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 –
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.