Understanding Binge Drinking and Why its a Problem
The excessive use of alcohol takes many different forms, from the constant consumption most often associated with alcoholism to the occasional social drinking that many people engage in. But binge drinking is another issue altogether, one that can have severe consequences for young people, family members, and society as a whole.
While most often associated with rowdy college students and wild frat parties, binge drinking is a problem that can impact any age, any gender, and people from all walks of life. No matter who you are, where you live, or how you choose to socialize, you could be at risk of binge drinking.
Binge drinking is a hazardous type of alcohol abuse, one that can lead to serious negative ramifications, including:
- Drunk driving crashes
- Fights and other forms of violence
- Job losses and financial stress
- Blackouts and loss of control
- Alcohol poisoning and accidental overdose
What Is Binge Drinking?
The fact that alcohol is totally legal has led many people to underestimate its dangers. Those who drink socially are often confused by people who drink to excess, and as a result, alcoholics and those who suffer from alcohol use disorder often feel like they are all alone.
Binge drinking is a particularly insidious problem, one that can strike anyone, including those who usually do not drink to excess. As the name implies, binge drinking involves the excessive use of alcohol within a short period. It runs the gamut from drinking on college campuses to drinking alone to self-treat anxiety and depression. If you or someone in your life has engaged in binge drinking, it is essential to recognize the dangers, and even more important, to seek professional treatment right away.
What Are the Effects of Binge Drinking?
Engaging in binge drinking is not a normal thing to do, and it is essential to recognize the harmful effects of those actions. For many young people, binge drinking can seem like no big deal, but long term, the consequences can be pretty severe, including:
- Possible alcohol poisoning
- Risky behaviors
- Fighting and the risk of violence
- Blacking out
- Increased risk of sexual assault
- Dangers of dependency, including alcoholism
What Are the Dangers of Binge Drinking?
When you engage in binge drinking, you put yourself at risk, but you also increase others’ risk in your life and the broader society. Here are just some of the dangers binge drinking poses to the individual, family unit, and community:
- Drunk driving crashes
- Increased risk of rape and sexual assault for both men and women
- Blacking out
- Alcohol poisoning and overdose
- Property damage
- Violence, including bar fights
Does Binge Drinking Make Me an Alcoholic?
You have a lot of things to be concerned about if you have ever engaged in binge drinking. Even a single instance of binge drinking can put your health and even your life at risk, but does this type of behavior mean you are an alcoholic?
Not necessarily. While there are some similarities between binge drinking and alcoholics, drinking to excess occasionally is not the same as being dependent on alcohol for the long term. Here are some of the differences that distinguish binge drinking from alcoholism and the similarities that blur the lines:
- Loss of control
- Excessive consumption
- Feelings of regret
- Blacking out
- Lengthy periods of sobriety between binges
- A lack of physical dependency
- Spikes in blood alcohol followed by a return to normal levels
Who Is at Risk for Binge Drinking?
It is easy to think that binge drinking is just something college students do, and young people are indeed more prone to this kind of alcohol abuse than others. However, that does not mean that everyone else can rest easy, as binge drinking can, and does, impact all age groups, all genders, and people from all walks of life.
No matter who you are or where you come from, it is essential to watch out for the warning signs of binge drinking. Moderating your use of alcohol, or abstaining altogether, is one of the best ways to reduce the risk, but if you already have a problem, you should reach out to WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab as soon as possible. We can guide you through the following steps, helping to get you in recovery so you can make your binge drinking something you used to do.
Alcohol Rehab at WhiteSands
If you or someone you care about has engaged in binge drinking, it is vital to seek help as soon as possible, even on just a single occasion. Binge drinking and social drinking are two very different things, and drinking to excess can put you in severe danger even once in a while.
Whether you are concerned about your own drinking or seeking help for a loved one with a binge drinking problem, we encourage you to reach out to our staff today. At WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab, we have the training, the expertise, the facilities, and the experience needed to address your binge drinking issues head-on, so you can regain your full-time sobriety and live a better and more successful life.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.