The NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) defines binge drinking as a scenario whereby a man takes more than four alcoholic drinks in a single day or 15 or more drinks in a week. A woman can be regarded as a binge drinker if she takes more than three alcoholic drinks in a single day or 8 or more drinks a week. A 2015 statistics by the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) indicates that one in every six adults in the United States, binge drinks approximately four times per month. The statistics further cite that adults aged between 18 and 34 form a significant percentage of binge drinkers. Furthermore, the adult population aged 35 years and above consumes more than 50 percent of binge drinks.
Signs of binge drinking
The most common signs associated with binge drinking include:
- Drinking often
- Taking alcohol more than planned
- Inability to slow down or stops one’s drinking
- Giving up on activities you consider interesting to spare more time for drinking
- Drinking at unusual times, such as early in the day
- Experiencing blackouts or memory gaps after drinking
- Engaging in dangerous activities after drinking
- Defensiveness on one’s drinking
- Needing more alcohol to experience a given effect or feeling
Effects of binge drinking on the body
Before answering the question How To Stop Binge Drinking, it would be essential to delineate both the short-term and long-term effects of binge drinking on the human body. Binge drinking has many short-term impacts on the body, most of which are overlooked but can be dangerous. For instance, a heavy single binge-drinking episode can cause irritation and inflammation of vital body organs such as the liver, stomach, or pancreas. On a different note, binge drinking, which amounts to excessive alcohol consumption, can affect one’s actions, increasing the risk of injuries or death from suffocation, motor vehicle accidents, drowning, among other accidents.
Binge drinking can affect the heart, leading to irregular heartbeats, high blood pressure, or even death from heart failure. On a different note, since alcohol is diuretic, causing the kidney to generate more urine, it can lead to dehydration. Thus dangerously decreasing the levels of potassium, sodium, and other minerals and salts in the body. Long-term binge drinking is harmful to the cardiovascular system and risks several forms of cancers including cancer of the mouth, rectum, colon, rectum, throat, voice box, and liver.
How to stop binge drinking
- Avoid triggers that lead to binge drinking by changing your environment: People, places, and events are some of the triggers that result in binge drinking. Consequently, if you are trying to cut off the habit of binge drinking, avoid activities, bars, or parties that are likely to be centered around excessive alcohol consumption.
- Purpose to stop binge drinking: In addition to avoiding triggers, the only way you can cut off the habit of binge drinking is by purposing to stop the habit and making a comprehensive plan on how you will bet achieve the goal. Keeping a drinking diary or journal can help you better monitor and comprehend your triggers, thus avoiding them.
- Seek support from professionals, family, and friends