Binge drinkers are not necessarily alcoholics. The differentiation between the two is repeatedly examined and discussed. Binge drinking is certainly problem drinking and can lead to the full development of a chemical dependency on alcoholism. Though chemical dependency is not always present, that does not make binge drinking any less significant than alcoholic drinking. Someone who is a binge drinker might not drink often, but drinks beyond the point of control when they do. Recent research has revealed that even episodic binge drinking can harm the immune system making people more susceptible to catching viruses like the flu. Additionally, binge drinking has been linked to weakened heart condition making the risk for a heart attack more likely in the first days following a binge. Any kind of alcohol abuse can lead to liver damage which can include cirrhosis, liver disease, and cancer of the liver. Mistakenly, people have assumed that the damage to the liver of a binge drinker would not be as detrimental as that of a chronic alcoholic. New research suggests that only 21 episodes of binge drinking- less than one binge drinking episode per week for one single year- could lead to liver damage.
Published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research the study observed mice who were given an amount of alcohol equal to a binge drinking episode in humans. 21 times was enough to cause fatty liver tissue and symptoms of inflammation. According to various government institutions like the Centers for Disease Control and National Institute On Mental Health or the National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism, binge drinking is defined as:
- Any drinking which raises the blood alcohol content (BAC) level to 0.08 in a two hour period
- An average of 4 drinks for women in two hours
- An average of 5 drinks for men in two hours
Treating Binge Drinking
Binge drinking indicates an imbalanced relationship with alcohol. OFten, someone who binge drinks every time they drink is experiencing undelrying or co-occurring issues. Developing alcoholism is a threat with binge drinking as the body could become chemically dependent. Treatment centers like Harmony Place offer residential treatment programs for binge drinking and problem drinking in addition to alcoholism.
For information on our proven treatment programs for men and women, call us today at 1-855-652-9048.