We’ve all been there – promising to have just one drink at a family get-together or just a single cocktail after a hard day at work. Finding a reason to enjoy a celebratory alcoholic beverage is not hard to do in today’s society.
From holidays to birthdays to spontaneous moments of celebration, consuming alcohol has become an engrained part of plenty of occasions and laid-back moments. While occasional drinks for most individuals are not a big deal, for someone living with the disease of addiction, that one drink can quickly spiral out of control, leading to instances of dangerous binge drinking and worse.
Most people think, “It’s legal, so what’s the big deal with indulging every now and then?” and while it is true that alcohol is a legal substance, it is also the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
Understanding the dangers of binge drinking and how it can seriously put your life at risk is important to avoiding the practice and keeping yourself safe and sober.
What is Binge Drinking?
Binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks for men and four plus drinks for women within a two-hour period.
A recent study by the Center for Disease Control found that one in six U.S. adults reported recently binge drinking. Those 37 million binge drinkers had about one binge per week and consumed an average of seven drinks per episode, coming out to 17 billion total binge drinks for the year.
Any way you look at those numbers, the amount of binge drinking taking place in the U.S. is extremely concerning.
Why is Binge Drinking Dangerous?
There are a number of concerning physical issues directly tied to binge drinking. Binge drinking not only deteriorates the way the body works, but it can also put you in a position where you find yourself in the hospital or potentially worse.
Some of the more concerning physical issues that binge drinking can inflict include:
• Liver disease – This is a result of overconsuming alcohol that damages the liver, leading to a buildup of fats, inflammation and scarring. In severe cases, this can be fatal.
• Pancreatitis – This is a long-term progressive inflammatory disease of the pancreas that leads to permanent breakdown of the structure and function of the pancreas.
• Cancer – Chronic alcohol consumption can increase the risk of developing different cancers, including cancers of the mouth, esophagus, larynx, stomach, liver, colon, rectum and breast. Both acetaldehyde and the alcohol itself contribute to the heightened risk.
While the mentioned physical issues relay the long-term effects associated with binge drinking, the short-term consequences can be just as serious.
It’s estimated that about half of all alcohol-related deaths in the United States are the result of acute intoxication or binge drinking. Additionally, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to death from alcohol poisoning or by depressing the bodies gag reflex, putting a person who passes out at risk for choking on their own vomit.
Here’s How to Stop Binge Drinking for Good
Admitting you have a problem: First and foremost, you have to admit that a problem exists. Once you are able to face that fact, the real progress can begin, and you can start making strides toward a healthier lifestyle and sober state of mind.
Finding a qualifier treatment provider: Next, it is important to contact trained clinical professionals who can help you identify the severity of your alcohol use disorder and the most appropriate therapeutic approach to healing your mind, body and spirit. There is no quick fix to overcoming an alcohol addiction, so finding a clinically qualified treatment facility is imperative to beginning your recovery journey appropriately.
Avoiding unhealthy peer influences: After you’ve identified a proper treatment program, the next step is distancing yourself from people and places that encourage your unhealthy drinking habits and addictive behaviors. Peer pressure can cause anyone to drink when they otherwise wouldn’t, so avoiding those pressures and unnecessary temptations is key to maintaining your progress toward sustained sobriety.
Creating a healthier lifestyle: Finally, establishing healthier personal behavioral patterns and routines is essential to not only supporting all the progress you make in treatment, but also maintaining that progress when temptation arises. Increased physical activity, increased mindfulness training, improved nutritional habits and building a strong sober support network are potential lifestyle changes that can be implemented during treatment and used to avoid setbacks in your sobriety.
However you cut it, binge drinking and alcohol addiction are extremely dangerous behavioral patterns. From the physical toll excessive alcohol consumption can inflict on the body and the long-term impact that addiction can have on your life, finding help as soon as possible is essential to taking back control of your life and overcoming the dangers of addiction.
Making the decision to enter into therapy and begin your recovery journey is no small victory. It is quite possibly the most important decision you will ever make, and one that requires your total commitment in order to successfully complete.
Holistic Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery
At Ranch Creek Recovery, you can quit your alcohol addiction, reclaim control over your health and
body, and prepare to forge a sober, thriving life.
As a non-12-step rehab and holistic treatment center, a large component of our treatment program is
rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy and holistic, experiential addiction treatment. Our team of
treatment experts will work one-on-one with you to create a custom treatment plan that can meet you right where you’re at and help you achieve your desired goal.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about our individualized alcohol addiction treatment program.