Interesting facts about binge drinking that you may find awkward
Binge drinking is simple really as a definition so here goes:
You drink lots in one go!
I could phrase it slightly differently so if you are off your face and you do it one night only. There you go!
However, the one night becomes two and three and then before you know it its not binge drinking its a regular occurrence.
Let’s go further, you end up being drunk and your blood alcohol level is way over what it should be and you are at risk of doing more harm than good even if you don’t drink the other nights of the week!
This is a big trend amongst men, less so women and it has been known especially to be prevalent in the younger demographic.
It’s the so called “party zone” so easy to get into if you are not careful.
For the older generation it is often used as an excuse for not drinking the other days of the week, so it’s justified as being OK. The reality is anything that is touching over the advised weekly amount in one night could be called a binge drinking session!
Like anything “binge drinking” is not as simple as the name as it has many aspects to it so let’s explore some.
Binge Drinking Is Harmful Like Driving (when you should not).
The more we drink the more bizarre things we do and that includes picking up our car keys when clearly we are not in a good place to drive and it would be illegal anyway. Killing yourself and others through driving is never a good idea. I
Impaired thoughts and judgments lead to accidents, either with a car or by some other means.
If you’re prone to binge drinking make sure someone has the authority regardless to take the keys off you, it can save your life and others!
Assault and domestic violence increases.
We have all seen it in the pub or bar. Mr and Mrs Timid suddenly turn into the angry couple picking arguments left right and center. One you look and you can be the center of attention and not in a good way.
It has happened to me to be honest with complete strangers.
It’s those dreaded words when you are minding your own business and you hear “what you looking at?”
I often take the Derren Brown ( master mentalist ) approach to this so I talk such nonsense that they end up thinking you are not right in the head and move on. I once just started to cry and it worked a dream. 🙂
It’s what is known as a pattern interrupt.
The brain gets so confused even with the person starting the aggression who may be drunk!
You get more sex but not in a good way.
I think some people call it “binge drinking sex” where you get so drunk really quickly that you just end up in bed and then wonder how you got there. Sexually transmitted diseases and the unexpected pregnancy can often result.
You may put it down to a good time the choice is yours but it does come with consequences as a rule!
We know from medics that if you go on regular binge drinking sessions sex is just one of the issues so add in:
- Liver disease ( trust me you don’t want that) 🙁
- Heart disease,
- Brain fog as alcohol can kill off our brain cells
- It can lead to performance issues in the bedroom even if you get into bed
- Complications can lead to a mild or serious stroke
- People with diabetes could put themselves at risk
Are Binge Drinkers Alcoholics?
Well yes and no it depends on how you define it as you can get a binge drinker who can get into more bad situations than an alcoholic. It’s all an about the labels really.
Labels are not healthy when it comes to drinking or any kind of change to be honest.
If you say you had a good binge session people laugh, if you say you are an alcoholic people judge you.
It’s a funny frame of reference when you think about it and what is a dependency anyway? A chocolate eater who binges gets lots of sympathy while an excessive wine drinker gets none whatsoever.
Except of course with a lot of wine drinkers together where its fine and expected.
If you have been binge drinking, then you could stop but what if you don’t and the binge drinking becomes a habit. Remember binge drinking can lead to a more serious issues both health and otherwise but binge drinking in itself is harmful.
The brain likes shortcuts so if we do stuff over and over again it takes it as read that we can speed up the time it takes to do it. In other words it has become the norm.
Believe it or not it is the same process we go through to learn a bike when we are a kid.
The most important thing is that you reduce you alcoholic intake even outside the binge moments. You social circle are key as it has been shown that pressure can lead to excessive drinking as can stress.
Have a think about what leisure activities can be done without the focus on drinking.
One of the best devices for reducing our alcohol intake other than help outside is keeping a diary of what you drink.
Just getting it out in written form can really make you think! Its like goals, write them down otherwise they are just thoughts!
How is binge drinking officially measured In the UK?
Can you believe there is a system for working out for a single binge drinking moment? I found it actually quite amusing if it was not so scary.
Now we know that alcohol can affect us all differently because of our body make-up and this includes gender.
So we are looking ( by the way this is not a goal to aim for ) 8 units of alcohol so a standard drink measure in one session for men. For females 6 units of alcohol in a single session for females.
Now there are loads of examples around what that means but if you think one drink = one unit you won’t go far wrong. However, there is a but here, this does not mean a large glass or high strength beer. Just be sensible, it means a regular standard drink.
Of course this can change with body type, weight, other soft drinks that you may have had and whether you have eaten.
However, your liver ( I have just been for my regular scan while I write this ) takes around 1 hour to process 1 unit of alcohol per hour and there is nothing anyone can do to change that.
Our blood alcohol level and how it affects us of course can change depending on the person.
But overdosing, accidents, memory loss and low mood are all cited as the effects of binge drinking so it seems crazy we would not balance out any drinking across a year.
Go without and feel bad about it!
So that brings me nicely onto that month that we hear about so much from our friends on social media. Dry January where you give up alcohol for a whole month and tell the world about it and the pain you are going through.
The pain on social media is very public including strange expressions of grief.
Why is a dry January a curse?
Many of the people who message me on the blog say that they hate dry January not because they have to go a whole month without drinking but because you end up having a big binge drinking session at the end of it.
“Right lets make up for January” is the often too frequent call on the 1st February. It is not unknown for people to go the whole month feeling awful about not drinking and then feel awful the full month of February because they have a hangover.
Given that binge drinking can be dangerous why put yourself through it and be miserable two months of the year. You can gradually spread your drink reduction across a year.
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Can you binge drink on alcoholic free drinks?
Yes is the answer you can actually binge on TV, chocolate, food, dangerous sports so yes you can binge on alcohol free drinks. The difference is you don’t have all that alcohol going into your system.
Alcohol can affect otherwise healthy organs and of course your mental health.
However, you also don’t wanna be a binge addict on sugar either! So always check the label as they say. To be fair alcohol free wines, gins and wines have lower alcohol volume than their counterparts and therefore fewer calories!
I talk about alcohol free wine and calories here
If you choose to you adopt an alcohol free lifestyle like you can use alcohol free drinks especially if they have an abv of 0.0%. That’s no alcohol to you and me.
After my liver illness I have successfully built them into my lifestyle.
I would love to hear from you!
What is your experience of binge drinking and have you used it following a month of refraining? Or do you find you can spread your drinking patterns across the week? If you have reduced your alcohol rate of drinking I would love to know how you did, what worked and share.
I always love reading your comments and I always respond.