Anyone probably loves to drink whether it’s for socials or a way to relax and de-stress after a day’s work. Occasional drinking is a good thing as it allows you to have a controlled habit in drinking. But what about if you are getting hooked to alcohol that you tend to be drinking almost always? Can an overly frequent drinker be considered a binge drinker? When can we say that one is engaged in binge drinking? What basis could there be to categorize someone as such?
What is Binge Drinking?
Binge drinking is defined as the manner of drinking or consuming large amount of alcohol in a single session, usually characterized with having five or more drinks at one time for men, and four or more drinks in one session for women.
In the United States, about 90% of the alcohol consumed by youth aging 21 and below is in the practice of binge drinks. So you can only imagine someone who is into binge drinking to be taking in too much of alcohol in a very short time and allowing himself or herself to get completely drunk.
Each of us is different in our ways and means, so the technical definition of binge drinking above should be good enough measure or identifier if a man or a woman is considered as such. Try to assess your manner of drinking and the number of shots or glasses you can consume in just one session. Do you take more than four or five shots of Johnnie Walker or Jack Daniel’s? Or maybe finishing up more than five bottles of beer in one session? If your answer is yes, well at certain points you may be into binge drinking. This normally happens when you are at a party or an event where you seem to get carried away at the moment with having a good time with friends that you lose track of the gulps you have made with your shots.
Tendencies of Binge Drinking
On a regular condition, our body can only take in and process one unit of alcohol every hour. Having two glasses of wine may still seem to be acceptable based on drinking standards. However, six units of alcohol in one session especially in just a matter of hours will spike up blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and can get your drunk real fast. But having the same amount of alcohol intake accompanied with food for the tummy to digest can lessen the effect of feeling drunk immediately.
How to Know if You’re a Binge Drinker
One of the signs of a binge drinker is regular and very frequent drinking of more than the required consumption for low alcohol. Another sign is if you tend to drink quickly, taking quick gulps of your shots than should be. If you are also the type to drink just to get drunk, that is a sure sign of binge drinking.
Effects of Binge Drinking
The thing with binge drinking is that accidents are very prone to happening because you no longer have self-control. You lose a sense of balance (and it would show in the way a drunk person walks) and coordination. If you’ve had too much alcohol on a single occasion, it surely weakens the system and makes you feel sick even to the point of throwing up. In extreme cases, too much alcohol intake in one session can lead to death due to stoppage of breathing or heartbeat probably brought about by complications of other adverse bodily conditions.
Another negative effect of binge drinking is the way it can unpleasantly affect one’s mood and memory which can seriously lead to possible mental health problems. More common effects of binge drinking are development of anti-social, violent and aggressive behavior.
How to Control Binge Drinking
When it comes to drinking advice, you will most commonly hear advices about moderate and responsible drinking. It is a matter of applying discipline when engaging in alcoholic drinks. If you choose to drink and no one can stop you for it, you would rather want to spread your drinks accordingly for the week. Better yet, practice the habit of occasional drinking. This should help cut down your usual alcohol consumption for the week. If you can help it, have several alcohol-free days and maybe limit your drinking days to once or twice a week.
Among some of the other ways you can minimize on binge drinking are:
- Exercise control in your usual number of glasses in one occasion
- Drink more slowly, taking small sips at a time while chit chatting with friends
- Alternate your drinks with water and also have something for the tummy to digest
- Avoid places that are prone to trouble and make sure you mingle with people you are familiar with