When we think of binge drinking, the consumption of an excessive amount of alcohol in a short period of time, many of us envision college students at frat parties recklessly guzzling one beer after another. However, binge drinking occurs in all age groups and many settings.
Here are some important facts to know about ingesting too much alcohol:
- Alcohol poisoning or alcohol overdose is drinking so much that the blood alcohol content (BAC) reaches a level that the body cannot process quickly enough.
- Overdosing on alcohol can stop breathing and the heart beating, can cause choking and death if one chokes on his or her vomit.
- Binge drinking can affect your mood, memory, lead to anti-social, aggressive, and violent behaviors, as well as serious mental health problems.
- Binge drinking is associated with an increased chance of driving dangerously, a greater likelihood of falling, a greater risk of irreparably damaging one’s liver and kidneys, and a higher chance of becoming addicted to
- Studies show that many teens believe that binge drinking is normal, expected and harmless. Between the start and conclusion of high school, a student’s chances of becoming a binge drinker more than doubles.
- Research has discovered that the white matter of teens who binge drink is abnormal in comparison to those who do not.
You may have a serious problem with alcohol if you:
- Always want one more drink no matter how many drinks you’ve had
- Hide the amount you drink from others
- Drive while intoxicated
- Regularly blackout while drinking
- Do things you regret while intoxicated
- Experience physical withdrawal symptoms
If you are struggling with any of the above, here are some actions you can take to improve your situation:
- Inform those closest to you that you need to make a change. This support will help keep you accountable and be a good first step toward healing.
- Tell those you usually drink with that you are worried you may have a more serious problem and that you will be cutting down “for a while.” Wording it this way will not make them feel guilty for their behaviors and allow for smoother transitions.
- Rid of alcohol in your home. This may require a discussion with other family members. Express your need to reduce your temptation and for this reform, not necessarily anyone else’s.
- Seek guidance to help make these changes. There are specially trained professionals who can turn your desire for change into a reality.