Ask any of the UK’s most capable counsellors specialising in addiction counselling on Harley Street London and they will no doubt all tell you the same. When it comes to binge drinking, the culture we have created here in the UK is fully out of control. In fact, things are so bad that the United Kingdom has earned worldwide reputation for the kind of binge drinking that is not only irresponsible, but downright dangerous.
The simple fact is that official recommendations concerning alcohol intake are created and published for a reason. And while it is hardly a secret that these recommendations are flouted by most, it has become entirely clear over recent years that millions in the UK have no idea how dangerous their drinking habits really are. It is a case of pretty terrifying damage being done behind the scenes, which may be out of sight and out of mind for the time being. However, when your luck runs out, the true dangers of binge drinking get quite horrifically apparent.
What Is Binge Drinking?
In terms of what precisely constitutes binge drinking, the official definition explains that it is drinking specifically for the purpose of getting drunk, or consuming excessive amounts of alcohol in a very short period of time. In some cases, binge drinkers set out with the intention of getting as drunk as possible as fast as possible. In other instances, it is not in fact intentional at all, but rather the people concerned have a drink or two and then they find themselves drinking excessively and rapidly until they literally can’t drink anymore.
Considering the fact that every person is unique in terms of their tolerance to alcohol, it’s tricky to be precise about how many drinks an individual has to drink in a period of time, in order for it to be considered binge drinking. Nonetheless, it’s usually safe to say that when more alcohol units have been consumed during a single drinking session, this is without doubt taking things beyond the safe recommended guidelines.
The Many Dangers of Binge Drinking
One of the issues with binge drinking is that many people believe that if they stay sober throughout the week and then go entirely over the top during the weekend, this will be fine. After all, they have not touched a single drop during the whole week, hence they cannot be doing as much harm as the people who drink moderately every day.
In fact however, binge drinking has the very real potential to be just as or more harmful than regular drinking at a moderate level. The reason is that the human body is only able to process one alcohol unit per hour. Which means that if you overload it with large quantities of alcohol during a short period of time, you take in a lot more alcohol than you can process. The alcohol level in your blood increases continually, which means there’s a much higher likelihood of reaching harmful toxicity levels.
And even if you do not drink enough alcohol to poison yourself, you’ll find yourself getting drunker much faster – very often to a level where you’ll entirely lose control. While heavy drinking isn’t recommended at the best of times, the benefit of slow drinking is the fact that you’re able to take control of how drunk you get, allowing time to feel the effects of every drink you have before consuming another. In the instance of binge drinking, it’s common to down large quantities of alcohol before even allowing the previous drink time to be felt.
If you have started considering yourself a binge drinker and would like to change your lifestyle, it does not need to be as difficult as you might think. In fact, it can simply be a case of distancing yourself (if only temporarily) from the temptation to binge drink. It could also be helpful to space every alcoholic beverage you have with a non-alcoholic one. Along with cutting back on the alcohol amount you consume, you’ll also feel physically fuller and not able to drink to excess. Speaking of which, making sure you have plenty to eat before you go out and try to eat something else throughout the evening could have the same effect.
Last up, if you’re genuinely concerned about your drinking habits and would like to make a real change for the sake of your well-being and health, you need only contact the professionals for an obligation-free consultation.