How to Quit Binge Drinking Alcohol

July 16, 2020 , Agape Treatment Center

bottles left over after quitting binge drinking spreeBinge drinking alcohol is one of the most common patterns of alcohol use in America. In fact, over 50% of all alcohol consumed in the United States is consumed in this manner. To explain, binge drinking is defined as consuming alcohol in a manner that produces a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 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. While binge drinking is typically viewed as an innocent form of adult fun, this activity is known to cause short and long-term adverse effects.

One of the most concerning long-term effects associated with binge drinking is the possibility of developing tolerance, dependency, and/or addiction to alcohol. Individuals who binge drink at a young age are more likely to develop an alcohol use disorder. Some people may binge drink due to peer pressure, attending a celebratory event, or as a way to “blow off steam”. Whatever the reasoning may be, individuals who binge drink on a regular basis will quickly begin to experience the adverse short- and long-term side effects. If you or a loved one binge drink alcohol on a regular basis, it may be time to seek professional help. Continue reading to learn more about the effects of binge drinking and how to quit binge drinking alcohol altogether.

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 a short timespan will have negative short- and long-term effects on their overall health and functioning.

The common signs of binge drinking include:

  • Drinking 5 or more drinks in 2 hours for men or 4 or more drinks in 2 hours for women. 2
  • Drinking more than intended.
  • Feeling unable to stop drinking or slow down.
  • Blacking out or having gaps in memory while drinking.
  • Displaying violent or dangerous behaviors while under the influence (i.e., driving while intoxicated, getting into bar fights, and having unprotected sex).

Episodes of binge drinking are potentially detrimental to an individual’s health and wellbeing. Additionally, binge drinking alcohol is known to lead to a number of social and economic consequences.

Binge drinking is known to cause severe negative side effects on the brain and body, including:

  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Hypertension
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Gastritis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Liver disease
  • Fetal alcohol effects
  • Neurological damage
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Diabetes-related issues

Binge drinking alcohol is also known to significantly impair an individual’s judgment. As a result, individuals may find themselves involved in risky or 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, unintended pregnancies, as well as being the perpetrator or victim of a sexual assault. In order to prevent these side effects, it is best to quit binge drinking alcohol entirely.

Long-Term Effects of Binge Drinking

The long-term use of alcohol is known to lead to severe consequences. This is especially true for individuals who routinely binge drink alcohol over a long period of time. Individuals who have been abusing alcohol over a long period of time may experience the following long-term effects of alcohol on the brain and body, including:

  • Weakened heart muscle.
  • Irregular heartbeat.
  • Hypertension.
  • Alcoholic hepatitis.
  • Cirrhosis.
  • Liver cancer.
  • Chronic pancreatitis.
  • Weakened immune system.
  • Memory and learning impairments.
  • Mood changes.
  • Increased risk of cancers of the mouth, esophagus, throat, and breasts.

In addition, the long-term abuse of alcohol can lead to the development of an addiction to alcohol. Unfortunately, the younger a person is when they begin to drink, the higher the risk of continuing to have drinking problems in the future and developing a dependence on alcohol.

Tips to Help You Quit Binge Drinking

People binge drink for a variety of reasons. As a result, each individual must find a strategy that works for them when attempting to quit 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, it is vital that you remove yourself from people, places, or things related to your 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 withdrawal symptoms. For example, one dangerous withdrawal symptom associated with alcohol addiction is known as delirium tremens, which can include seizures, visual hallucinations, confusion, and possibly death. Due to this, it is vital that you seek a professional alcohol detox program in order to have a safe and comfortable recovery experience.
  • Find Healthy Coping Mechanisms- Oftentimes, binge drinkers find that alcohol allows them to cope with negative feelings, such as stress, depression, anxiety, and boredom. 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, sports, hobbies, and connecting with others.

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.