Binge drinking is one of the most common patterns of excessive alcohol use. Unlike heavy drinking, which entails consuming a large amount of alcohol regularly over time, binge drinking is consuming high amounts of alcohol within two hours or less. There are many dangers of binge drinking, including the risk of developing alcohol abuse disorder.
A person is binging on alcohol if they take more than four and five drinks in two hours for women and men, respectively. While some binge drinkers do not have an alcohol addiction or alcohol abuse disorder, they can create a host of health and other problems.
If you or someone you love is battling an alcohol addiction, it’s vital to remember that you are not alone. At Kemah Palms Recovery®, we can provide the tools you need to recover from addiction. Contact us today by calling [Direct] to learn more about your treatment options.
Short-Term Dangers of Binge Drinking
The effects of consuming alcohol occur between 5 to 10 minutes after your first drink. The liver metabolizes 90 percent of the alcohol you consume, while the rest goes on to the lungs, kidneys, and sweat glands.
The average person’s liver can only metabolize one standard drink per hour. If you drink more, your blood alcohol content (BAC) starts to rise. BAC increase is determined by your body type, how fast you drink, and whether you have eaten recently.
The most significant short-term health risk of binge drinking is death from alcohol poisoning. Another danger is choking on your vomit when you’re passed out because alcohol depresses your gag reflex. Binge drinking may also cause acute (sudden) inflammation of your pancreas, liver, or stomach. Furthermore, it impairs your body’s self-healing function, making the irritation/inflammation even worse.
Other dangers of binge drinking include:
- Impaired judgment, which leads to accidents, drowning, suffocation, vomiting, and other dangers.
- Reckless behavior, such as driving under the influence or aggression, leading to injury of others
- Financial costs, because binge drinking can be an expensive habit
- Self-harming acts or suicide attempts can occur if you’re depressed
Additionally, if you have any chronic conditions or risk factors, such as heart disease, hypertension, or diabetes, binge drinking can cause sudden flare-ups. These flare-ups can lead to hospitalization or even death. Because alcohol is a diuretic, vomiting and frequent urination can lead to dehydration and affect your electrolyte balance.
Long-Term Dangers of Binge Drinking
Most short-term effects from a single night of partying and binge drinking may go, but some can forever change your life. For example, if you engaged in unsafe sex during binge drinking, you may contract an STI that takes years to treat or is incurable. As you binge drink more, you may also start experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms when sober.
More research continues into the long-term dangers of binge drinking. Alcohol addiction and abuse can lead to the development of the early stages of liver disease. The risk of developing alcohol abuse disorder increases with every episode of binge drinking.
Heavy alcohol use is linked to several cancers in the long-term:
- Mouth cancer
- Throat cancer
- Larynx cancer
- Esophagus cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Liver cancer
- Colon cancer
- Rectal cancer
Long-term heavy drinking can also cause alcoholic liver diseases like cirrhosis and liver inflammation. It can increase the risk of hypertension, heart attacks, and irregular heartbeats.
Do You Have an Alcohol Use Problem? Kemah Palms Can Help
If you or your loved one has a problem with heavy drinking or risking the dangers of binge drinking, the alcohol abuse program at Kemah Palms can help you. If you’re fighting addiction or need medical alcohol detoxification before getting into a rehab program, please reach out to us. Contact Kemah Palms today and start your journey towards taking control of your future.