Many people associate problematic drinking with not being able to get through the day without a drink, but drinking a large amount of alcohol in a short space of time can be equally as harmful.
Our bodies can only process a small amount of alcohol every hour, around one unit for most people. Consuming more, and quickly, can put your body under stress, causing short and long-term health issues, including alcohol poisoning.
Not only this but, when you are drunk, you are more vulnerable to accidents and other high-risk situations.
The NHS defines binge drinking as “drinking heavily over a short space of time” or, in other words, drinking to get drunk.
And the amount of alcohol you need to consume to be classed as binge drinking is less than you might think. For men, drinking over 8 units of alcohol in one session is classed as binge drinking, that’s 4 pints of beer, while for women, it’s around 6 units or 3 pints.
Signs that binge drinking may be becoming a problem include:
Binge drinking is associated with a number of health problems, including:
In extreme cases, binge drinking can stop your breathing or stop your heart.
Binge drinking puts you at high risk of alcohol poisoning, which is the leading cause of poisoning in England, particularly amongst young people.
When you drink alcohol, your liver has to work hard to filter it out of your blood. If you drink a lot of alcohol over a short space of time, your body doesn’t have time to process it all, leading to a high amount of alcohol in your bloodstream.
Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include:
In severe cases, alcohol poisoning can result in brain damage or even death.
To lower your risk while drinking, you should:
It’s also recommended to stick with your friends and make sure you know how you’re getting home, to avoid alcohol-induced risks.
If you’re worried that you are binge drinking regularly, you should seek help. Speak to your GP or a specialist treatment provider about your concerns.
At ANA, we work closely with our clients to help rebuild their lives, gain confidence and self-worth and believe that they can live a healthy, responsible, and productive life, free of addictive substances.
Contact ANA today, our friendly team is on hand and ready to help.