The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as any kind of alcohol consumption which raises the BAC, blood alcohol content level, over 0.08 in two hours or less. Most people aren’t aware of what that amount of alcohol is. For men, it’s about 5 drinks in 2 hours. For women, just 4 drinks in 2 hours.
Getting drunk is normalized in popular culture. Binge drinking is normalized in popular culture. The many effects of heavy drinking, from hangovers to what you can’t remember doing while you were drunk, are also normalized, even celebrated in popular culture. What popular culture rarely focuses on are the impacts to the brain and the body. Hangovers are a sign of brain damage. Recent studies have found that the reason you look awful after drinking one night, or even drinking many nights for long periods of time, is because alcohol kills the specific parts of cells which keep them young and keep you looking healthy. Alcohol also impairs cognitive function, during intoxication and into the next day. Poor judgment, depth perception, and decision making during intoxication is what leads many people to get injured and have car accidents. The next day however, there is still a “cognitive fog” which can make functioning more difficult.
In many ways, the day after drinking is a mini-detox from alcohol. After feeling the euphoric effects of alcohol in mind and body, then waking up without high volumes of alcohol left, the body is straining to function. That is why many people reach for the “hair of the dog” drink, which can be equated to an alcoholic relapsing during their withdrawal symptoms- a drink gives the body what it is craving to feel better physically as well as psychologically. Alcohol affects many different parts of the brain which can contribute to different symptoms of brain function difficulty. The cerebellum, the limbic system, the cerebral cortex and more are affected. Emotional regulation, memory recall, motor function, thinking, problem-solving and more are impaired by heavy alcohol use through the night and into the next day. Feelings of lethargy, physical aches and pains, low energy, photosensitivity, and more, are all effects of damage to the brain that leads to an inability to think clearly and function normally.
Alcohol abuse can lead to alcoholism. If you believe you are struggling with an alcohol problem, you are not alone. Many people are not aware that their alcohol behaviors are contributing to a deeper problem with alcohol. Avalon By The Sea offers residential treatment programs for alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Our programs serve to restore health in mind, body, and spirit, so you can fully heal and live a lifetime of recovery. For a confidential assessment and more information, call us today: 888-958-7511