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What Are the Dangers of Binge Drinking?

Update Date: Feb 14, 2020 01:46 PM EST
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What Are the Dangers of Binge Drinking?
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You're likely aware of the dangers of long-term drinking, but do you understand the implications of binge drinking?

This refers to a scenario where you drink several alcoholic beverages within a short time frame. For men, it's five drinks in two hours and for women, it's four in that same period. 

There are several reasons why someone might binge drink, but it's often done to get drunk. This behavior is extremely risky and can lead to a plethora of problems down the road. 

You must be careful about tracking how much alcohol you consume to avoid endangering yourself. Being smart and pacing yourself is crucial for you to avoid injury, illness, and bad decisions.

We'll analyze all the primary impacts of binge drinking below to help you see why you should avoid doing it. 

Bad Decisions

One thing that binge drinking almost certainly leads to is bad decisions. 

The reason for this is quite simple: drinking impairs your judgment and higher intoxication levels have a greater impact.

Alcohol changes your mood and can cause you to do things you normally wouldn't. It does this by lowering your inhibitions and making you feel more comfortable with what you're doing.

For example, if you decide to binge drink at the bar, you can get drunk and make many bad choices. You may decide to drive home in that state, get in a fight, sleep with a stranger, or break the law in some other way.

Binge drinking places you in an altered state of mind, which leads to inappropriate behavior. If you're lucky, this won't result in any lasting effects. However, there's always the possibility that you are punished for your poor choices.

Should you choose to drink and drive and you are pulled over for it, you're going to be arrested and face a fine, license suspension, and potential jail time. If you end up having unprotected sex, you might catch an STI or get pregnant.

All of these are choices you wouldn't normally make and this is one major reason why binge drinking is scary and dangerous. 

Injuries

There's also a great chance of you sustaining some form of injury from your excessive drinking.

It isn't necessarily the alcohol that injures you, but rather the actions that you make while intoxicated.

For example, if you were to get into a bar fight, then you may have bruises, broken bones, or serious lacerations. Alternatively, you can get seriously injured from a car crash should you cause one while drunk.

If you are in a car crash, then it's also likely that you cause bodily injury to someone else. This means that another driver will suffer from your poor judgment.  

While these injuries are fairly major, it's also likely that you endure a minor injury as well. Your coordination also suffers while drunk, which means that it's easy for you to fall, trip, run into things, or make a foolish mistake that rewards you with a bruise or cut.

Alcohol Poisoning 

Another problem directly linked to binge drinking is alcohol poisoning.

This is what happens when you drink too much in a short time frame, which is the exact premise of binge drinking. As you might imagine, this is particularly relevant for social settings like college parties where heavy drinking is encouraged.

However, this is also common for people suffering from alcoholism. If you have alcoholism, you can become resistant to the enjoyable effects of alcohol.

As a result, you're likely to consume more alcohol to feel the effects that you're familiar with. While you may feel like you've developed a tolerance, you aren't immune to the drawbacks that alcohol causes to your body.

Alcohol poisoning is incredibly dangerous because it can be deadly if it isn't addressed. Someone suffering from alcohol poisoning can have difficulty breathing, which can lead to choking on their vomit.

If you or someone else passes out from drinking too much, this requires close monitoring to ensure that alcohol poisoning is not involved. 

Addiction

We mentioned alcoholism above and that's another complication with binge drinking.

Alcohol addiction and binge drinking are closely intertwined because each can cause the other to happen. 

For example, someone who regularly participates in binge drinking is likely suffering from alcoholism. They turn to binge drinking because it's what they require to feel the positive effects of alcohol. 

On the other end of the spectrum, binge drinking can cause someone to become an alcoholic. If you appreciate the effects of drinking in excess, then you'll be tempted to do it again.

Alcohol is extremely addicting and it's easy to develop a dependency on it. Limiting how much booze you consume and how quickly you do it can keep you at a mild buzz that doesn't cause you to get addicted. 

Serious Illnesses

The last thing to keep in mind is that binge drinking can cause serious illnesses.

This mainly speaks to people who frequently binge drink, which typically means that alcoholism is involved. Binge drinking just once or twice isn't likely to cause long-lasting health complications, but doing it nightly, bi-nightly, or even just a few times a week can.

There are three primary health concerns to be aware of. This includes damage to your kidneys, liver, and the risk of developing cancer.

Drinking places a strain on your kidneys and liver, but binge drinking amplifies this. When you consistently strain these organs, they become damaged and there is a chance that they begin to fail. If your kidney or liver is failing, then death is likely because these organs are essential for healthy function.

Drinking alcohol can also increase the likelihood of developing several different types of cancer. This includes cancer of the liver, esophagus, mouth, throat, colon, rectum, and breast. Not everyone who binge drinks will develop cancer, but the more you drink, the greater your chance of getting it.

Long term abuse of alcohol will inevitably cause serious illness and eventual death. Binge drinking once or twice isn't the end of the world, but don't make a habit of it if you want to live a long and healthy life!

Closing Thoughts

Binge drinking alcohol is a dangerous behavior that can lead to numerous different issues. This includes making poor decisions, sustaining injury, alcohol poisoning, addiction, and serious illnesses with prolonged use. 

Binge drinking just a few times typically results in bad decision making, injuries, and alcohol poisoning if you're unlucky. On the other hand, chronic binge drinking will result in addiction, serious illness, and can also cause alcohol poisoning from someone with a tolerance trying to recreate positive effects.

The strain that alcohol places on your body cannot be ignored and the effects are great when you binge drink. Either limit how much you choose to drink in one sitting or make a point of drinking slowly so that you don't suffer from the pitfalls of binge drinking. 

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