Binge drinking is defined as a pattern of drinking that brings the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08% or higher according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. For a typical adult female that would mean four drinks or more in a two hour period or five or more drinks in the same amount of time for males.
How Much is in a Drink?
The effects of alcohol will be different for each individual based on sex, weight, diet and medications. Therefore, it is extremely important to pace yourself when enjoying an evening out.
Drinks have different concentrations of alcohol so you must keep in mind how much alcohol is in the drinks you are consuming. When keeping track of how many drinks you’ve had, remember that a single drink means the following:
- 12 ounces of beer
- 1.5 ounces of hard liquor
- 8 ounces of malt liquor
- 5 ounces of wine
Alcohol is often packaged using these guidelines making it easy for consumers to accurately determine how many drinks they can safely have. When consuming hard liquor, a standard shot is considered a serving.
Health Effects of Binge Drinking
There are several health risks associated with binge drinking. Immediate effects can be felt which can lead to risky behavior and poor judgment. Excess alchohol also causes inflammation of the stomach, pancreas and liver. Additionally, alcohol impairs the body’s ability to heal from injuries. Other health consequences of heavy drinking include:
- Negative effects on the heart causing high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and heart failure
- Kidneys must work harder to filter out all the toxins in alcohol which can eventually lead to kidney failure
- Inflammation or infection of the lungs due to vomit or saliva being aspirated as alcohol inhibits the gag reflex
- Pancreatitis caused by low blood sugar which can happen in one sigle session of heavy drinking
- Alcohol poisoning can lead to death
- Sexually transmitted diseases or unplanned pregnancy resulting from unsafe sex
The negative health consequences from heavy drinking can be reversed if you are willing to seek help and eliminate alcohol from your life. The professionals at Hickory Treatment Centerscan help you break the vicious cycle of binge drinking and get you on the path to a better life.
Signs of Binge Drinking
Consuming an alcholic beverage from time to time is not a bad thing and studies have shown that a serving of red wine is actually good for the cardiovascular system according to the National Library of Medicine. However, when alcohol is consumed excessively, it creates a problem. The signs of binge drinking include the following:
- You’re unable to enjoy alcohol without drinking excessively
- You suffer from hangover or are irritable and exhausted because your alcohol consumption has impacted your sleep negatively
- You try to regulate your drinking but are unable to limit your consumption
- You suffer from blackouts and memory loss due to excessive alcohol consumption
- Binge drinking gets you in trouble such as with driving drunk or loss of a job
If you think you have a problem with binge drinking, help is available. The caring and compassionate staff at Hickory Treatment Centers are ready to help you kick the addiction and get on the road to recovery. Call us today so we can help you.