Defining Binge Drinking and Alcohol Abuse
Each year, millions of Americans consume alcohol. Some do it occasionally, while others do it on a regular basis. Many people who drink alcohol do so in moderation, but some abuse it by consuming large amounts at a time. Everyone has heard of binge drinking and alcohol abuse, but the exact definitions for these terms are somewhat vague. Due to this ambiguity, it helps to know exactly what they are. Knowing what counts as binge drinking and alcohol abuse can help people understand both how to drink responsibly, and if they have a problem with alcohol. Why is alcoholism considered a chronic disease.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines moderate drinking for men as four or fewer drinks per day, and 14 or fewer drinks per week. For women, moderate drinking is considered three or fewer drinks per day and seven or fewer drinks per week. This means that any alcohol consumption that exceeds these numbers is considered binge drinking. The NIAAA also explains that, when someone binge drinks, he drinks so much alcohol in about a two-hour time period that his blood alcohol concentration levels reaches or exceeds 0.08g/dL. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) lists the following negative health effects of binge drinking:
Cardiovascular damage and disease
Children born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
Unintentional and intentional injuries
Get help if you recognize your struggles with any of the aforementioned problems.
Why is alcoholism considered a chronic disease
Binge drinking is related to alcohol abuse, but the two are not always the same. As the National Institutes of Health (NIH) describe, alcohol abuse occurs when someone (while not physically dependent on alcohol) drinks so much that her drinking causes problems in any of the following areas:
In personal relationships
With the well-being of oneself and others, as occurs in drinking and driving situations
The CDC also explains that alcohol abuse is distinguished from alcoholism, a chronic disease in which someone has strong cravings for alcohol. An alcoholic cannot control the amount of alcohol he consumes, so he continues drinking in spite of negative consequences. The NIH identifies the following symptoms of alcohol abuse:
Drinking despite negative consequences
Attempting to hide alcohol use
Needing alcohol to get through the day
Missing work, school or social activities because of drinking
Become defensive when discussing drinking habits
Why is alcoholism considered a chronic disease quizlet
Seek help if you or a loved one demonstrates any of these problems.
The 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health defines binge drinking as consuming five or more drinks on one occasion, and heavy drinking as binge drinking that occurs at least five out of the previous 30 days. Their survey finds that nearly 60 million Americans aged 12 and older, or 23 percent of this population, engages in binge drinking. Additionally, 17 million people aged 12 and older, or 6.5 percent of this population, report drinking heavily.
Binge drinking and alcohol abuse can both affect someone’s life in significant ways. It is difficult to admit that a problem exists, but, if you or a loved one fits any of the descriptions listed above, then you may be dealing with binge drinking or alcohol abuse. It is best to get help as soon as possible to prevent more physical, psychological, social and legal problems from arising. If you would like more information about how to get help for binge drinking and alcohol abuse, then please give our toll-free helpline a call. Our admissions coordinators are open 24 hours a day and they are available to talk to you about treatment options. Call now to learn more about professional help.