Are you worried you’ve taken drinking a little too far? Find out how to (and if it’s possible) to control binge drinking
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), binge drinking is the most common pattern of excessive alcohol use. It is also cited as most costly to the health care system, and in some instances, it can be deadly. Binge drinking is associated as being a major contributor in many unintentional injuries and deaths, such as car crashes and falls for example. In this article, we examine what defines binge drinking and we also give some tips to help you control binge drinking and learn how to stop binge drinking and how to quit binge drinking.
What is Binge Drinking?
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH) defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration levels to 0.08 g/Dl. While hard to define exactly what this equates to in actual drinks, NIH estimate it to be about 4 to 5 beverages consumed in a period of about 2 hours. In simpler terms, binge drinking is the act of excessively consuming alcohol in one occasion. It can also pertain to drinking continuously over many days or weeks. There is quite an acceptable drinking culture in America, with alcohol forming the foundation of many social occasions. The act of “getting wasted” is something that has become a societal norm. It can be difficult then to recognize that binge drinking can be a problem.
Binge drinking directly and indirectly causes a multitude of problems for both drinker, their loved ones and the wider community. The short-term side effects of binge drinking can include nausea, vomiting and low mood. People who drink in excess can sometimes make poor decisions such as drink driving or having unprotected sex. In the long term, binge drinking can lead to alcoholism although the two are not directly correlated. The continuous pattern of binge drinking may lead to a psychological and physical dependence.
Controlling binge drinking
Everyone who drinks socially can educate themselves on ways to control binge drinking. Abstaining from alcohol is the only sure-fire way of stopping binge drinking but we understand that this is not always an option or preferred choice. Here are a couple of handy tips that will aid in controlling binge drinking.
When at social occasions, try to drink a glass of water between each alcoholic beverage. This will serve to slow down your alcohol intake and also give your body time to break down the alcohol that you have already consumed. Drinking water will inhibit your ability to become intoxicated as rapidly, so will aid in you making better decisions.
Change your social scene
Perhaps the main reason for your alcohol binges is due to the company you keep. If you feel that your social circle may be contributing in a toxic manner towards your drinking habits, it might be time to change your scene.
Inform your family and friends
If you feel that your drinking is out of control, confide in your family and friends. They can provide you with the support that you need to keep some level of control over your drinking habits.
Find new hobbies
If you are concerned about your drinking habits, why not try to find an alternative hobby that promotes a healthier lifestyle. Take up a gym class or even dancing. Often the underlying reasons for binge drinking is a sense of inner discontent, so healing holistically through sports and recreation can be very helpful.
If you or a loved one are struggling with binge drinking, call one of our friendly staff for assistance. We can offer you confidential and helpful advice, while pointing you in the right direction of a support service.