Binge drinking does not only lead to a terrible headache but also a prolonged hangover the morning after. Binge drinking in fact has far more serious repercussions on an individual’s health than than drinking alcohol a limited amount on a regular basis, both short term and long term. Long term alcohol consumption causes various conditions, the primary being, its effect on the brain. Before indulging in a night of binge drinking, here is what you need to know.
What is binge drinking?
In simple terms, binge drinking implies drinking a high amount of alcohol in a short span of time. There is a stipulated amount of alcohol that the body can accept and adapt to within a particular period of time. These are called lower risk guidelines. When one indulges in alcohol consumption double the quantity prescribed in the lower risk guidelines, it is commonly known as binge drinking. The lower risk alcohol guidelines vary for men and women. Thus, what leads to binge drinking in males differs from that in females.
Four to six units of alcohol consumed within an hour or so results in an increase in the blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If the same amount of alcohol is drunk over an entire day, it does not affect the blood alcohol concentration much, especially when it is accompanied with food. Thus, binge drinking is far more harmful than limited alcohol consumption regularly.
Effects of drinking too much alcohol
- Watch out! Binge drinking affects one’s balance and co-ordination between the brain’s commands and the organs’ obedience. As a result of this, accidents and falls are common occurrences post binge drinking.
- Learn to know when to stop – An overdose of alcohol also leads to extreme cases of health conditions such as shortness of breath and stopping of the heart function. These may also prove fatal. The person can die as a result of choking on his/her own vomit.
- Bad mood might get worse – Binge drinking has a serious negative repercussion on one’s mental health. It affects the mood and the person begins to suffer from severe mood swings.
- Binge drinking may lead to immoral, violent and anti-social behavior.
- Even a single night of binge drinking is known to cause the release of harmful toxins in the person’s bloodstream.
- Once in a while is OK – If the blood alcohol concentration reaches drastic levels, it may cause liver inflammation. also known as alcohol hepatitis.
- Researchers have established that binge drinking plays around with the body to the extent of even altering its DNA.
- Difficulty while walking, slurred speech, blurred vision, impaired memory, etc. are minor effects of binge drinking. But what all these minor symptoms point towards is a matter of grave concern. Binge drinking affects the brain and hampers its steady functioning.
- Even after the person achieves sobriety, the effects of binge drinking still persist.
- A chronic habit of binge drinking has an adverse effect on the person’s memory. The person may suffer from blackouts wherein a particular memory is completely wiped out from the brain.
- Black outs – Binge drinking may also lead to memory relapses.
- High level of alcohol consumption results in thiamine deficiency in the body that leads to various brain disorders.