Binge Drinking

Simply put, binge drinking refers to drinking more than double the lower risk guidelines for alcohol in one session. Binge drinking or heavy episodic drinking is a modern epithet for drinking alcoholic beverages with the primary intention of becoming

5 Ways to Spot a Binge Drinker

 

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably aware of the ill effects of binge drinking. Always characterised by by failing health, crashing grades, breaking relationships which lead to a ruined life, binge drinking patterns have been widely studied and researched amongst the groups that are most prone to falling victim to it – The Young Adults.

In a recent study at the University of Alabama, Birmingham suggests one in four college student suffers from alcohol abuse related issues. This includes falling grades, bunking class, hangovers and a general tendency towards “missing-class-because-I-was-partying-all-night”. If this weren’t shocking enough, 1,824 students die from alcohol related injuries like drunk driving, over dosing and substance abuse. This approximates to a whopping 38 million American adults who binge drink four times every month. Some with the awareness of what they’re doing, but unfortunately, most people have no idea they are crossing the permissible health limits for consumption of alcohol. They don’t recognise binge drinking as a problem because it doesn’t happen every day. For instance, they may have just a glass of wine every evening (which is fine) but keep a full bottle for when the week ends (which clearly is harmful).

Here are 5 behaviours that indicate you’re pushing it way too much –

  1. You’ve started to do things you’d never let a best friend do.

Have you recently ripped off your tie after being seriously buzzed at an office get-together and suggested your boss and colleagues to take the party to a near-by club? Or, just said hey to an attractive stranger after downing six pints of beer and found yourself in their car or worse, in their bed a couple of hours later? Binge drinking means you have little or no control on the logic and reasoning centre of your brain which makes you do silly, or in some cases, dangerous things. Binge drinkers are always at a higher risk of catching STDs, becoming victims of drunk driving and often find themselves in violent situations.

  1. Your memories are getting faint.

You are four times more prone to having an alcohol related disorder if one or both of your parents were alcoholic. Alcohol gets absorbed in the blood stream and interferes with the brain centre that stores memories. Glutamate is an amino acid that is associated with memory recall, and alcohol directly interferes with it.

  1. You plan your work-week around drinking.

All of us love the days we have no work, but if every plan of yours revolves around alcohol every day and every weekend, then you need to pay attention to your habits. You may have been a hard worker but you’ve started being hungover for your morning meetings, or may be missing your gym class for a couple of Happy Hour drinks.

  1. You can’t seem to stop at one drink.

“One more round” is your favourite line at the bar. One problem binge drinkers face is to not be able to stop when they should. You may have set a strict limit to how much you want to drink on a certain night, but you end up having twice that amount. You obviously regret it the next morning, but by then you’ve already indulged in binge drinking once again.

  1. Your friends are worried about you.

A close friend may have hinted at your love for getting drunk a couple of times. You may have chosen to ignore it at first, but it may be a good idea to revisit their concern when you feel better. It is embarrassing, or even humiliating to be called a drunk, but close friends are able to identify changes in behaviour much faster than anyone else.

To minimise your risk of binge drinking, remember to have no more than 1 drink/ day (for women) and 2 drinks/day (for men). Also, try to spread out your consumption over all week. It’s never a good idea to ‘save up’ your drinks for the weekend. Always eat a full meal before drinking.

Cheers!

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Moderate Drinker Wins The Race

Drinking in moderation is a way of life that encourages an alcoholic or alcohol abuser to drink moderately so that they can live a healthier and fruitful life. Some people believe that moderate drinking is a myth and doesn’t bring any drastic results in one’s life; on the contrary, some say that it has changed their life for good. No one can really prove its effectiveness and it’s still an on-going debate. We did some research in our stride to unveil what’s really happening behind the curtains of moderate drinking.

 

Before taking a peek behind the curtain let’s talk about what moderate drinking really is and what amount of drinking could be counted as ‘moderate drinking’.

 

Moderate Drinking In A Beaker

According to NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism), moderate drinking could be defined as follows:

  • Up to 4 alcoholic drink in a single day for men and a maximum of 14 drinks in a week.
  • Up to 3 alcoholic drink in a single day for women and a maximum of 7 drinks in a week.

And as per the National Health Service (NHS) –

  • Men should not consume more than 30 to 40 ml of pure alcohol in a day.
  • Whereas women should not consume more than 20-30 ml of pure alcohol in a day.

 

Moderate Drinking – A Healthy Way Of Life

  • As per a report in “Journal Neuropsychiatric Disease And Treatment”, a study conducted that has over 365,000 participants since 1977 showed that those who drank moderately had 23% fewer chances of having Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia as alcohol stresses up the brain cells and make them tighten, enabling them to cope with these conditions.

 

  • According to studies done by “The School of Public Health at Harvard University” drinking in moderation could be linked to beneficial changes in better sensitivity of insulin that leads to better blood flow as it reduces the blood clots in the heart, brain and neck which reduces the chances of stroke in both men and women who doesn’t have a history of any cardiovascular condition.

 

  • World Health Day – Beat Diabetes has just passed by and it is a known fact that excess alcohol consumption could decrease blood sugar level and sometimes to dangerous levels, especially for people with type 1 diabetes. Although, as per a Dutch study drinking alcohol in moderation in healthy adults has shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

 

  • It has been discovered by “The Department of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University” that smoking could worsen the common cold whereas a moderate amount of alcohol consumption could be beneficial against common cold. Also, moderate consumption of red wine has shown 60% less chance of having common cold.

 

There are many such studies that have found other health benefits but most of these don’t have any scientific evidence of these health benefits. So, one can’t actually prove that moderate drinking is either good or bad.

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Short Term Alcohol Effects You Ought To Know

Cheating your brain to be happy when you are not can be an almost impossible task but alcohol makes it possible. What people don’t know is that alcohol is also a depressant that depresses the functioning of your central nervous system. So the state of happiness that you achieve is like a mirage in the desert, it isn’t real. Youngsters becoming alcoholics has become a trend these days and the number of teenagers dying because of alcoholism is also on the rise. The major brain disorder occurs in mostly in those who abuse alcohol.

Binge drinking is the first step towards becoming an alcoholic. It all comes down to the number of drinks consumed by an individual. If someone has been drinking for a short period of time the effects of the alcohol could be less lethal. The amount of alcohol consumed on a short period of time could cause the following psychological effects (This also depends on the gender and size of the person):

  • When your system is flushed with one to four drinks it will cause very mild effects on your brain.
    • You will start feeling stress free and will enter into a state of happiness.
    • Your mind will be distracted from the daily things happening in your life and you won’t be able to be attentive.
    • You will feel a little exhausted and find it difficult to move.
    • You will be able to converse more confidently and become more social.
    • Your skin will turn red because of the constant emotional rush in your body.

 

  • When you have consumed 5 or more drinks then you will start experiencing a few negative effects.
    • It will impact you memory and you will find it hard to remember the stuff that is happening.
    • You will find it difficult to judge or react on a situation and will be confused most of the time.
    • You will start feeling calm and drowsy and won’t be able to control your movements as if you are sedated.
    • If you are more than 10 drinks down then you will start having blurred and unclear vision and effects on other sensory organs.
    • You will have sudden mood swings and start feeling depressed or annoyed.
    • The sensory ability to feel pain will be decreased.
    • These will be followed by dizziness and puking with an unpleasant feeling.

 

  • When you have crossed the line and have consumed more than 10-12 drinks the effects can be life threatening.
  • Vomiting repetitively in an unconscious state which can also result in puking blood and can be life threatening.
  • Inability to walk properly and control your movements which cause an accident.
  • Difficulty in respiration and increased consumption of carbon dioxide can be very deadly as it can make your organs dysfunctional.
  • It can also leave you unconscious making you an easy target for stealing and robbery.
  • The slow heart rate can lead to heart failure.

Stress and misery are only there so that we can realize the importance of true happiness. There is no way to live a perfect life and no shortcuts to happiness. Cherish the good memories and ignore the pain and misery after all you only live once.

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