4 Reasons Why Binge Drinking is Unhealthy

 In Addiction

Most people have gone out and had a few more drinks than they initially planned on. For the most part, a headache in the morning is the only major repercussion. However, frequent binge drinking can be much more dangerous than it seems.

Binge drinking involves consuming a large quantity of alcohol in a short period. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines it as five or more drinks for men and four or more for women in two hours.

Although it's socially acceptable, alcohol can have a number of serious side-effects when used irresponsibly. Even binge drinking on a semi-regular basis can be extremely dangerous.

If you often find yourself losing control of how much you drink, it's important you understand the potential health hazards. Let's go over four primary ones.

Physical Side-Effects

Each time you have a drink, your liver must process the alcohol and break down the toxins. The faster you drink, the harder your liver must work to keep up.

This is why many long-term alcoholics suffer from irreversible liver damage. And while binge drinking doesn't necessarily mean you're an alcoholic, it can still harm your liver.

Alcohol can also cause changes to your brain. When over-consumption occurs on a regular basis, you may actually sustain slight brain damage. Underage drinkers are at a higher risk of this happening, as their brains aren't as developed.

Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to a number of different cancers such as liver, esophageal, breast, and colon cancer. Because it's consumed orally, it can also cause mouth, throat, and even neck cancer.

Another major health risk associated with binge drinking is cardiovascular issues. Alcohol causes blood pressure fluctuations and the weakening of the muscles in the heart. This could lead to heart disease and congestive heart failure.

Consuming too much alcohol also carries with it the risk of short-term side-effects. Some of these include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Loss of a sex drive
  • Anemia
  • Weight gain
  • Dehydration
  • Short-term memory loss

While these are much less severe than the long-term side-effects, if binge drinking occurs too frequently, they may lead to other health issues.

Reckless Behavior

Alcohol drastically impairs a person's judgment and often causes reckless and dangerous behavior. This can take many forms, but in each case, the consequences can be devastating.

One of the most dangerous situations that result from binge drinking is drunk driving. Not only does the intoxicated person put their life in danger, but they also threaten the lives of other drivers on the road.

This is a serious problem in America. The United States Department of Transportation states that nearly 30 people lose their lives every day in a drunk driving accident. If you or someone around you are intoxicated, it's important you take every precaution necessary to avoid drunk driving.

Binge drinking can lead to a person having promiscuous, unprotected sex. Not only can this cause emotional damage, but it could also result in STD's and pregnancy.

Frequent binge drinkers may start using illegal drugs while intoxicated. This is particularly dangerous, as combining drugs and alcohol can lead to overdose or other serious injuries.

Finally, frequent over-consumption can increase a person's chance of participating in criminal behavior. In many cases, the individual isn't fully aware of their actions. This could result in legal issues or injury.

Blackouts and Alcohol Poisoning

Alcohol is toxic. At moderate levels, it can be enjoyed responsibly. However, binge drinking can put a person at serious risk of blacking out and poisoning themselves.

It's important to understand that once a person loses consciousness due to alcohol consumption, their blood alcohol level (BAC) could still rise. When this happens, a person is at risk of fatal alcohol poisoning.

Blacking out can also put a person in a dangerous or vulnerable situation. If they're behind the wheel, the result could be disastrous.

There are a number of things that could signal potential alcohol poisoning. These include:

  • Slowed breathing
  • Blacking out and remaining unresponsive
  • Vomiting
  • Pale or blue skin
  • Hypothermia
  • Convulsions
  • Erratic breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat

A person with these symptoms needs to be taken to the hospital right away. Severe alcohol poisoning could lead to heart attacks, coma, brain damage, and death. The condition requires immediate intervention by a doctor.

Higher Risk of Addiction

When a person binge drinks, that doesn't mean they're an alcoholic. Though they may consume too much alcohol in a short amount of time, their body hasn't built up a dependency.

However, binge drinking on a regular basis could put a person at a higher risk of developing an addiction down the road. In some cases, it may be a red flag that a person is beginning to lose control of their drinking.

This is common in younger people, especially college students. Frequent over-consumption at parties or other school-related events can lead to alcoholism, either while still in college or later in life.

The problem with binge drinking as it relates to dependency is that a person starts to push their drinking too far. Although they may not drink again for another week, when they do, there's a chance they'll binge drink.

Drinking too much could also cause a person to start neglecting their responsibilities and damaging relationships with family and friends. They may end up turning to alcohol more and more to deal with these issues.

If you notice that someone you love is often binge drinking, it's important you intervene right away. The faster they get control of the issue, the less likely they are to develop a debilitating alcohol problem.

Don't Let Binge Drinking Get Out of Control

Binge drinking on a regular basis causes much more damage to your body than you're probably aware of. Remember, just because you don't drink every day doesn't mean you're not susceptible to health risks.

Getting the issue under control sooner rather than later is the most important step. Seeking a professional alcohol rehab program will provide you with the support and medical guidance you need to get back on your feet.

Protect your future by reaching out today.




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