What Is Binge Drinking?

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What Is Binge Drinking?Binge drinking occurs when an individual rapidly consumes alcoholic drinks or drinks with the intention of becoming heavily intoxicated. People binge for many different reasons including the following:

  • Celebrating a holiday or significant occasion
  • Competing in a drinking game
  • Trying to forget a traumatic situation (“drowning their sorrows”)
  • Proving their maturity or drinking prowess
  • Seeing parents or other role models drink heavily

In addition to regular binges, which involve the consumption of four or five drinks in reasonably quick succession, there are the even more dangerous sessions of “extreme drinking,” in which the individual consumes eight to ten drinks within three hours or less. This activity may seem fun and exciting to one who enjoys alcohol, but it can be deadly.

Effects of Binge Drinking

Immediate effects of binge drinking include the following:

  • Dangerously high blood alcohol content (BAC)
  • Unplanned or unsafe sexual encounters
  • Arrhythmia
  • Escalated blood pressure
  • Abdominal pain
  • Intense drunkenness resulting in automobile or other accidents
  • Passing out

The damage done to the body by a prolonged habit of bingeing is even more sobering. Long-term binge drinking effects include the following:

  • Reduced mnemonic ability
  • Serious liver damage
  • Impaired ability to control impulses
  • Mental retardation and/or physical deformity in the unborn child, if a woman binges during her pregnancy
  • Bladder rupture
  • Death by stroke, alcohol poisoning, or cardiac arrest

Although many bingeing deaths are accidental, those with an existing alcohol dependence have a high likelihood of attempting suicide either by bingeing, combining alcohol with other depressant drugs or by purposely engaging in life-threatening behavior while intoxicated.

Finding Effective Recovery Treatment for Binge Drinking

Though bingeing is widely viewed as a fun way to relax, celebrate with friends or forget personal troubles, it is none of the above. It is a deadly habit that causes permanent harm and can lead to greater addiction problems. If you realize that you need to stop binge drinking but don’t know how, or if you are concerned about a loved one who binges, we are here 24 hours a day to help. Please call our toll-free helpline to find out about professional, effective, and caring treatment options near you. Stop the damage of bingeing before it is too late. Call today.