Although types of alcohol abuse problems may differ from person to person, with the appropriate help and support, they can be overcome. One of the most common and dangerous types of drinking is binge drinking. The term itself may bring to mind the image of college students drinking out of control at a party, but the number of drinks it takes to cross into "binge" territory may actually be less than you think. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this type of drinking is the most common one in the United States. Binge drinking doesn't just mean drinking a lot — there are specific factors that define it.
When gauging drinking levels, there are three factors that must be accounted for: the number of drinks consumed, the duration of time it took to consume them and the sex of the person consuming the alcohol. Due to biological differences, the threshold for binge drinking differs between men and women. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), one factor that determines whether an individual has reached the point of binge drinking is the amount of alcohol flowing through their blood, or blood alcohol concentration (abbreviated as BAC). When an individual reaches a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher, they have entered binge drinking territory.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) explains the distinction:
For women, binge drinking consists of consuming four drinks or more during a single occasion, which the NIAAA describes as within a two hour timeframe. For men, it's five drinks within two hours. As noted on the source's website, this type of drinking behavior can lead to a host of adverse health effects related to alcohol intoxication. These effects can range from slurred speech, impaired judgment and motor function to loss of balance due to impaired brain functioning. Additionally, an individual who consumes alcohol excessively over time may be at risk for diseases such as liver disease, stroke and certain cancers.
Not only can binge drinking lead to the problems outlined above, but if an individual consumes too much alcohol too quickly, they can end up with alcohol poisoning which may result in a coma, and in some cases, this type of drinking leads to death. In fact, the CDC reports that six people per day die each day due to alcohol poisoning resulting from binge drinking.
Although binge drinking is often prevalent among young adults, people of any age can be impacted by the effects of drinking excessive alcohol. If you think that you or someone you love may be struggling with binge drinking, it is essential to receive support and treatment. However, not all treatment centers will provide the same level and quality of care.
When researching alcohol treatment centers, you may be faced with a number of choices. After opening its doors in 1989, Fairwinds Treatment Center has offered clients a track record of proven success. Through the combination of traditional and dual-diagnosis methods, few other treatment centers match the resources at Fairwinds.
Founded by Dr. M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef, the Fairwinds Treatment Center team is comprised of experienced and highly capable nurses, doctors, psychiatrists and therapists that work together to establish an individual treatment plan. Through the dual diagnosis approach, our team works uses a combination of therapeutic counseling and clinical treatment to uncover, address and resolve the psychological triggers of addiction. This approach, which goes beyond addressing the physical symptoms, can reduce the chances of a relapse. With the proper care and support, individuals experiencing alcohol problems can successfully recover.