When alcohol is consumed in moderation by people who are of age, and who are responsible, it is not a bad thing. Some people, however, will drink with the primary goal of getting intoxicated; generally in a short period of time. Heaving drinking such as this is known as binge drinking. Binge drinking can last anywhere from a few overs, to several days and even weeks. There are both long and short term negative effects of binge drinking on mental and physical health. Unfortunately binge drinking is fairly prevalent, especially among college aged students, and is considered by many to be a big public health issue.
Causes of Binge Drinking
Binge drinking is considered a social problem in which peer pressure and culture play a significant role. Common reasons people have given for excessive drinking include that they want to forget about their problems, it helps them to feel more sociable, it helps them to feel happier, and it helps them to feel more comfortable in social situations. When it comes to adolescents, binge drinking is often fueled by poor relationships with parents, excessive drinking by their peers, and other factors.
Negative Health Effects of Binge Drinking
Binge drinking can cause a whole host of health problems and ultimately death. Heavy alcohol consumption can cause issues with the central nervous system. It is also associated with a higher risk of stroke and sudden death. Binge drinking has actually been proven to increase your risk of stroke by as much as ten times. Excessive alcohol consumption will also increase the risk of cardiovascular problems which can lead to a heart attack or other issues. Consuming a large amount of alcohol in a short time can cause a blood alcohol level that is dangerously high. It can also lead to alcohol poisoning which is essentially an overdose of alcohol. Alcohol poisoning can be fatal. Risk of death is also increased in binge drinkers as they have the potential to choke on their own vomit. Blackouts can also be a consequence of binge drinking and can be not only embarrassing but dangerous.
Binge Drinking Treatment
Due to the fact that binge drinking can be very harmful, it should be dealt with urgently. This is especially true for adolescents who run the risk of suffering long term effects such as brain damage and cognitive impairments. Parents should become involved as soon as they know about the situation. In more severe cases of binge drinking, professional therapy may be advised. When confronting someone about binge drinking, it is important to never be condescending or try to make them feel guilty. Attempt to discuss and educate about the consequences of their drinking. It is always a good idea to consult with a qualified health professional when it comes to dealing with any health related issues.
Preventing Binge Drinking
There are differing opinions on the measures that have been suggested to prevent binge drinking among not only adolescents but people of all ages. While education on the dangers of binge drinking can help in deterring the behavior, people often have a tendency to submit to peer pressure. Some researchers believe that the drinking age should be increased to deter binge drinking, while others believe that the age should be lowered to 18 in an attempt to decrease the stigma of alcohol and hopefully in turn, decrease binge drinking. As stated, there are varying opinions on what can potentially be done legally to prevent excessive alcohol consumption.
While people that participate in binge drinking may feel as though they are having fun at the moment, it can be dangerous not only to your health but can cause other issues as well. Binge drinkers are at an increased risk of driving drunk, and also being arrested for public drunkenness. Being extremely intoxicated will affect your cognitive abilities and make you more likely to fall, or black out. Hopefully with enough time and education, the issue of binge drinking and other alcohol related issues can be dealt with.
- Fact Sheets – Binge Drinking
- Moderate and Binge Drinking
- Binge Drinking Facts
- Binge Drinking Research
- What is Binge Drinking?
- The Dangers of Binge Drinking
- Short and Long Term Effects of Alcohol
- Information for Teens
- 12 Health Risks of Chronic Heavy Drinking
- College Alcohol Study
- How Serious is the Binge Drinking Problem On Campuses?
- Teenage Binge Drinking
- Stop Impaired Driving
- Alcohol Poisoning Symptoms
- Blood Alcohol Content Charts
- Marijuana attorneys in San Diego
By Ted Burgess