Binge drinking is not a good idea either for your health or your emotional well-being.  If you binge drink, you are more likely to experience risk associated with health issues such as heart disease, kidney damage, high blood pressure, or developing alcohol dependence.  Binge drinking can also affect how well you sleep, decrease fertility in women, and cause stomach problems such as ulcers.  In terms of emotional well-being, binge drinking can cause depression, anxiety, memory loss, poor decision making, and addiction.

The reasons individuals might binge drink include just simply having fun, to loosen up and forget problems, testing tolerance (competitive drinking with peers), and rebelling.  Among young adults, 48.2% are binge drinkers.  Each year, 590,000 college students are injured while under the influence.  Communities, families, and the individual binge drinker, all suffer the consequences of binge drinking.  There are hours of productivity lost with binge drinking and risky behaviors that cost us all with this type of drinking.

Adolescents use alcohol at a high rate and research indicates that a young binge drinker increases the likelihood of developing an alcohol use disorder later in life.  The brain of an adolescent is still developing, and alcohol can have different effects on teenagers compared to older adults.  Prolonged alcohol use can affect brain function and potentially cause lifelong cognitive problems.  Adolescents who binge drink can also cause behavioral problems, alcohol dependency, and irreversible health conditions.

The short-term effects of binge drinking are costly to society as a whole.  Some of these effects include sexually transmitted diseases, injuries, assaults, pregnancies, blackouts, hangovers, and work and educational problems.  The long-term effects of binge drinking include anemia, nerve damage, pancreatitis, immune system suppression, declining mental function, and seizures.  Each binge drinking episode exacerbates the short and long-term effects of drinking.

If an individual binge drinks on a regular basis, this can be characteristic of an alcohol use disorder.  Alcohol use disorder includes mild, moderate, and severe cases of drinking behavior.  Binge drinking is included under the mild category due to the results of binge drinking, such as getting sick from drinking, injuries, and drinking for longer than intended.

If binge drinking has become a problem in your life or the life of someone you know, you can stop.  At Hired Power, we can help you with treatment, resources, and education that will put you on a path to recovery.  Call today (800) 910-9299.

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