The Emotional Effects of Binge Drinking - Comprehensive Wellness Center

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Typically, many individuals view binge drinking as a harmless activity to partake in during a night out with their friends. However, this drinking pattern can lead to an array of issues, including severe emotional issues and other adverse psychological effects. Despite the emotional effects of binge drinking, this activity is a very popular pastime in America. To explain, most individuals who binge drink are either college students or adults aged 26 and older. Additionally, research has found that 92% of excessive drinkers in the United States reported binge drinking at least once in the past 30 days.

By looking at the statistics, the commonality of binge drinking in the United States has begun to reach epidemic proportions. As a result, it is vital that individuals understand the emotional effects of binge drinking. For example, binge drinking can lead to strained relationships, adverse effects on one’s social life, and severe psychological side effects. Individuals who binge drink are at severe risk of experiencing these adverse emotional effects unless they begin to moderate their drinking or completely abstain from alcohol altogether. Unfortunately, moderation is unlikely if the individual has developed a dependency on alcohol. If you or a loved one suffer from binge drinking, alcoholism, or the effects of – it may be time to seek professional alcoholism treatment.

What is Binge Drinking?

Binge Drinking

While it is common for Americans to partake in drinking alcohol, some individuals take their alcohol consumption too far. This presents the question, how much alcohol is considered too much?

One alcoholic beverage is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor. Furthermore, health officials define binge drinking as the act of drinking enough alcohol to bring an individual’s blood-alcohol content up to the legal limit for driving. In other words, binge drinking is defined as men consuming 5 drinks or women consuming 4 drinks in less than 2 hours.

Binge drinking causes severe adverse health effects. In fact, researchers blame this form of drinking for more than half of the alcohol-related deaths that occur each year, including car crashes, alcohol poisoning, suicide, and violence.

Additionally, binge drinking can lead to:

  • Heart attacks or strokes due to irregular heartbeat
  • An increased risk for impulsive behavior
  • Increased risk of being a victim of trauma such as sexual assault
  • High blood pressure, heart disease, or liver problems and raise your chances of cancer of the breast, throat, esophagus, or colon
  • Memory issues in young adults

Additionally, individuals who binge drink are more likely to develop an alcohol use disorder, otherwise known as alcoholism. Also, individuals may develop severe emotional effects of binge drinking over time. If you or a loved one routinely binge drink, it is necessary that you seek professional help for alcoholism.

The Social Effects of Binge Drinking

Individuals, especially young adults, who binge drink are at an increased risk for economic, educational, and social adversity in adult life. Additionally, individuals who are continuously exposed to high amounts of alcohol are more likely to develop an addiction or alcohol use disorder, criminal conviction, and lower socioeconomic status. In other words, the more often an individual binge drinks, the more likely they are to experience adverse effects on their social life.

Excessive binge drinking leads to long-term ramifications on an individual’s social life because these people are more prone to experience:

  • Violent Behavior- As a result of alcohol impacting motor functions and cognitive perceptions, alcohol plays a role in accidents and violent behaviors of all types.
  • Drunk Driving- Binge drinking is known to cause drunk driving. This is not only dangerous for the person driving but everyone else around them. In fact, drunk driving leads to hundreds of fatalities across the country each year.
  • Criminal Behavior- Teenagers or young adults who binge drink are twice as likely to commit criminal offenses than their peers who do not partake in binge drinking. As a result, it is clear to see that binge drinking leads individuals to commit crimes that they may have never committed while sober. 

Additionally, many individuals who frequently binge drink experience an array of adverse effects in regards to their personal and professional lives. This is because binge drinking can quickly lead to alcoholism, where an individual’s life begins to completely revolve around the obtainment and use of alcohol. As a result, their personal and professional life will begin to become engulfed by their alcohol abuse.

For example, many individuals who binge drink experience the following personal and professional ramifications:

  • Skipped work
  • Failed promises
  • Missed deadlines
  • Arguments and temper tantrums at work
  • Domestic violence
  • Mood swings
  • Withdrawal from society
  • Shunning of responsibilities
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Physical and verbal abuse of loved ones

The Mental and Emotional Effects of Binge Drinking

Unfortunately, alcohol abuse leads to severe brain damage. In fact, excessive drinking causes irrevocable damage to one’s neuron, killing brain cells at a rapid rate. As a result, individuals often experience learning difficulties, memory issues, blackouts, and a consistent disoriented and confused state. In other words, alcohol consumption has been linked to adverse effects on an individual’s ability to perform and function properly. For example, excessive drinking is known to significantly reduce the performance of otherwise healthy athletes.

Binge drinking can also lead to an array of psychological effects. In other words, individuals may experience an array of emotional effects of binge drinking. For example, binge drinking has been linked to anxiety and neurosis, allowing excessive alcohol consumption to be blamed for a higher level of psychological morbidity. To explain, individuals who binge drink have reported less positive moods when compared to their non-binge drinking peers.

Common adverse emotional effects of binge drinking include:

  • Chronic depression
  • Obsessive drinking spells
  • Self-pity
  • Cloudy thinking and judgment
  • Moral deterioration
  • Stress
  • Discontentment

Treatment for Binge Drinking and Alcohol Abuse

If you or a loved one have experienced any of the previously mentioned emotional effects of binge drinking, it is time to seek professional alcohol abuse treatment. At CWC Recovery, our professional and licensed staff prioritizes each patient’s needs through the use of individualized treatment plans. As a result, patients are able to fully recover from alcoholism, alcohol abuse, and the emotional effects of binge drinking. If you are in need of help with a binge drinking problem, contact CWC Recovery today for a free and confidential consultation.

Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor

About

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

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