Avoiding Binge Drinking

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Avoiding Binge Drinking

How to Avoid Binge Drinking

We all love a drink from time to time, particularly after work or on the weekends. And while a couple of beers on a Friday night may seem harmless, they can easily escalate into something a little more sinister – especially if those beers turn into tequila shots and rum cocktails. This kind of concentrated drinking is known as binge drinking, and it can wreak havoc on your health in the short and long terms. How, then, to avoid binge drinking?

Before You Buy the Next Round…

Consider some of the consequences of binge drinking and decide whether it’s worth it to have a big night. With heavy drinking, hangovers are the least of your problems. Risky behaviour becomes more and more prevalent with each cocktail, with drunk driving being a major issue.

You’re also more likely to develop a series of debilitating long-term conditions, like the psychological dependence of alcohol, or alcoholism. Binge drinkers are also more likely to experience liver damage, heart disease, and have a greater chance of developing cancer. People with drinking problems also tend to have problems with personal relationships, not to mention issues at the workplace.

Beware of the Triggers

Parties are usually vortexes of irresponsible drinking, and resisting the pressure to dive in is hard. If you can identify the factors that cause you to drink heavily, avoiding them becomes easier. Here are some of the most common binge drinking triggers.

Nerves can make the most abstemious person want to reach for the Jack Daniels. People who are new to a social group tend to hit the bottle for a little Dutch Courage. Binge drinking can also occur when you’re feeling stressed and seek to “drown your sorrows” in a few lagers. Other people blame peer pressure, and feel obliged to succumb to the “rounds” system of buying drinks for the group. This can also occur when drinking games are being played.

What is a Standard Drink?

By sticking to a standard drink system, you’ll be able to know how much you’re actually taking in. A standard drink is a single unit of alcohol. For example, spirits tend to be served in standard 30ml tots, while a single serving of wine sits at 100ml. You should only be drinking 1 to 4 standard drinks a day, so if you find yourself over this limit in a single sitting, switch to coca cola.

Am I Really Binge Drinking?

Most people binge drink without realising it – and no, you do not need to be a vomiting mess to qualify as a binge drinker.  If you find yourself drinking more than the recommended national intake (4 standard drinks a day) then yes, you are binge drinking. If your sole purpose of drinking is to get drunk, and if you finish your drinks quickly – you are binge drinking. And if you find yourself unable to say no to oncoming rounds – you are, in fact, binge drinking.