Eight Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Go Binge Drinking Tonight
Whether you're a high-school student or a working adult, there'll be situations where you'll be encouraged to go binge drinking with friends, family, or even colleagues. And while a night of drinking beers and downing tequila shots may sound like fun, there's actually a lot of research that suggests otherwise. And if you think that you might have an alcohol abuse disorder, be sure to get help at http://oxfordtreatment.com/alcohol-drug-rehab-in-missisppi/.
In fact, the hangover in the morning-after might just be the least of your worries. With both short- and long-term effects on the entire body, even just one binge drinking session — defined as having four or more drinks within two hours — can cause a lifetime of irreversible damage.
Here are eight effects of binge drinking that will make you think twice before your next binge:
1. Binge drinking puts you at risk of alcohol poisoning
When you're caught up in the fun of the moment, this is perhaps one of the most dangerous risks you face. For most people, the body is only capable of processing one drink an hour, so anything more makes your blood alcohol content rise quickly. The higher the blood alcohol content, the more you'll feel like you're under the influence. You may start to get dizzy, drowsy, or even delusional. Once you reach a certain blood alcohol content level, alcohol poisoning can occur. An overdose like this is no joke as it can cause amnesia, fainting, and even seizures or death.
2. Binge drinking can cause inflammation of major organs
Inflammation in and of itself is actually not a bad thing. It's the body's natural defense against harmful viruses and shows that it is fighting against infection. Why certain parts of your body gets inflamed is because your immune system will send more blood and protein to those areas that are affected.
With alcohol, however, the amount of harmful bacteria is significantly increased in your body. This leads to extreme inflammation in your body, more than is natural or healthy. If left untreated, it can lead to deadly internal injuries.
3. Binge drinking puts you at risk of injury
Needless to say, drinking impairs your judgment and the clarity of mind. But it's more than calling your ex or getting into a drunken tiff with the bartender.
After all, combine these poor judgment calls with poor coordination, poor motor skills, and poor overall functioning — and you're in trouble. The combination of all these impairments greatly increases the risk of injury, even death from traffic accidents, suffocation, drowning, burns… and the list goes on. To reduce this risk, it's always recommended to have a caregiver or designated driver during a binge-drink event, or better yet, stick to a moderate amount of drinks.
4. Binge drinking can worsen sexual health
Another risk of having poor judgment under the influence is that you may end up sleeping with a stranger without the proper safeguards, greatly increasing your chances of contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). These infections range from those that will go away within a couple of days to those that are incurable and will last a lifetime.
On top of that, chronic drinking has been shown to reduce fertility in both men and women. If you go binge drinking too often, not only will you run the risk of becoming less fertile, but your overall sex drive might fall sharply too.
5. Binge drinking is bad for your heart
Science-backed research from the American Heart Association showed that binge drinking is linked to an array of heart problems, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and abnormal glucose levels. Contrary to popular belief, these problems can impact binge drinkers of all ages — even if you're still a college freshman. The effects of this are also long-lasting, in that it's often irreversible. If you get these conditions at a young age, chances are that you'll be more prone to cardiovascular diseases later in life, such as heart failure and strokes.
6. Binge drinking can have a negative impact on your memory
Short-term amnesia is a common side effect of a night of binge drinking. Some wake up the morning after to realize they can't remember where they've left their keys, or worse, realize they can't recall any details from the night before.
Termed as a “blackout”, this is definitely a red flag to watch out for as it could be an indicator that you're on your way to more long-term effects like an early onset of dementia. The science checks out too, as research has shown that continued alcohol use can lead to a degrading of the hippocampus, the part of your brain responsible for collecting, storing, and maintaining information.
7. Binge drinking affects your gut
Typically, the walls of our intestines serve as a barrier between our gut and the bloodstream. This barrier only lets some things through, such as good bacteria and the essential nutrients needed, while other toxic substances are kept safely away from the blood cells. However, with alcohol, this barrier becomes severely weakened over time, even becoming more permeable than it should be. The bad bacteria and toxins can then leak over into your bloodstream and spread to other organs.
That's bad news for organs like the kidneys, pancreas, and liver which are essential to maintaining your gut health. If left undiagnosed, it could potentially lead to even more serious conditions like kidney infections, hypoglycemia, and inflammatory bowel disease.
8. Binge drinking increases the risk of cancer
It's no secret that alcohol is linked to several cancers, including cancers of the liver, throat, and colon. However, what many don't know is that these risks are heightened even with occasional binge drinking. In other words, it's not only those who consume alcohol heavily that are affected — even a couple of drinks a week is enough to increase those risks exponentially. Women who drink, for instance, are more susceptible to breast cancer compared to their non-drinking counterparts.
To sum up, these are just eight of the many harmful effects binge drinking can have on your body. As such, it's important to drink in moderation always. So the next time you get asked out to a night of chasing beers, think twice about binge drinking and its side effects to your overall wellbeing and long-term health before giving in to peer pressure.