Tag Archives: binge drinking

never drinking again

Another Sunday of “Never Drinking Again?”

Spending Another Saturday or Sunday Hungover? Weekend Binge-Drinking Is a Serious Issue

“Ugh, I feel awful. I’m never drinking again.”

How many times have you mumbled something similar after waking up with a hangover? You have good intentions when you claim you’re never going to drink again, so you believe your declaration of sobriety. Unfortunately, you find yourself dealing with the hangover/hungover cycle again next weekend…and the weekend after that.

It doesn’t have to be like this. You can break your weekend binge-drinking habit with help from supportive, compassionate people who understand your situation.

(Continued after video…)

What is binge drinking?

Binge drinking refers to heavy drinking that quickly raises a man or woman’s blood-alcohol content (BAC) to a percentage of 0.08 grams or higher. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this usually occurs when a woman has more than 4 alcoholic beverages or a man has more than 5 alcoholic drinks in a 2-hour period.

Binge drinking is common at parties, bars, and events centered around alcohol. Some adults mindlessly consume multiple drinks as they socialize, dance, or snack on appetizers. Other folks intentionally down alcoholic beverages during drinking games, such as beer pong or Quarters.

Does binge drinking each weekend make me an alcoholic?

Not all binge drinkers are alcoholics. The CDC states that approximately 90% of heavy drinkers do not have an alcohol use disorder. (Alcoholism is an example of an alcohol use disorder.) However, that does leave approximately 10% of heavy drinkers that DO have an alcohol use disorder.

Why is binge drinking bad?

There are numerous risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption, including:

  • Vehicular crashes
  • Abnormal and/or inappropriate behavior
  • Injuries
  • Alcohol poisoning

Drinking heavily may lower your inhibitions, making you more likely to engage in activities you would normally avoid. Some potential side effects of excessive drinking, such as liver damage and memory issues, may not appear immediately.

Can a teen have a binge-drinking problem?

Binge drinking affects people of all ages, including teens and preteens. One out of every 5 drinkers are under the age of 21, and 13% of underage drinkers admit they have had recent episodes of binge drinking.

What should I do if someone I love is a weekend binge drinker?

It’s difficult to watch a loved one battle hangovers or other unwanted side effects caused by binge drinking. If you’re concerned about a loved one’s drinking, don’t lecture her or criticize her actions. Invite her to attend alcohol-free events with you, and let her know that you’re happy to lend an ear if she ever wants to talk about her drinking. Don’t press the issue; you don’t want to push your loved one away.

How do I know if I’m drinking too much?

Ask trusted friends or family members how they feel about your drinking, but keep in mind that some loved ones may sugarcoat potential issues to avoid conflict. Make a list of how your drinking affects your life. It may help to track what, how much, and when you drink on a calendar.

After tracking your alcohol consumption, do you notice a pattern of hangovers, fights with your significant other, or missed shifts at work? These are all signs that your weekend drinking habits are impacting your life in a negative way.

If I have a problem with binge drinking, does that mean I have to give up drinking forever?

This is a common concern that people who consider giving up alcohol completely. It’s difficult to imagine an alcohol-free life, especially if your social outings or business meetings frequently involve alcoholic beverages or if those around you would not be willing to cut out alcohol during gatherings.

Some binge drinkers become dependent on alcohol, so they decide it’s best to adopt a sober lifestyle. There are also people who successfully modify their drinking habits without permanently giving up alcohol. An alcohol abuse specialist can help you decide if you should limit or eliminate alcohol consumption.

You can have fun without alcohol, but adjusting to sobriety takes time. If you decide to quit drinking, make sure you surround yourself with encouraging people who support your path toward sobriety. You deserve a happy, healthy and rewarding life.

happy life not hungover

Sober Dorms Provide Support for College Students in Recovery

The college years are a time when young people are exploring and finding out who they are, in addition to furthering their education. For many of them, this process includes spending time partying with friends and making decisions about drinking and using drugs.

The results of a 2016 report compiled by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) found that 1.2 million full-time college students consume alcohol. The same report also revealed that more than 700,000 students smoke marijuana on a typical day.

Binge Drinking Common on College Campuses

Binge drinking (defined as consuming five or more drinks in two hours for men and more drinks in two hours for women) is a common occurrence on college campuses, according to figures released by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Students who arrive on campus can expect that there will be a certain level of drinking and drug use going on. For young people with a history of substance abuse or addiction, this level of exposure may not be helpful for them.

Significant Percentage of College Students Have History of Substance Abuse

According to Lisa Laitman, the director of Alcohol & Other Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) at Rutgers University, up to 30 percent of college students have a history of substance use disorders. Research has also shown that substance abuse rates are higher for college students than for peers of the same age who are not enrolled in classes.

More Collegiate Recovery Programs Now Include Sober Dorms

Colleges are responding by offering “collegiate recovery programs” (CRPs) to provide help to students stay sober and stay enrolled in school. These programs include:

• Mental health counseling
• Substance abuse counseling
• Peer-to-peer support
• Recovery support group meetings
• Sober social activities and programs

A number of programs include sober dorms where no drugs or alcohol are permitted. These are environments where students support each other’s sobriety.

Transforming Youth Recovery, a non-profit organization, says the number of CRPs has grown from 35 to over 150 over the past five years. Approximately 50 have sober living residences for students.

In the wake of the biggest overdose epidemic in American history, it would be great to see every college and university campus to start creating sober dorms in recognition and support for the students who need ongoing help.

Study Examines the High Rate of Alcohol Use and Binge Drinking

binge drinking Researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) have released a study that shows that adults in the United States are consuming far more alcohol than is considered safe. In fact, the study states that almost 32 million people over the age of 18 consume more alcohol than the already dangerous limits of binge drinking. Binge drinking occurs when a male consumes more than five drinks, and a female consumes more than four drinks. New data shows that millions of people are drinking twice these numbers and it is having an impact on their bodies and society.

“Drinking at such high levels can suppress areas of the brain that control basic life-support functions such as breathing and heart rate, thereby increasing one’s risk of death. The risk increases further is other sedative drugs, particularly opioids or benzodiazepines are added to the mix,” said Aaron White, one of the authors of the study. Additionally, people who binge drink are more likely to engage in risky decision-making, violence and even suicide. The side was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

And this amount of drinking is not only affecting people’s personally, but society as well. In fact, the toll that alcohol-related deaths, accidents, crime, and sickness take on the community can be in the billions.

Despite these dangers, many people are still turning to excessive amounts of alcohol. The study showed that 7 percent of participants reported consuming 15 or more drinks in one sitting. Further investigation showed that the amount of people consuming this much alcohol has risen since the last study, which was conducted in 2002. So, researchers can see that more adults are participating in dangerous levels of alcohol consumption, but it is unclear why this is occurring.

In addition to more education and prevention efforts, we must provide more successful alcohol treatment programs to assist those in need. If you have a loved one battling an alcohol problem such as binge drinking or daily dependency, contact us today to find out more about our rehab center.

Alcohol Consumption Continues to Increase for Older Women

Alcohol Consumption WomenBinge drinking is a phenomenon most often seen among college students and younger adults. It is usually classified as having 5 or more drinks in a single setting for men, and 4 or more drinks for women. It is extremely dangerous as it increases the chances of alcohol poisoning and risky decision making, which can have a very wide array of consequences, including death.

Now a new study suggests that older women are increasingly participating in binge drinking behavior and are now at a greater risk of developing a dependence on alcohol and suffering from alcohol-related disorders.

Researchers at the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) looked at data collected between 1997 and 2014. They found that men consumed alcohol at much the same rate throughout these seven years. However, the amount of alcohol consumed by women increased roughly 4% each year. They also found that older women were more likely to increase their alcohol consumption.

This is especially troubling because of the health risks associated with excessive alcohol use among women. “We know that, overall, women are more sensitive to the negative health consequences of alcohol than men. These consequences include liver disease, high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease and cognitive impairment – serious problems – and addiction to alcohol is possible as well,” commented Dr. J.C. Garbutt, medical director of the University of North Carolina Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program.

While there isn’t a reason that has been given for this increased consumption by older women, it uncovers a hole in alcoholism prevention that shows additional populations that need to be reached. There should be no end to the help for substance abusers, from prevention and intervention to treatment and aftercare support. This study shows that we cannot assume that it is only younger people who have binge drinking problems.

If you are wondering if you have a drinking problem, make a confidential call to speak with a counselor at Desert Cove Recovery today.

Research Observes Increased Binge Drinking in the U.S.

ajphdrinkA recent study that appears in the American Journal of Public Health examined rates of alcohol consumption in every county throughout the United States. The study was conducted by researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. They found rates for binge drinking and heavy drinking to vary widely through different parts of the country, and observed an increase in binge drinking in recent years.

There are several health and social implications related to binge drinking, such as the potential for alcohol poisoning, domestic violence, assault, risky sexual behavior, driving under the influence and other behaviors. Interestingly, women are binge drinking at increasing rates. Some experts believe this may be because many women have busier schedules with full-time jobs, taking care of children and other family responsibilities, which combine to create a more stressful environment.

This means that when they do drink they tend to binge during their short windows of times allotted for socialization. “It has a lot to do with perception. It’s acceptable for the PTA mom to go and drink in a bar, it’s not so much with heroin,” commented Dani Kushla, the operator of an alcohol treatment facility.

While men still binge drink more than women overall, it does appear that the gap between the sexes is closing. This surprised researchers, as traditionally women have abused alcohol far less than men. An ongoing problem in the U.S. is the amount of binge drinking that occurs on college campuses. Forming poor alcohol habits at a young age is dangerous because it is more likely that they will continue those habits after they are finished with school as well.

Researchers also included in their report that people who engage in binge drinking are more likely to have blood pressure problems, a lower life expectancy rate, heart disease and liver problems as a result of excessive alcohol consumption.

CDC Tallies Alcohol Poisoning Deaths in the U.S.

cdcvsalcapdAccording to U.S. federal health authorities, an average of six Americans die from alcohol poisoning each day. Middle-aged, white males have the highest mortality rates.

The CDC found that an average of 2,221 people died of alcohol poisoning annually between 2010 and 2012. Three-quarters of the deaths occurred among 35- to 64-year-olds, the report found, and about three-quarters were men. Men aged 45 to 54 had the highest death rate.

This is the first study in a decade to tally alcohol poisonings for the entire American population. Most previous studies reviewed certain groups, specifically young people.

“Most previous studies have looked at college kids and young people, but the problem is bigger than that,” said Dr. Robert Brewer, who heads the alcohol program at the C.D.C. “It was surprising that the number of deaths was so concentrated among middle-age adults.”

Native Americans and Native Alaskans had the highest rate of deaths from alcohol poisoning, with 49 deaths per one million people. This is far above the approximately nine deaths per one million people that is the average for the country. The bulk of deaths, 67 percent, were among non-Hispanic whites.

The lowest death rate was in Alabama, followed by Texas, Illinois and Virginia. States with the highest death rates were mostly in the Great Plains and the West, but also included two states in New England, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Blood-alcohol levels rise sharply when large amounts of alcohol are consumed in a short period of time. Sharply rising blood-alcohol levels overwhelm the body’s ability to respond. Excessive alcohol intake can shut down parts of the brain that control breathing, body temperature and heart rate, causing death.

Such deaths are typically the result of binge drinking at high intensity, the report said. About 38 million adults report binge drinking an average of four times a month, according to the report, but the vast majority of binge drinkers — about 90 percent — are not alcoholics.

Binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks in one “occasion” for women, and five or more drinks for men. Alcohol dependence was a contributing cause in just one-third of the deaths, the report found.