binge drinking, alcohol, liver damage, alcohol poisoning

Binge drinking is no longer associated with teenagers or individuals in their mid to early twenties and neither are it’s long-standing side effects. Continued recreational use of alcohol could potentially cause injury, loss of productivity and even life-long diseases which aren’t as easy to shake off. Next time you pick up a drink, think about the consequences on yourself and people around you, and be aware of your limits.

Short-term effects of binge drinking

Most short-term effects are usually brushed off and can have you feeling brand new up to 24 hours later. These include headaches, hangovers, nausea and vomiting which are all extremely unpleasant, but with rest and relaxation these symptoms will seem to decrease with time.

Think of alcohol poisoning as a possible risk when drinking large quantities of alcohol over a short period of time. Excessively drinking alcohol could decrease your nervous systems ability to breathe, swallow or even prevent the body from choking. This could potentially lead to asphyxiation, which is when someone struggles to breathe and instead chokes on their own vomit. The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) indicates how much alcohol is in the blood stream, and continues to rise if someone falls asleep or passes out. In this scenario, it is best to keep the individual awake and alert or take them to hospital if you fear alcohol poisoning has taken place.

Long-term effects of binge drinking

Continuous overexposure to ethanol can lead to a variety of different health problems which are physical, mental and psychological in nature. The main health problems include irreversible liver damage, obesity, a chronic dependance on alcohol and even damage to the brain and entire nervous system

Reduce your risk

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia recommends that women and men should drink no more than two standard drinks a day. Although there is no safe level of alcoholic consumption, keep this as a guide and learn to understand how alcohol affects you individually. People who are overexposed to alcohol are more prone to alcohol-related injury such as fighting, domestic violence and even death. You can only be responsible for yourself, and as such be aware of your own limits with drinking alcohol while you’re out. 

Image via Brittney Deguara

By Felicia Sapountzis