When you think about the meaning of “binge drinking”, images of college students downing alcoholic beverages quickly and excessively usually comes to mind. Images of loud parties, uninhibited sexual situations,
Movies and TV often portray binge drinking as a fun time, with wild parties and humorous situations – but this depiction masks the dangerous reality of binging.
The Truth about Binge Drinking
Binge drinking is one of the most common patterns of extreme alcohol consumption; statistics show that up to 20 percent of U.S adults binge drink, either occasionally or frequently.
Binge drinking refers to the unhealthy practice of consuming five or more standard alcoholic drinks over a short period of time (5 alcohol drinks for men and 4 drinks for women).
Although most binge drinking episodes involve adults 26 years and older, the practice is generally associated with college students, party goers and adolescents.
Usually, the person binge drinking does not look at the practice in a negative way; instead, this type of ingesting is often looked at as harmless.
Binging is typically a social occurrence – perhaps after a long week at the office or particularly tough test. People who binge don’t view themselves as an alcoholic, since they aren’t drinking every day or because they think they “need” it. Rather, they are out enjoying themselves at the bar and just having a few drinks with friends.
Most people who participate in drinking binges are not alcohol dependent; in fact, they may be social drinkers who just do not see the negatives of this pattern of extreme alcohol consumption. People who binge drink may be well rounded individuals; smart and educated with healthy goals and plans.
Drinking binges often start off innocently enough, spontaneously, impulsively and pretty thoughtlessly. Usually, the negative effects associated with binging do not become an issue until that negativity is staring you right in your face.
What are the Physical Effects of Binge Drinking?
Alcohol, in moderation, can be healthy for your body. But prolonged consumption – whether nightly or in binges – can have a devastating impact on your health. You cannot drink alcohol excessively and not expect there to be negative physical effects because of it.
Alcohol changes your chemical makeup and the pH levels of your body, your body becomes extremely acidic, toxic and exceedingly susceptible to disorders and diseases.
The physical effects of binge drinking are largely dependent on the amount of alcohol consumed and on the person who is consuming it. Nevertheless, if you binge drink, doing so will certainly change your body in drastic and negative ways. Your blood alcohol levels will increase to dangerous levels and remain there for quite some time. You will become dangerously intoxicated, possibly to the point of no control. You may do or say things that are out of character or dangerous and not even remember them in the morning.
Some people (mostly those who first start binge drinking), may not be aware of the extreme physical effects that usually follows such behavior.
However, some people are very aware of the risky physical effects of binging. Those people actually drink excessively for the sole purpose of getting intoxicated and acting recklessly because they like the somewhat uninhibited feeling that doing so encourages.
If you become intoxicated as a result of binging, then you will no longer be yourself, and if you are no longer yourself, then you will not be in control of your own actions.
Do You Binge Drink?
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Short Term Physical Effects of Binge Drinking
The physical effects of binge drinking can be dramatic and costly; repeated binging can cost you your health in both short term and long term settings.
The short term effects of binge drinking include symptoms and disorders such as double vision, slurred speech, uncontrollable shaking and trouble breathing.
Also, loss of consciousness, loss of red blood cells, distorted hearing, temporary coma and blackouts to the point where you cannot remember the details of the binge episode are some more of the short term effects.
Long Term Damage
The long term physical effects of binge drinking can be quite overwhelming and possibly irreversible. Problems caused by excess drinking usually develop in people who binge drink on a regular basis.
Some of the harsh symptoms and effects of long term consumption includes:
- Liver disease
- High blood pressure
- Stroke and nerve damage
- Permanent brain damage
- Cancer of the throat/mouth
- Inflammation of the stomach
- Sudden death
Also, an increased risk of alcohol dependency, sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, sudden infant death syndrome and psychological problems are also associated with binge drinking.
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