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The Different Types of Problem Drinking

The Different Types of Problem Drinking

Probably the best known type of problem drinking is binge drinking

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), approximately 17 million adults ages 18 and older had an alcohol use disorder (AUD) in 2012. An additional 855,000 children aged 12–17 had an AUD, the diagnosis of problem drinking that has become severe. The phrase “problem drinking” gets thrown around a lot, but few Louisville residents may know what the term actually means; according to Duke University, problem drinking is using alcohol in ways that are harmful to you or someone else. Left unchecked, problem drinking can develop into alcohol addiction, alcoholism.

What Is Binge Drinking?

Probably one of the most well-known types of problem drinking is binge drinking, which means drinking a lot of alcohol in a short amount of time to get drunk or feel a buzz. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), this act elevates the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above 0.08 grams. For men, it usually takes five or more drinks (one drink is 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor) in two hours to achieve this BAC; for women, it typically means consuming four ore more drinks. Binge drinkers can go days or weeks without drinking, but they cannot limit their drinking once they start.

Binge drinking is often seen among young people, college students in particular. One survey found that more than 80 percent of college students drink alcohol, and almost 50 percent reported binge drinking in the past two weeks. However, the CDC reports that, while binge drinking is more common among college students, adults 65 year of age and older binge drink more often.

According to Michigan State University, binge drinking can cause major problems with your health and wellbeing. For example, binge drinkers are more likely to fall down and become injured compared when with those who spread out their drinking. Furthermore, binge drinking can cause problems with the heart, blood pressure and hormone levels. It can even lead to brain damage. In addition, binge drinking increases your likelihood of becoming either the victim or perpetrator of a crime, such as sexual assault. Excessive drinking can also increase your risk of mental health problems, such as depression and suicidal thoughts.

One of the most dangerous effects of binge drinking is alcohol poisoning, which occurs when someone consumes too much alcohol for the liver to filter out of the blood. What the liver cannot filter then backs up into the bloodstream, which can cause your breathing and heart rate to slow down too much. In response, Louisville residents could pass out, stop breathing, choke, slip into a coma or die. According to a 2015 article from CNN, an average of six people die from alcohol poisoning every day.

What Does it Mean to Be Blackout Drunk?

If you drink too much alcohol, you can experience a blackout, or a partial or complete lapse in memory. In short, you cannot remember what happened while you were drinking. This issue occurs when BAC spikes too high too quickly, often because of drinking on an empty stomach. The more alcohol Louisville  residents consume, the less they can remember. They can participate in many acts, from carrying on a conversation to having sex, but they cannot remember them later, because, according to the NIAAA, alcohol interferes with the ability to form new, long-term memories.

What Is Alcohol Abuse?

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, alcohol abuse is a pattern of drinking that harms your health, relationships and/or your ability to work. When you abuse alcohol, you neglect your responsibilities: you disregard your children, perform poorly in school, skip work or try to avoid social situations because you are drunk or hungover. In addition, Louisville residents who abuse alcohol will drink in dangerous situations, like while driving, while taking prescription medication or in a poor neighborhood. They may even engage risky behavior, like unprotected sex or operating heavy machinery.

Not all people who abuse alcohol develop alcohol dependence or alcoholism, but these conditions are major risks of abusing alcohol. If you drink everyday, or if you are a binge drinker,  then you are at great risk of developing addiction. Alcoholism has all the marks of alcohol abuse, but it also involves one other element—physical dependence, which means your body has become tolerant to alcohol, so you need to drink more to feel the same buzz. In addition, you will experience withdrawal symptoms when alcohol wears off. Sometimes these symptoms are severe, including hallucinations and seizure, so get help when you want to dry out.

Help for Louisville Alcoholics

If you or a Louisville loved one is struggling with an addiction to alcohol, we can help. You can call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline anytime to talk with our admissions coordinators about your concerns and the symptoms you experience. Our staff can also discuss available treatment  options, including rehab centers that specialize in alcoholism. They can also talk with your health insurance company to find the level of care available they will cover; together, you can determine the best course of action for moving forward. Don’t allow alcohol to take over your life and rob you of everything that matters—call us now for the help you need.

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