Alcohol is such an accepted part of adult life in the United States, that it can often be difficult to determine when there is a problem. One of the telltale signs of such an issue is the presence of binge drinking. What is binge drinking and why do people binge drink? Understanding these questions can help you determine if it’s time to seek help for yourself or a loved one.
What Is Binge Drinking?
Binge drinking is a common way of consuming alcohol in the United States. In fact, it’s estimated that more than half of all the alcohol consumed in the country occurs during episodes of binge drinking.
This pattern of drinking is understood to mean that the consumption of alcohol leads to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 grams percent or higher. While every person is different, this generally means that a man drinks about five drinks over a two-hour period. A woman would need to have four drinks during the same time period.
Who Binges Drinks?
There is a certain perception that people often have regarding binge drinking. It tends to be most often associated with young adults such as college students. Spring breaks that seem to be an endless haze of drinking and frolicking in the sun or out-of-control parties at infamous colleges seem to support this notion of why do people binge drink.
However, there are plenty of older adults who also binge drink. In fact, about one out of every six adults in the United States binge drinks four or more times a month. Men are twice as likely as women to binge drink. Additionally, adults aged 65 years and older are a quickly growing segment that binge drinks.
It’s important to note that people who drink a great deal — including binge drinking — during their youth are more likely to continue to do so into their adulthood. As a result, they are at an increased risk of developing an alcohol use disorder.
Why Do People Binge Drink?
Understanding why do people binge drink starts with realizing that there is no one answer that applies to everyone and in every situation. There might be some situations that lead a person to binge drink that don’t bother another and vice versa. Below are some common reasons that might explain why people binge drink.
There is a distinct pressure in this country that a person cannot have a good time unless they are drinking. This perception is often magnified in certain cases. These include weddings, seasonal events, prom, or a sporting event.
In many cases, a social setting might make a person nervous, anxious, and/or awkward. Having a drink or two can not only seem to calm their nerves, but it can also give them the confidence they need to mingle with the crowd and meet others.
Relieve stressful feelings
Feelings of guilt, sadness, anxiety, anger, and fear can be difficult for anyone to cope with in the best of circumstances. For those people who don’t have other coping skills — or who haven’t developed them properly — binge drinking can seem to help.
Serenity Light Recovery, located in the Houston area, is a holistic treatment center for substance use disorders including alcohol. We can help you understand why do people binge drink.
With a focus on providing a loving, compassionate, and supportive environment in which to recover, Serenity Light Recovery offers the following services:
- Service dog-friendly environment
- Individualized treatment plans including aftercare
- Relapse prevention plans
- EMDR Therapy Program
- Wellness focused with yoga, gym, massage therapy, meditation, and more