10 Reasons Why Binge Drinking Is Harmful To Your Health

10 Reasons Why Binge Drinking Is Harmful To Your Health
08/02/2020

A tequila-fuelled night of partying every once in a while may seem like a good idea at the time, but even one night of binge drinking can have harmful effects on your body. Drinking too much alcohol in one session, or in a short space of time like over a long weekend can cause acute inflammation of the pancreas, stomach, and liver.

The long-term effects can be even worse and not all the effects of binge drinking are immediately obvious. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why binge drinking can be harmful to your health, and why you shouldn’t let a casual binge drinking tendency become a habit.

What is binge drinking?

Firstly, what is binge drinking? Binge drinking is classified as drinking more than five standard drinks within two hours for men and more than four standard drinks within two hours for women.

 According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 47% of Australians aged 18-24 drink more than 4 standard drinks on a single occasion at least once a month and 18% drank more than 11 drinks on a single occasion at least monthly. Older Australians were still consuming harmful quantities of alcohol but were simply consuming less alcoholic drinks over a longer period of days as opposed to binge drinking.

 Not all binge drinkers are alcohol dependent, but it is important to know the signs of alcoholism to understand if a regular habit of drinking too much has transformed into full-scale alcohol addiction.

 So, what are some of the reasons binge drinking is harmful to our health?

Accidents and injuries

When binge drinking, drinkers not only have poor coordination, but they exhibit extremely poor judgement and functioning. This can lead to fatal accidents and injuries, especially when an extremely intoxicated person decides to drive, swim, operate machinery, get in a physical fight or do anything else which requires careful use of judgement. Even something as innocuous as crossing the road can be dangerous when someone has a problem with binge drinking.

To make matters worse, getting injured while drinking can lead to complications; a life-saving operation may need to be delayed while alcohol is still in the body, and a person’s immune system is weakened and much more prone to infection.

  1. Accidents and injuries

When binge drinking, drinkers not only have poor coordination, but they exhibit extremely poor judgement and functioning. This can lead to fatal accidents and injuries, especially when an extremely intoxicated person decides to drive, swim, operate machinery, get in a physical fight or do anything else which requires careful use of judgement. Even something as innocuous as crossing the road can be dangerous when someone has a problem with binge drinking.

To make matters worse, getting injured while drinking can lead to complications; a life-saving operation may need to be delayed while alcohol is still in the body, and a person’s immune system is weakened and much more prone to infection.

  1. Alcohol poisoning

Binge drinking can lead to death or permanent brain damage by alcohol poisoning. Symptoms include loss of consciousness, trouble breathing, slow heart rate and loss of gag reflex, which can lead to choking if the person vomits while intoxicated.

  1. Unplanned pregnancies or STIs

Binge drinking can seriously impair an individual’s ability to make smart decisions, which can mean poor choices when it comes to sexual encounters. This can lead to unplanned pregnancies and even lifelong sexually-transmitted infections.

  1. Liver disease

Heavy, long-term alcohol use can lead to alcoholic liver disease, including inflammation of the liver and cirrhosis.

  1. Increased risk of cancers

Over a long period of time, heavy alcohol use can increase the risk of many different types of cancer, such as cancer of the liver, mouth, throat, voice box, oesophagus, colon, and rectum. An increase of just a few drinks per week can increase the risk of breast cancer.

  1. Impact on mental health

Aside from the physical impacts, long-term heavy drinking can also have a negative impact on a person’s mental health. Heavy drinkers are at a higher risk of developing depression, anxiety, and psychosis.

  1. Increased risk of heart attack

Binge drinking also has an impact on cardiovascular health. Heavy drinking puts pressure on the heart, leading to an increased risk of heart attack, high blood pressure, and an irregular heartbeat.

  1. Increased risk of stroke or Dementia

Heavy drinking has an impact on the brain and nervous system, too. Aside from impaired balance and coordination, long-term alcohol use can increase the risk of stroke and the development of Dementia.

  1. Violence including homicide, suicide and domestic violence

Binge drinking can lead to violent episodes, including homicide, suicide and domestic violence. Many violent cases involve alcohol in some capacity.

  1. Alcohol dependence

While binge drinking is bad for our health in and of itself, it can also lead to more serious issues. Binge drinking encourages the development of poor drinking habits. Alcohol dependence starts to occur when people use drinking as a coping mechanism to deal with issues they may be facing. The successful avoidance of issues through frequent binge drinking can lead to alcohol dependence.

It’s important to understand the signs of problem drinking early on, so you can recognise when you or someone you love may need to seek help.

To read more about alcohol dependence, click hereor if you are already concerned that you or someone you know may have an addiction to alcohol, contact us today to discover our treatment options.

Emanuele Latino

Program Director & Psychologist

Emanuele Latino

Emanuele has a compassionate approach to clients’ struggles, in order to promote awareness and initiate together with the transformative process. His treatment approaches range from Gestalt, Emotionally Focused Therapy, Dialectical and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, EMDR, ACT, Neuropsychotherapy, Sensorymotor Psychotherapy and Cape Cod Model for Couple Therapy.

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