Binge Drinking: What It Does to Your Body

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. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as a man consuming five or more drinks at once or a woman consuming four or more drinks on one occasion. This is a level of drinking that exceeds “drinking in moderation” and brings the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to .08% or above. Whether you want to take a break from drinking or you’re quitting alcohol for keeps, bring in some pros to help.

  • This may also come with a sour taste in your mouth, trouble swallowing, or a feeling like there’s a lump in your throat, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
  • Turner notes the importance of bringing along a trusted support person when attending events that involve alcohol.
  • Having something to eat before you drink or while drinking can also reduce your consumption.

To avoid binge drinking, consider setting a maximum number of drinks for yourself and having someone hold you accountable. If you find yourself continuously passing your limit, you may want to explore tools like medication to stop drinking, or personalized alcohol therapy. Checking in via an online alcohol support group is also a great way to practice accountability. There are also significant short-term and long-term effects of binge drinking.

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Comparing the emotions that come up when you have a drink with the feelings you experience when abstaining also helps you recognize when drinking doesn’t fix the problems you’re trying to manage. Family and friends can provide encouragement and support when you stop drinking. By opening up about your relationship with alcohol, you might also encourage others to explore their own drinking habits.

If you’re a highly impulsive person, you may be more likely to reach for another drink without stopping to think about the consequences. If you’re the type of person who likes to seek out novel sensations and situations, you might also be more willing to engage in risky drinking habits. Alcohol abuse can cause or worsen symptoms of depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders.

Binge drinking has serious risks.

You may also consider joining an online support group to help you feel less alone. You could look for a support group in your area, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), where you can share your experiences, gain strength from others and receive ongoing support from your peers. Page medically reviewed by Claire Rimmer (BA (Hons), Dip.Psychology, FDAD (NCAC)), Lead Addiction Therapist at Priory Hospital Altrincham, in August 2022. The microbiome has been implicated in medical conditions ranging from irritable bowel syndrome to obesity. Alcohol is also often found in the blood of people who harm themselves or attempt suicide. Women for Sobriety – Organization dedicated to helping women overcome addictions.

Reassure yourself that speaking up is a compassionate gesture. If you don’t voice your concerns now, your loved one may not give up their alcohol abuse until they experience more severe consequences. 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. As you may already be aware, binge drinking alcohol also causes delayed cognitive function, memory loss, and can result in blackouts.

Short-term effects and health risks of binge drinking

Depending on the type of binge foods you gravitate toward, you may also need to clear out other tempting foods, like peanut butter or cheese. Remove unhealthy food from your kitchen cabinets and refrigerator. Keeping junk food on hand will only lead to temptation and derail your efforts. Diets that involve extreme restrictions on food intake rarely work and typically lead to cravings that cause you to overeat. If you’re having difficulty sticking to your goal or just want some extra guidance, consider reaching out for professional support.

how to stop binge drinking

Take this alcohol use disorder (AUD) test to determine if you meet the diagnostic criteria for mild, moderate, or severe AUD. Research shows getting regular exercise can help curb binge eating. According to a 2020 study in the journal Nutrition, adding an exercise program to standard BED treatment significantly decreased the number of binge-eating episodes. Eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and unprocessed foods can help you feel satiated (full and satisfied) compared to eating refined grains, sugars, and processed foods. This latter group of food typically provides a rapid burst of energy followed by a “crash” that can lead to cravings that may promote binge eating.