How to Stop Binge Drinking During the Holidays

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Tips on How to Stop Binge Drinking During the Holidays

Times of celebration such as the holidays can be a time to spend time with loved ones and friends. During many of these get-togethers and parties, alcohol is freely available and people are encouraged to drink. Binge drinking can actually have many negative health effects and lead to even worse conditions in a person’s future if they continue to binge on alcohol. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) revealed statistics showing that around 27 percent of the population in the United States had been involved in binge drinking within the last month in 2015. How to stop binge drinking can help a person to not only avoid negative health consequences but also help to stop an addiction from forming.

In this article, we will explore ways on how to stop binge drinking and the long term effects of binge drinking.

What is Binge Drinking?

The NIAAA defines the term binge drinking as when a person’s blood-alcohol level reaches 0.08 g/dL. So, how many drinks is binge drinking in these terms? According to the NIAAA, binge drinking is when 5 or more drinks in men or 4 or more drinks in women are consumed within two hours.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration defines how many drinks is binge drinking by the same amount of drinks in men and women as the NIAAA, but at one occasion or within a couple hours of each other for at least one day out of a month.

Long Term Effects of Binge Drinking

Binge drinking has many negative side effects. If the person binge drinks on a regular basis, the risks become even greater. They include the following:

  • Liver disease
  • Cancer
  • Addiction
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Neurological damage
  • Suppressed immune system
  • Seizures
  • Nerve damage
  • Depression

Set Limits

How to stop binge drinking at events during these holidays is about setting yourself a limit on how much alcohol you are going to drink. Setting these goals before you go to a party and sticking to them can help you to not reach the levels of binge drinking.

Get a Friend to Help

One of the ways to keep to your limits is to tell a friend or family member who will also be at the event that you have a drinking limit you are sticking to. They can help you keep to your goals if you should falter.

Eat Food

Drinking on en empty stomach can cause the alcohol to have a much greater effect. As such, it is important to eat a full meal before drinking and to eat snacks as you continue to drink. Look for high carb foods and food rich in fats.

Slow Down

One of the ways on how to stop binge drinking these holidays is by consuming your alcohol slowly. Sip your drinks. You can also alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks so that not too much alcohol is consumed in a short time.

Have Options

If the party does not provide other non-alcoholic drinks, then bring some with you. Coffee, soft drinks, teas and other drinks should be an option at any party but you should call ahead to ensure that they are available.

Saying No

Once you have reached your drinking limit, politely say no to people who offer you more drinks. A way to help this situation is by always having a non-alcoholic drink with you to reduce the offers of alcohol and to more easily say “No, thank you. I have a drink”.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at 1.800.429.7690.