Having a few too many drinks is a common occurrence but not necessarily dangerous or a reason for concern. Binge drinking, however, is an extremely dangerous behavior that is defined as a pattern of drinking an excessive amount of alcohol in a short period of time. This usually means consuming more than 4-5 drinks in a 2-hour period and doing this often. However, it is important to note that all people that engage in binge drinking do not necessarily have an alcohol disorder. However, one of the many potential signs of alcoholism is binge drinking.
What are the risks of binge drinking?
Your body is not equipped to handle a large quantity of alcohol at once. When you binge drink often, you can end up with a whole laundry list of health issues. To just name a few; liver disease, digestive problems, trouble sleeping, and memory loss are all potential side effects of consistent binge drinking. You’re also at risk of passing out or blacking out which could possibly lead to a dangerous situation.
What is the difference between binge drinking and heavy drinking?
People who are heavy drinkers tend to binge drink often. However, since binge drinking is defined as drinking an excessive amount in a short time, not all binge drinkers are heavy drinkers. In fact, some people that binge drink will report that they don’t usually drink much normally but tend to drink a lot when they do. Both binge drinking and heavy drinking can lead to alcohol disorders and should be addressed immediately.
If you or someone you love has a problem with binge drinking, we can help. It’s important to know that this is not “normal” behavior and could point to some underlying issues that need to be addressed. Even if you don’t think you’re an alcoholic, it’s important to understand that this behavior is toxic and can lead to more serious issues down the road. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.