Author: James Anderson

Binge drinking: what it is, effects and how to stop

how to stop binge drinking

Long-term damage from heavy alcohol use isn’t limited to people with alcohol use disorder. But if you find that you lose control of your drinking, even at home, it’s possible that you’ve developed an alcohol addiction. In this case, reaching out for professional treatment can help you overcome the negative effects of alcohol misuse, and it’s probably best to remove alcohol from your home.

how to stop binge drinking

However, those who struggle with alcohol addiction will need professional help to stop drinking entirely. Treatment programs can be inpatient, where people stay in a facility, or outpatient, where they live at home but visit a treatment center regularly. People may receive behavioral treatments like counseling and take medication to help reduce cravings.

In social situations where drinking is encouraged, you can give your loved one reasons to practice self-control. For example, if you and your husband are going to a party together, agree beforehand that he will be the designated driver. You might even want to vocalize when you’re done drinking. Saying something like, “Well, that’s my one drink for the night,” might help your loved one remember their own limit.

Start a Healthy Habit As a Replacement

After a single night of binge drinking, some of the short-term effects will go away. Signs may develop showing that binge drinking is becoming an alcohol use disorder, which is the clinical term for an alcohol addiction. Keeping track of your drinking habits in a journal can help you to identify patterns and also determine whether you are staying within recommended drinking limits. Use a journal to record how much you’re drinking and how you’re feeling at the times you drink. Binge drinking is relatively common, so people may think this behavior is harmless. In fact, 21.5% of Americans aged 12 and older engage in binge drinking in a given month, according to a report from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Simply having a drink to sip on might make you feel more at ease. This strategy can also come in handy if you’re with a group of friends who want to play drinking games. In some cases, the people around you might continue to pressure you to drink.

Binge drinking has serious risks.

If you’re worried about your drinking habits, book an appointment with your GP. While the idea of talking to someone about your binge drinking may be scary and even embarrassing, it’s an important step to take. Since binge drinking is so normalized, it may be difficult to determine when it’s time to seek help. Drinking in moderation will require you to establish a goal for the maximum number of drinks allowed daily and weekly.

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Understanding the effects of binge drinking might increase your motivation to cut back on how much alcohol you consume in one sitting. Communicate your intentions and goals to those with whom you surround yourself with the most. Here are tips for telling your friends and family you’re getting treatment to change your drinking. If your drinking is negatively affecting you and those around you, then it’s important that you consider reaching out for specialist treatment for addiction. Due to the many effective treatments available for people battling alcohol dependency, it’s possible for you to make significant strides in your recovery. With the right level of support, you can regain control of your life.

  1. Whether you decide to set a hard limit or not, make a habit of following up every alcoholic beverage with a non-alcoholic one.
  2. When you feel isolated or lack direction and purpose, it’s common to turn to alcohol and other drugs to fill that void.
  3. This usually involves drinking five or more drinks for men or four or more for women on a single occasion lasting a few hours.
  4. But if you find that you lose control of your drinking, even at home, it’s possible that you’ve developed an alcohol addiction.
  5. Only about 10 percent of people who binge drink struggle with a dependence on alcohol.

Cutting back on the amount or frequency of drinking can reduce these risks. If limiting yourself to just a few drinks seems impossible, try taking smaller sips. Perhaps you’re used to “chugging,” which can quickly lead to consuming more than intended. Taking smaller sips allows a single drink to last longer, so you won’t be frequently going back to the bar for another. This is sometimes called the “5+/4+ rule” (5-plus/4-plus rule) of binge drinking. Millions of readers rely on for free, evidence-based resources to understand and navigate mental health challenges.

What Happens to Your Body When You Binge Drink

You might convince yourself that you need to drink to impress someone or fit in with the crowd. This can be particularly true of teens who want to drink to seem older or more mature. If you’re a binge drinker, the first step to changing your drinking problem is to understand what factors drive your behavior. Depending on your age, different factors may come into play, but some motivations are common among all age groups. Although drinking this much might not seem like a big deal in the moment, you may regret your choices later. You might struggle with the immediate physical consequences—headache, nausea, weakness, and poor sleep quality.

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Self-reflection and intention setting are great tools to identify your path forward if you want to stop binge drinking and moderate your alcohol consumption or get sober. For many people, peer support and outside accountability are key tools in their treatment toolkit. It’s important to know that a binge drinking habit can be treated with the right tools. You can make a change to reduce those risks and lead a healthier life.

Most people who binge drink are not addicted to or dependent on alcohol. However, binge drinking can increase your risk of developing alcohol use disorder. While you can’t force a loved one to abandon their binge drinking habits, voicing your concerns and offering support in the right way may help motivate them to change their ways.

On the other hand, if your problem with binge drinking is related to an addiction, you will likely need to work with a treatment professional to learn how to abstain completely from drinking. For those in the Florida area, Orlando Recovery Center Drug and Alcohol Rehab can offer the support you need to cut back on drinking. Events in which alcohol is consumed early in the day make binge drinking easier. If you’ve been drinking all day, by the end of the night, you’ll have consumed an excessive amount of drinks throughout the day. Instead of drinking right away at social gatherings, wait a few hours to have your first sip of alcohol, especially if the gathering begins early or mid-afternoon.

These effects can increase your risk of various types of cancer, including mouth, throat, esophagus, breast, liver, and colon cancer. You might also worry about whether alcohol is causing permanent damage to your brain or heart health. If your excessive alcohol use is a recurring issue, you might admonish yourself for your poor self-control or even develop a sense of self-loathing. If you want to stop binge drinking, make temporary changes to your environment, or implement permanent alternatives to activities that involve drinking in order to distance yourself from alcohol.

Deciding to cut back on drinking is the best option for your health and well-being, but some friends and loved ones may not appreciate that. If there are people in your life who pressure you to drink more or give you a hard time about drinking in moderation, it’s probably time to stop hanging out with them. Beer is about 5% alcohol by volume, compared to wine, which contains 12% alcohol, and spirits, which are 40% alcohol. Choosing drinks with a lower alcohol content will reduce your risk of binge drinking because you’ll be more likely to stay within the limits of a single drink. For instance, if you’re consuming mixed drinks that contain distilled spirits, you can easily consume two to three standard drinks within a single cup.