Binge drinking alcohol is a common, dangerous pattern of alcohol use in America. Binge drinking is defined as consuming alcohol in a manner that produces a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 grams or more. In other words, binge drinking is characterized by a man consuming 5 or more drinks or a woman having 4 drinks in a 2-hour span. 
People who binge drink are at a high risk of developing tolerance, dependency, and alcohol addiction. Individuals who binge drink at a young age, drink to control anxiety or depression or drink to suppress trauma are more likely to develop an alcohol use disorder.
Young adults under 35 tend to binge drink more than other age groups. The affluent—people who make more than $75,000—a year and are more educated are also more likely to binge drink than other groups.
Signs and Effects of Binge Drinking
The signs of binge drinking vary from person to person, depending on a variety of factors. Unlike other forms of alcohol abuse, binge drinking may not be frequent or consistent. However, individuals who consume large amounts of alcohol in just a few hours will have negative short- and long-term effects on their overall health and functioning.
The common signs of binge drinking include:
- Drinking heavily on the weekend, at parties, or during special occasions
- Drinking more than intended
- Having blackouts after binge drinking
- Worrying or feeling guilty about drinking
- Health problems. Ulcers, stomach pain, vomiting, hand tremors, and day (or days) long hangovers aren’t just for alcoholics. Binge drinkers can develop all of these conditions.
- Family members, co-workers, and/or friends notice the amount of drinking you or your loved one is doing or notice the impairments that result from bingeing.
- Negative consequences from drinking start to appear, but the person’s drinking habits do not change
- Embarrassing, violent, or dangerous behaviors develop as a result of binging
Binge drinking is known to cause severe negative side effects on the brain and body, including:
- Alcohol poisoning
- Heart attack
- Fatty liver disease. A single binge-drinking episode can cause alcohol-related fatty liver disease. 
- Neurological damage
- Sexual dysfunction
- Diabetes-related issues. Alcohol is loaded with sugar, which causes blood sugar and insulin to swing dramatically.
Binge drinking alcohol is also known to significantly impair an individual’s judgment. As a result, individuals may find themselves involved in dangerous situations as a result of their binge drinking. For example, it is common for individuals to experience motor vehicle accidents, legal repercussions such as DUIs, blackouts or falls, risky sexual behavior, and so forth. To prevent these side effects of habitual binge drinking, it is best to quit drinking alcohol entirely.
Long-Term Effects of Binge Drinking
The long-term use of alcohol is known to lead to grave consequences. This is especially true for individuals who routinely binge drink alcohol over a long period. Individuals who have been abusing alcohol over the long term will experience some or all of the following alcohol abuse symptoms.
- Cardiomyopathy (weakened heart muscle)
- Irregular heartbeat
- Fatty liver disease
- Alcoholic hepatitis
- Liver cancer
- Chronic pancreatitis
- Weakened immune system
- Neurological damage, including memory loss and severe cognitive impairments
- Mood changes
- Increased risk of cancers of the mouth, esophagus, throat, and breasts
Tips to Quit Binge Drinking
People binge drink for a variety of reasons. As a result, each individual must find a strategy that addresses their unique situation when attempting to stop binge drinking. If you or a loved one would like to stop binge drinking, you should consider one or more of the following ways to quit binge drinking:
- Change Your Environment. When quitting binge drinking, you must remove yourself from people, places, or things than encourage binge drinking habits. For example, you may avoid certain bars or restaurants, and limit your time socializing with others who also engage in binge drinking.
- Get Support. Recovery from alcohol abuse or binge drinking is always easier when you have the support of friends and loved ones. Additionally, you may decide to attend support groups for binge drinking or alcoholism, such as SMART Recovery or Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).
- Attend a Detox Program. When a person who is physically dependent on alcohol attempts to quit, they will begin to experience painful, sometimes dangerous withdrawal symptoms. To keep yourself or your loved one safe during detox, seek a professional alcohol detox program for a safe and comfortable recovery experience.
- Learn Healthy Coping Mechanisms. Oftentimes, people binge drink to self-medicate feelings of stress, anxiety, depression, and boredom. Binge drinking suppresses these negative feelings but does nothing to address the real issues that fuel one’s suffering.
As a consequence, this can cause them to continue drinking and further complicate their mental and physical health. However, this can be avoided by adopting healthy mechanisms of coping such as exercise, self-care, hobbies, connecting with others, or seeking professional mental healthcare.
Help for Binge Drinking
If you or a loved one are suffering from binge drinking or any form of alcohol abuse, it may be time to seek professional help. Contact Agape Treatment Center today to get more information about binge drinking, alcohol addiction, and how to begin treatment.
Please give us a call — we are ready to help around the clock, every day of the week. Our admissions counselors will work with you in determining your treatment options, how to cover the cost of treatment, and set up a date and a time for intake.