Ask any of the nation’s leading alcohol addiction counsellors on Harley Street and they will undoubtedly tell you the same. As far as binge drinking is concerned, the culture we have developed here in the United Kingdom is completely out of control. In fact, it’s so bad that Great Britain has earned a global reputation for the kinds of binge drinking habits that are not only irresponsible, but are downright dangerous.
The simple fact of the matter is that official recommended alcohol intake guidelines are published for a reason. And while it’s hardly a secret that these guidelines are flouted to a certain extent by most, it’s become abundantly clear over recent years that millions have no idea how dangerous their own drinking habits really are. It’s a case of quite horrific damage being done behind the scenes, which for the time being may be out of sight and out of mind. When your luck runs out, however, the true dangers of binge drinking become quite terrifyingly apparent.
What is binge drinking?
In terms of what actually constitutes binge drinking, the official definition states it to be drinking specifically for the purposes of getting drunk, or drinking excessive amount of alcohol in a short space of time. In some instances, binge drinkers set out with the sole intention of getting as drunk as possible as quickly as possible. In others, it isn’t in fact intentional at all, but rather those concerned have one or two drinks and then find themselves compelled to keep drinking rapidly and excessively until they literally cannot drink anymore.
Given the fact that everyone is different in terms of their own tolerance to alcohol, it is difficult to specify exactly how many drinks a person needs to drink in a specific period of time, in order for it to qualify as binge drinking. Nevertheless, it is usually safe to say that when more than eight units of alcohol are consumed during a single session, this constitutes taking things far beyond safe recommended guidelines.
The dangers of binge drinking
One of the problems with binge drinking is the way in which so many people believe that if they abstain throughout the week and then go completely over the top of the weekend, this is fine. After all, they haven’t touched a drop during the week, therefore they can’t be doing as much harm as those who drink moderately every day.
In reality however, binge drinking has the potential to be just as or even more dangerous than regular drinking at a more moderate level. The reason being that the human body is only able to process one unit of alcohol per hour. Which in turn means that if you load it with vast quantities of alcohol during a relatively short period, you take in far more alcohol than your body can process. The level of alcohol in your bloodstream continually increases, meaning there is a much higher likelihood of reaching dangerous toxicity levels.
And even if you don’t consume enough alcohol to poison yourself, you will find yourself getting much drunker much faster – often to a level where you will entirely lose control. While drinking heavily is not recommended at the best of times, the benefit of drinking slowly is the fact that you are able to take full control of how intoxicated you get, feeling the effects of every drink you consume before you consume another. In the case of binge drinking, it is common to down vast quantities of alcohol, before even giving the previous drink time to register.
If you believe yourself to be a binge drinker and would like to make changes to your lifestyle, it doesn’t need to be nearly as difficult as you may think. In fact, it could simply be a case of removing yourself (temporarily at least) from the temptation to binge drink. It can also be helpful to space each alcoholic drink you consume with a non-alcoholic drink. Along with reducing the amount of alcohol you consume, you will also be physically fuller and unable to drink to excess. Speaking of which, ensuring you eat plenty before you go out and ideally eat something else during the evening can have the same effect.
Last but not least, if you are genuinely concerned about your binge drinking habits and would like to make a significant change for the sake of your own health and well-being, you need only get in touch with the professionals for an obligation-free chat.