It’s no secret that many excessively consume alcohol (regularly) here in the UK. In fact, 45% of British men engage in a binge drinking session at least once a month, whilst the number is 26% of women – topping the world list. The consumption of alcohol is an unavoidable part of our national identity, and due to this attitude, the dangers of binge drinking are ignored by many.

Quickly, binge drinking can lead to addiction – which has the potential to destroy someone’s life. To avoid needing serious rehabilitation from alcohol, you should know what is classed as binge drinking, the harm it can do and what can be done to curb your alcohol consumption.


What is Binge Drinking?

Hearing the term “binge drinking” may conjure up ideas of wild parties, lost weekends in Vegas and young people being daft. Binge drinking is not only a term for younger people. The definition of binge drinking, according to the NHS, is simply drinking heavily over a short period.

On a more technical level, it is classed as binge drinking if you exceed 6 units of alcohol if you are a woman or 8 if you are male. This means that if you go down to your local and have 3-4 pints or 3-4 glasses of wine regularly, then you are, technically speaking, the definition of a binge drinker.


What is the Difference Between Drinking and Binge Drinking?

Social and moderate drinkers tend to have one or two drinks more regularly and can stop when they want. Binge drinkers may not drink as often, but when they do, they drink a lot more in a shorter amount of time. In this case, binge drinking can be defined as “drinking to get drunk”, which is not the case for most normal drinkers.


What is the Difference Between Binge Drinking and Alcoholism?

Binge drinking does not mean that you are an alcoholic.

Whereas binge drinking is drinking a lot of alcohol in a shorter session, alcoholism is where a person drinks regularly to get drunk. Alcoholics may not drink out of pleasure but because they are physically and psychologically dependent on it to function. If you are an alcoholic, you drink despite the negative impact it is having on you and others around you.

Binge drinkers may not be likely to say ‘no’ deep into a session, but alcoholics are unable to say it – no matter what.


Common Signs of Binge Drinking

If you are concerned about your drinking habits or someone else’s, it’s important to know what to look out for. Before you know it, binge drinking can turn into something more serious.

If you frequently suffer from blackouts when drinking, this means you are drinking way past your tolerance. Binge drinking may also start getting in the way of your responsibilities – affecting your social and work life.

Another clear sign of binge drinking is that you set yourself a limit and then ignore it once you get going. Setting these limits and then pushing them aside points towards a problematic relationship with alcohol, which grows into something more serious.


What Are the Harms of Binge Drinking?

The harms of binge drinking are many, affecting you both in the short and long term.

Binge drinking can damage your heart – causing high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and cardiac arrest. In the long term, heavy drinking will damage most of your organs – especially your liver, increasing the risk of cancer and permanent damage.

You leave yourself at risk of neurological damage, declining mental function, alcoholism, lung infections and much more.

Alcohol can also damage your mental health, worsening depression and anxiety and may lead to you attempting suicide.


Tips to Stop Binge Drinking

Binge drinking might not require a visit to an alcohol rehab to improve your life. Small changes to your lifestyle can help curb your drinking without requiring professional help, leaving you in a better place.

Track Your Drinking

Keeping an eye on your drinking and going out of your way to record your consumption can be eye-opening. In black and white you can see how much you are drinking and what your triggers are. Make a note of what you were drinking, when, where, who you were with and how you were feeling. Through this, you’ll get a clearer picture of the patterns of your binge drinking and decide what needs to change for you to cut back.

Try New Things

Many people drink as an activity in itself – something to do when there is nothing else to do. Finding more productive ways to fill your time gives you less chance and temptation to drink. Exercise more, try a new hobby or get back into something you let fall by the wayside. What’s important is you find something that is enjoyable and puts drinking out of your mind.

Reach Out to Others

Feeling like you have a problem can be lonely. By reaching out to others, you can build a support network. People close to you can hold you accountable and offer support and guidance when it is getting hard.

Change Your Environment

Sometimes it is places and people that trigger binge drinking. Making a change to your social circle or places you go may seem ruthless, but it might be needed. Some changes may need to be permanent, but others can be more fluid – it’s about making the adjustments you are comfortable with.

Think About the Why

By deciding to change your lifestyle, you’re probably aware of the impact of binge drinking. To make a longer-term change, you might need to examine why you binge drink. To do this, you may need professional help as there could be deeper reasons, but it might be needed.


Get Help with Your Binge Drinking Today

Whilst binge drinking may not mean you are on the way to addiction, it certainly is not a healthy habit to get into. Binge drinking brings with it many physical and mental problems.

If you are worried about binge drinking, then we at Asana Lodge can help. We are a private drug and alcohol rehab, dedicated to providing professional addiction treatment to those that need it.

To get help today, call us at 01908 489 421.

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