Binge drinking has become increasingly common among college aged adults in recent years. The practice involves drinking with the goal of getting as intoxicated as possible. For men, this means having five or more consecutive drinks and for women it's having four or more drinks in a row.
As a result, an individual becomes extremely intoxicated with blood alcohol levels much higher than the legal limit.
You can imagine what kind of dangerous consequences binge drinking brings, especially when it becomes a popular practice among certain groups of young adults. Binge drinking causes an array of side effects, including dizziness, lack of coordination, impaired judgement, blackouts, vomiting, dehydration, and diarrhea.
It's not uncommon for the practice of binge drinking to be linked to sudden death, whether it be from alcohol poisoning, drunk driving, or a blocked airway caused by excessive vomiting.
How binge drinking puts young adults at risk.
Binge drinking is one of the top causes of accidental injuries. These injuries include car accidents and crashes, falls, burns, accidental drowning, and freezing. Other things likely to occur after a bout of binge drinking include injuring or killing another person or oneself, child abuse, domestic violence, rape and sexual assault, heart attack, and contracting an STD among others. High amounts of alcohol in itself can cause death.
Because drinking affects the central nervous system, it causes side effects such as slowed breathing and heart rate. The gag reflex of a person is also affected by drinking in large amounts. This greatly increases the risk of choking on one's own vomit after passing out from the alcohol.
Even if you stop drinking long enough to pass out, your blood alcohol levels continue to rise. Observing symptoms such as extreme confusion, vomiting, paleness, blacking out, and seizures in an individual means they have probably been binge drinking.
How binge drinking can lead to alcoholism.
People who regularly engage in binge drinking are much more likely to develop a drinking problem later on. When an individual begins drinking despite being in a potentially dangerous situation, such as driving a car or operating machinery, they have begun crossing the boundary between recreational drinking and having an alcohol dependency. Other signs that a person has begun abusing alcohol include:
-Falling behind or failing to follow through with major life responsibilities such as school, a career, or family because of drinking.
-Being arrested or hurting someone else as a result of drinking, and then continuing to drink anyway.
-A physical and mental craving that can only be satisfied by increasing amounts of alcohol.
-Building a high tolerance for alcohol that leads to consuming larger amounts.
-Regular blackouts, or often finding that you're not being aware of your actions while drinking.
-Experiencing conflicts with the people close to you, such as friends, family members, and co workers, because of your drinking.
-Continuing to drink even as conflicts with others are escalating.
-Drinking alone or attempting to hide drinking habits from others.
-Pressuring others or trying to manipulate others into drinking with you.
Someone who exhibits several of these signs needs to get help. A person with a drinking problem often doesn't have the willpower to stop on their own.
They could have a genetic disposition toward addiction or have developed a problem because of peers and exposure to alcohol. Either way they will need to first admit they have a problem before being able to take any further steps toward sobriety.