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How to Recover From Binge Drinking

Medically Reviewed by: Charley Allen

Table of Contents

How to Recover

If you’ve ever let alcohol take control of your life, you know that it can become an unhealthy and dangerous habit. Binge drinking is one of the most common signs of a drinking problem. 

Unfortunately, the drinking culture in the United States is so strong that many people do not avoid binge drinking despite its serious health effects. Heavy drinking often starts as a way to cope with stress or other difficult circumstances, but before we know it, it’s become a regular habit. 

If you find that you’ve fallen into the trap of binge drinking too often, don’t despair. You can get out and stay out with the help of friends, family members, and professionals who understand how damaging this routine can be. Read on to learn how to recover from binge drinking and regain control of your life again.

Binge Drinking Facts in the United States

  • Binge drinking is defined as consuming a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time. It is associated with many health problems, including unintentional injuries, violence, and alcohol poisoning.
  • Among high school students who binge drink, 44% consumed eight or more drinks in a row.
  • One in four US adults who binge drink consume at least eight drinks during a binge occasion.
  • Nearly 17% of adults in the US binge drink, and 6% report heavy drinking. Nearly all adults who drink heavily also binge drink.
  • Binge drinking is the most common, costly, and deadly pattern of excessive alcohol use in the United States. In 2019, about 66 million, or 24% of the US population aged 12 and over, reported binge drinking during the past month.
  • Overall, 17 billion total binge drinks are consumed by adults annually in the US, or 467 binge drinks per adult who binge drinks.
  • Binge drinking is associated with risky behaviors, serious injuries, diseases, substance misuse, and death. It is also associated with an increased risk of alcohol use disorder.
  • Teenage binge drinking is also a concern, with 29.8% of teenagers reporting drinking alcohol on at least one day and 13.5% reporting binge drinking.

Why Do People Binge Drink?

why do people binge drink

People binge drink for a variety of reasons. Binge drinking can be a reaction to stress, anxiety, or other negative feelings. 

Binge drinkers also often do it as a way to fit in with friends. Other people binge drink to celebrate special events or to relieve boredom. Binge drinkers often feel ashamed or embarrassed about their behavior. 

Some people may try to keep their binge drinking a secret, especially if they live in a culture that frowns on this type of behavior. Binge drinkers may turn to alcohol for comfort or to ease their stress. 

Drinking can be a coping mechanism to deal with issues like relationship problems, financial pressures, or trouble at work. Binge drinkers may not plan on becoming alcohol dependent, but they often drink to excess without realizing the impact that this behavior can have on their lives.

Short-Term Dangers of Binge Drinking

Some of the most immediate dangers of binge drinking include alcohol poisoning, driving while intoxicated, and an increased risk of falling and injuring yourself, and ending up in a violent or dangerous situation. 

If a friend is binge drinking, the best thing you can do is make sure he or she gets home safely and doesn’t put others in danger. Alcohol poisoning occurs when your body can’t process the alcohol you’ve consumed quickly enough, and it ends up in your bloodstream and other organs. 

Alcohol poisoning can be fatal, so if you suspect a friend has overdone it, call 911 immediately. 

Binge drinking can also lead to sexual misconduct, unwise financial decisions, and other problems. Steer clear of crowds where binge drinking is likely to happen so you don’t get caught up in the frenzy.

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Long-Term Dangers of Binge Drinking

Long-Term Dangers of Binge Drinking

The long-term effects of binge drinking can be devastating, and they often take years to manifest. Some of the most common signs of long-term binge drinking include liver disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, and kidney disease. 

Binge drinking can also lead to memory loss and permanent brain damage. If you binge drink while pregnant, it can cause defects in the baby, including fetal alcohol syndrome. If a child is born with this condition, he or she will have lifelong physical and cognitive disabilities.

Binge drinking can worsen other health conditions, too, including depression and anxiety. 

Signs of long-term binge drinking include bad sleeping habits, mood swings, and changes in appetite. Binge drinking has also been linked to a higher risk of suicide. If you or a loved one is binge drinking regularly, get help as soon as possible.

Steps to Take After Binge Drinking: Recovering From Binge Drinking

Recovering from binge drinking can be challenging, but there are steps you can take to help your body and mind recover. Here are some tips to help you recover from binge drinking:

Hydrate: Drinking alcohol can dehydrate your body, so it’s important to drink plenty of water to rehydrate yourself. This can help alleviate symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and fatigue.

Rest: Getting enough rest is crucial for your body to recover from binge drinking. Try to get a full night’s sleep and take it easy the next day. Avoid strenuous activities and give your body time to recover.

Eat Nutritious Foods: Eating healthy and nutritious foods can help replenish your body’s nutrients and support your recovery. Focus on foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals, such as fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.

Avoid Alcohol: It’s important to avoid drinking alcohol until your body has fully recovered. This can help prevent further damage to your body and reduce the risk of developing a dependence on alcohol.

Seek Support: If you’re struggling with binge drinking, it’s important to seek support from friends, family, or a professional. Consider reaching out to a therapist or support group to help you address any underlying issues and develop healthy coping mechanisms.

Educate Yourself: Learning about the risks and consequences of binge drinking can help you make informed decisions about your alcohol consumption. Educate yourself on what constitutes binge drinking, the risks associated with it, and how to prevent it.

Set Limits: If you choose to drink alcohol, it’s important to set limits and stick to them. This can help prevent binge drinking and reduce the risk of developing a dependence on alcohol.




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Binge Drinking and Driving

Drunk driving accounts for more than 10,000 deaths each year in the US, and many of those deaths could have been avoided if the driver had simply taken a cab. 

If you’ve ever been behind the wheel after drinking, you know how easy it is to make a mistake. Binge drinking can lead to a DUI, which can have serious consequences, including fines, jail time, and a criminal record. 

If you’re caught driving under the influence more than once, you could lose your driving privileges. Binge drinking can also put passengers at risk, so don’t let friends drive while intoxicated. If you know someone who binge drinks, don’t let him or her drive or ride with other people.

What is Alcohol Poisoning?

Alcohol poisoning is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when a person drinks a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time. When there is too much alcohol in the blood, it can cause parts of the brain to shut down, leading to a range of symptoms and complications. 

Some of the symptoms of alcohol poisoning include confusion, slurred speech, poor coordination, vomiting, seizures, slow breathing, and low body temperature. 

In severe cases, alcohol poisoning can lead to choking on vomit, trouble breathing, severe dehydration, hypothermia, and even death. 

Alcohol poisoning is usually caused by binge drinking, which is when a person rapidly consumes a large amount of alcohol within a short period of time. If you suspect someone has alcohol poisoning, it is important to seek medical help immediately.

How Much Alcohol Causes Alcohol Poisoning?

The amount of alcohol that can cause alcohol poisoning varies depending on factors such as age, weight, sex, and tolerance to alcohol.

However, binge drinking is the most common cause of alcohol poisoning. Binge drinking is defined as consuming a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time, typically within two hours.

The following amounts of alcohol

How to Stop Binge Drinking

If you want to stop binge drinking, here are some tips that may help:

  • Set clear limits for yourself: Decide how much alcohol you will drink before you start drinking and stick to it. You can also set a limit on the number of drinks you will have in a certain period of time.
  • Avoid triggers: Identify the situations or people that trigger your binge drinking and try to avoid them. For example, if you tend to binge drink at parties, you may want to avoid parties or limit your alcohol intake.
  • Drink slowly: Sip your drinks slowly and take breaks between drinks. This will help you pace yourself and avoid drinking too much too quickly.
  • Choose low-alcohol drinks: Stick to low-alcohol drinks like beer or wine, and avoid mixed drinks and liquor.
  • Alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks: Drink water or soda between alcoholic drinks to stay hydrated and avoid drinking too much.

Seek professional help: If you are struggling to stop binge drinking on your own, consider seeking professional help. There are many treatment options available, including therapy, support groups, and medication.



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Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

Binge drinking refers to the consumption of a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time, typically enough to raise the blood alcohol concentration to 0.08 grams percent or above. This usually corresponds to five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women in about two hours.

Recovery from binge drinking involves both physical and mental steps. Physically, you should hydrate, rest, and eat nutritious foods to help your body recover. Mentally, it’s important to seek support from friends, family, or professionals, educate yourself about the risks of binge drinking, and set limits for future alcohol consumption.

After a weekend of heavy drinking, it’s important to give your body time to recover. Drink plenty of water to rehydrate, eat nutritious foods to replenish lost nutrients, and get plenty of sleep. Avoid alcohol to give your body a break and consider seeking support if you find it difficult to control your drinking.

If you’ve drunk too much alcohol, the first step is to stop drinking and give your body time to process the alcohol. Drink plenty of water to combat dehydration, eat to restore your nutrient levels, and rest to allow your body to recover. If you’re experiencing severe symptoms like vomiting, seizures, or unconsciousness, seek medical help immediately as these could be signs of alcohol poisoning.

The steps for recovering from binge drinking include recognizing the problem, seeking help, setting goals, developing healthy coping mechanisms, and staying committed to your recovery. It’s important to remember that recovery is a process and it’s okay to ask for help.

If you’ve drunk too much alcohol, it’s important to hydrate, rest, and eat nutritious foods to help your body recover. Avoid more alcohol and consider seeking professional help if you’re struggling with controlling your drinking.

The recovery time from binge drinking can vary depending on the individual and the amount of alcohol consumed. Physical symptoms like hangovers can last up to 24 hours, but the mental and emotional recovery can take longer. If binge drinking is a regular occurrence, it may be a sign of an alcohol use disorder and professional help may be needed.

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Edited by: David Beasley

David Beasley - Design for Recovery

David Beasley is a certified RADT (Registered Alcohol/Drug Technician). David, moved to California from North Carolina after many failed attempts to get sober.

Medically Reviewed by: Charley Allen

Charley earned his Masters of Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, Los Angeles, and is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT).He teaches mindfulness to both adults and children in group setting such as schools, corporate workplaces, and medical treatment facilities.

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