Most people equate alcohol problems with everyday drinking; however, many Americans struggle with physical, emotional and psychological problems related to binge drinking. The practice of consuming significant quantities of alcohol in a single session, binge drinking is typically defined as four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men at a single time. An incredible one in six Americans regularly engages in this destructive practice. To determine if you are at risk, consider the following binge drinking facts.
The Costly Toll
It may seem surprising, but binge drinking is linked to an array of serious dangers, including:
- Sexual dysfunction
- Neurological damage
- Cardiovascular disease
- Liver disease
- Car crashes, burns, drowning and other injuries
- Alcohol poisoning
- Domestic violence and sexual assault
- Unintended pregnancies
Unfortunately, most binge drinkers are in denial about their problems, because they haven’t taken a realistic assessment of their behaviors. To determine if you’ve developed a binge drinking problem, ask yourself the following questions:
Have I become a risk taker?
Alcohol is responsible for 60 percent of drownings and fatal burns; however, its destructive influence doesn’t end there. Many responsible adults engage in risky behavior while under the influence, resulting in promiscuity, job loss and social embarrassment. If you’ve done things you’re not proud of while drinking, it may be time to change your lifestyle.
Am I unable to stay within set limits?
If you tend to exceed your drinking limits on a regular basis, it’s a very serious sign you’re losing control.
Do I black out?
Genetic traits play a big role in determining how alcohol affects each of us. While some continue to function relatively normally; others suffer memory problems after only a handful of drinks. If you regularly forget parts of previous evenings, you may have developed an alcohol problem.
Am I neglecting responsibilities?
When binge drinking becomes more important than other key life events, you should take notice. If you’re missing workouts, business meetings or you find yourself too hung-over to play with your kids, consider cutting back or seeking help.
Do I have a problem?
If you’ve wonder whether or not you drink too much, there’s an excellent chance you do. Likewise, if family or friends have expressed concern, take a serious look at your drinking habits and weigh the benefits of quitting or reducing your alcohol consumption.