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Binge Drinking

September 07, 2020

Having 4-5 drinks within a two hour time span is binge drinking and it can be deadly. One in six Americans drinks to excess, or binge drinks, at least four times per month. Binge drinking occurs when an individual’s drinking pattern causes their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to be 0.08 percent or higher. In common terms, this equates to roughly five drinks for a man and four drinks for a woman within a two-hour span.

THE DAMAGE OF BINGE DRINKING

It’s no secret that excessive alcohol can negatively impact our lives. Drinking alcohol can affect our physical, emotional, and mental health. It can alter our sense of balance, decision-making abilities, alcohol   consumption   changes   your   brain’s chemical balance and nerve tracks associated with the experience of pleasure and judgment. The  ability  to  exercise  control  over  your behavior becomes severely distorted.   These chemical changes cause you to crave alcohol to feel good or alleviate negative emotions.

There are several questions to signal if you or a loved one is struggling with binge drinking. Answering yes to one or more of these questions might be a warning sign to seek help.

Do you wrestle with guilt about drinking too much? 

Do you feel you need to reduce your drinking?

Are you surprised when you drink more than you intended?

Do you ever have four or more drinks in one day?

Do you forget conversations or events that happened while you were drinking?

Are you frustrated by others’ comments on how much you drink?

Does   drinking   come   before   other responsibilities?

Binge drinking affects memory and a variety of other brain and body functions, and is often associated with social and relational consequences such as car accidents, domestic violence, sexually transmitted diseases, and  unintended  pregnancies.  The  short-term physical effects of binge drinking include nausea, hangovers,  memory  loss,  alcohol  poisoning, and personal injury. Long-term potential consequences can include brain or liver damage, high  blood  pressure,  cardiovascular  disease, depression,  cancer,  and  relational  and  work problems.

 ACTION STEPS

Making  the  choice  to  reduce  or  eliminate drinking is a powerful step. The following tips will help you navigate through the process:

✓  Take an honest inventory of your life, how much you drink and the consequences.

✓  Take a look at where and when you binge drink and consider avoiding these situations.

✓ Reduce the amount you consume at one time and delay having another drink.

✓ Intersperse   non-alcoholic   beverages   like soda or quinine water.

✓ Talk with your health care providers about treatment options.

✓  Seek out individual counseling or support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous.

KEEP IN MIND

There  are  numerous  benefits  to  reducing your alcohol consumption. Most importantly, changing excessive drinking habits allows you to once again take control of your life.  You’re not alone, and help is available. Consider reaching out to your health care provider and engaging other counseling resources for guidance on next steps.

Want to talk to a counselor today about this? 

Call us at 800-453-7733 and ask for your “Free 15 Minute Phone Consultation" with one of our licensed counselors. We’ll listen, answer questions you may have, and help you plan next steps.




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