Did you start drinking to relax or have fun and then found it became an addiction you cannot control? If you wonder how to stop binge drinking, we have the answer. Buckhead Behavioral Health in Atlanta provides the tools you need to understand how your drinking got out of control and, even more importantly, how to put an end to binge drinking. Then, you can put addiction behind you and enjoy a healthy new life.
What Is Binge Drinking?
Binge drinking is the most common form of alcohol abuse in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that one in six adults in the country engages in binge drinking. About one in four do so at least once a week. In fact, of those who drink alcohol to excess, over 90% of binge drink.
For men, binge drinking consists of consuming five or more drinks within about two hours. For women, the number is four drinks. The pattern takes place at least once every two weeks. The most common age group that binge drinks is adults aged 18-34. About twice as many men binge drink as women.
What Causes Alcohol Abuse?
Alcohol abuse can happen as a result of a number of different things. Binge drinking often starts as experimentation. Many high school and college students feel peer pressure to drink alcohol. What begins as just an attempt to have a good time and go along with others can spiral down into an addiction to alcohol.
Genetics also can factor into a person’s binge drinking. A person who has a family history of alcoholism has an increased chance of developing an alcohol use disorder themselves. The environment can also play a hand in abusing alcohol. Children raised around people who binge drink and otherwise abuse alcohol often see it as normal behavior. They also have more opportunities to consume alcohol than many other young people.
Boredom and isolation can also lead to a person starting to binge drink. They may seek to fill unoccupied time or a sense of loneliness. Finally, abusing alcohol can be an attempt to self-medicate for mental health disorders. Someone who feels anxiety, depression, or the effects of trauma may use binge drinking to try to escape their pain. Without meaning to, they compound their problems.
Signs and Symptoms of Binge Drinking
When someone binge drinks or otherwise abuses alcohol, they typically exhibit evidence of this. Both the individual and their loved ones should be on the lookout for what may indicate a problem with alcoholism. Signs and symptoms of binge drinking include:
- Withdrawal symptoms when not drinking or when cutting down on alcohol consumption
- Developing a tolerance to alcohol and increasing the amount consumed to get the same effect
- Drinking large amounts of alcohol in a short time span
- Not being satisfied with just a drink or two
- Family, home, or school life suffers due to drinking
- Frequent hangovers
- Ignoring hobbies and pastimes in order to drink
- Accepting or rejecting social events based on whether or not the person can binge drink
- Risky behavior when drinking, such as drunk driving or engaging in unsafe sex
- Using alcohol to self-medicate for mental illness symptoms such as anxiety or depression
If a person exhibits two or more of these symptoms, they may need to get help to learn how to stop binge drinking.
How To Stop Binge Drinking With Treatment
When someone realizes they binge drink and need help, they have taken an important first step. What can make taking the next step difficult involves not knowing where to turn for that help. How to stop binge drinking can come from several different kinds of treatment.
Alcohol rehab in Atlanta usually starts with a detoxification program. Some take place in a residential facility while other detox plans can take place on an outpatient basis. Detox allows the body several days to rid itself of toxins built up by excessive alcohol consumption that happens over time.
Next, the individual can move into a residential program. This involves living in a facility while receiving care night and day. As an alternative, many people benefit from outpatient treatment. Regular outpatient (OP) care involves attending sessions for a few hours a week. It is the least restrictive type of outpatient care.
Intensive outpatient (IOP) requires more hours per week. Sessions typically take place multiple times per week. Finally, partial hospitalization programs (PHP) provide help for those who need more than OP and IOP but do not qualify for residential treatment. PHP takes place several days per week.
Some people move into sober living homes as part of their treatment. They can learn how to stop binge drinking by living with others who are also in recovery for substance use disorders.
Find Outpatient Alcohol Rehab in Atlanta Today
Have you had enough of alcohol controlling your life? If you are ready to learn how to stop binge drinking, we can help. Our addiction professionals understand how to help people overcome substance use disorders. Our programs include detox and outpatient programs designed to help you not only become sober but learn how to stay that way for life. Visit our admissions page now and see how easy it is to take the first step. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.