Effects Of Binge Drinking
02/26/19: Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol is pretty much a social norm in our world. People drink it for taste and others drink it to have fun. The sad truth is most people more than likely drink to feel the effects of it. Since much of today’s society does this, more and more people are being raised to develop the same exact drinking habits. The amount of abuse that surrounds alcohol is outstanding. People use it to party, to gain some confidence, or just to feel numb from pain. It is one of the most abused substances in the world and there are no signs of it stopping. When this substance is used in excess, it’s called binge drinking.
Binge drinking is the most common, costly, and deadly pattern of excessive alcohol consumption. Binge drinking can also be classified as a person’s blood alcohol levels being equal to or greater than 0.08%. To get to this BAC, a person would need to consume 4 or more drinks within 2 hours, which people often do. One study tells us that 1 in 6 adults in the U.S. binge drink at least 4 times a month and this practice is most common with people aged from 18-34. Drinking in excessive amounts like this can have serious health and safety risks. In this blog, we will discuss what binge drinking is, how it can affect you, and how it can be treated.
Binge Drinking Demographic
Binge drinking has become culturally acceptable thanks to today’s culture. Since binge drinking has reached the mainstream of people, college students and newly graduated college-aged people are the most common culprits when it comes to binge drinking. Typically, college culture encourages binge drinking at fraternity, sorority, or sports parties. As we discussed earlier, the age demographic for binge drinkers ranges from 18-34 years old.
Most often, it’s men that consume the most alcohol. Studies show that binge drinking is twice as common among men than among women. Four in five total binge drinks are consumed by men, but women are starting to increase the amounts of alcohol they consume as well. It seems as though young adults have a high drive to live risky lifestyles and perform risky activities, so they frequently engage in binge drinking. However, binge drinking is not exclusive to this demographic, other age groups around the world engage in this behavior. Parents, bosses, doctors, and pretty much anyone can succumb to binge drinking.
There are many reasons why binge drinking is harmful. Here are some of the short-term and long-term effects binge drinking can have on someone:
- Injuries - Car accidents, motorcycle accidents, risky activities that can cause injuries.
- Violence - Crime, aggressive behavior, sexual assault, suicide, domestic abuse.
- Risky sexual behaviors - Unprotected sex = unwanted pregnancy or STD
- Alcohol poisoning - Blackouts. Too much alcohol can poison your body and cause it to shut down. People frequent emergency rooms for alcohol poisoning.
- Costly - Alcohol isn’t cheap, it can lead to serious debt if a dependency forms.
There is a slew of short-term effects that binge drinking can have on someone. Injuries are all too common amongst people who binge drink. Because of the way alcohol can alter the way a person operates, their motor functions are hindered and can result in an accident. Car accidents and slip-and-fall accidents are all too common for binge drinkers.
Many people who binge drink can also break out in violence. Cases of violence (robbery, sexual assault, etc.) across the country often involve the criminal under the influence of alcohol. Another problem binge drinkers run into is risky sexual behaviors. If two people are under the influence, want to engage in sexual activities, but don’t have protection, they might just go with it. This can cause unwanted pregnancies or even STDs.
One of the worst short-term effects that binge drinkers can suffer from is alcohol poisoning. Alcohol poisoning can happen when someone drinks far more than they should. A person’s body can start to shut down if they get to this point and may need to go to the hospital for serious medical attention. Lastly, binge drinking can be a costly activity. On average, a beer at a restaurant or bar costs about $6 and cocktails will run about $10. That can really add up over time and cause serious debt if financials are not monitored properly. Now let’s take a look at the long-term effects.
- General health issues - Heart disease, stroke, liver disease, digestive problems, high blood pressure.
- Cancer - Breast, mouth, liver, colon, esophagus.
- Memory problems - Dementia, trouble remembering/learning things, poor school performance.
- Mental health - Depression, suicide, other mental health issues.
- Social issues - Loss of relationships, poor social skills, and even unemployment.
- Alcoholism - Dependency on the substance, withdrawal, and other issues that come along with addiction.
Not only can binge drinking cause some short-term effects, but it can also cause some serious long-term ones. General health problems like heart disease and liver disease plague binge drinkers. Cancer also becomes a bigger issue for binge drinkers in the future. Memory problems like dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and just trouble remembering/learning things are all issues binge drinkers face. When people binge drink, their mental health is also at stake. These people typically have to deal with depression and suicidal thoughts. Through binge drinking, a person can develop a dependency on the substance which we would refer to as alcoholism. This is a disease that can be passed down from generation to generation, thus creating an even higher possibility of future binge drinkers.
Binge drinking is a serious issue, but one that can be solved and treated. Rehab facilities across America are equipped and ready to help you or a loved one beat addiction. The first step to living a clean life? Admitting that you have an addiction. Once this happens, you can start your journey into recovery.
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