According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 38 million people binge drink approximately 4 times per month and consume 8 drinks in one drinking period. Binge drinking is defined as drinking four or more drinks during one event for females, and for male teens, binge drinking is consuming five or more drinks. At many events where alcohol is present, binge drinking is encouraged. People want to see their friends get plastered, act silly, let loose, and get crazy. It is supposed to add to the fun.
Physically What Binge Drinking Can Lead To
However, binge drinking can cause severe health risks, psychological concern, and behavioral issues. Physically, too much binge drinking can lead to:
- High blood Pressure
- Nerve Damage
- Alcohol Poisoning
- Heart Disease
Psychologically, excessive drinking can contribute to anxiety, depression, and even suicide. Approximately, 10%-15% of those with alcoholism will attempt to take their life. And those who are successful in their suicide attempt tend to have positive alcohol levels in their blood stream. Behaviorally, alcohol can lead to making some not-so-good decisions. It can lead to risky behavior, such as fast driving, car accidents, risky sexual activity and pregnancy. There is also the danger of developing an addiction or a chemical dependency to alcohol, if you don’t already have one.
Enjoy Yourself Without the Risks of Excessive Drinking
Perhaps all of these dangers of drinking go without saying. Perhaps you’re already aware of the risks and the dangers you put yourself in. But then, you might be asking yourself: How do find a way to enjoy yourself without taking on the risks of excessive drinking? How do you curb the pressure you might feel from friends to drink heavily so that you can take care of yourself?
One way to begin to answer these questions is to start to listen to what feels right for you. Perhaps you want to have a drink or two to enjoy the effects of alcohol, but you don’t want to drink excessively. You may want to know what health experts recommend as a moderate and safe level of alcohol intake:
Moderate drinking is considered to be 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men.
Yet, even this amount has been found to contribute to increased risk of breast cancer, violence, drowning, and injuries from falls and motor vehicle crashes.
Also, responsible drinking is when you know that you have a safe way to get home. Specifically, this means that you have a designated driver, a taxi waiting for you, or a bus you can ride home. Responsible drinking might also mean that you don’t drink at all so that you can be the designated driver for someone else. You might also find that the pressure from friends to drink is high when you’re at parties, bars, or clubs. Because of this, you might find yourself only drinking when you’re with one or two friends at a restaurant, where there little to no pressure to drink.
These are recommendations for moderate and responsible drinking. However, you may have to find the right amount and the right environment in which to drink so that you stay safe, healthy, and happy.