of drug will inevitably affect both your physical and mental health. Binge drinking could lead to various levels of dependency and, in some situations, alcoholism.
· Lack of Sound Judgment
Engaging in risky behaviors is often associated with binge drinking. The most common mistake that binge drinkers make is to drive while intoxicated. The issues arise from the fact that the person’s judgment is impaired, and so are their driving skills & reflexes.
· Alcohol Poisoning
This is the most serious immediate effect binge drinking could have on you. If the body’s involuntary reflexes get blocked (gag reflex & breathing), there is a high risk of choking to death. If you are suspecting that you or someone else is experiencing alcohol poisoning, you should seek immediate medical help.
People with extended and repetitive episodes of binge drinking could experience the same withdrawal symptoms as alcoholics. They are also more prone to developing a dependency or, in some extremities, alcohol use disorder. People with compromised mental health are more likely to suffer from addiction.
Early Help Could Prevent the Onset of Alcoholism
While binge drinking is dangerous, it is preventable. Through open communication, education, and therapy, the problem could be addressed & solved. Unfortunately, most people underestimate the severity of their condition until they hit rock bottom, and addiction has formed.
If you notice that a beloved one is frequently engaging in binge drinking, you should find a subtle way to address the issue. Keep in mind that denial and rebellion are standard reactions. You may need professional assistance if the situation persists or worsens. Detox and other therapy may be necessary.
Pro Tip: If this is the case, start with a Google search for your local area, e.g. “Alcohol treatment in Hendersonville, TN”. Contact your top preferred facilities and inquire about their amenities, programs, and policies. Getting timely therapy could save someone’s life.