Binge drinking can be a big red flag in terms of alcoholism. Binge drinking can lead to all sorts of problems. It’s not really the same as someone who drinks a glass or two of wine each day, even if the weekly or monthly consumption works out similarly, because the binge adds a lot of extra pressure and stress to the body, especially the liver.
Your body can much more easily process a glass or two of wine each night, than it can process seven or fourteen glasses of wine all at once. Not only that, but the effects will hit you a lot harder when you’re binge drinking, leading to a loss of control of your motor functions, blacking out and loss of memory, and being in danger, in case you were wondering why is binge drinking dangerous.
What Is The Prevalence of Binge Drinking?
The number of Americans who have engaged in binge drinking during the last month (based on 2019 figures, it’s unclear how the pandemic may have influenced this in more recent years.
On one hand, people may not have gone out drinking as often, however that could lead to a lot more people drinking at home, especially in an attempt to handle depression and other mental health issues that have increased in recent years.)
25.8% of people aged 18 and over self-reported that they had binge drank in the past month. It works out to 29.7% of men, and 22.2% of women.
This would suggest that binge drinking is more common among men, but remember that these are based on self-reported stats so there could be other factors, for example men might be more forthcoming to share their drinking habits, and it’s entirely possible that there are members of either gender who didn’t share the truth about their drinking habits.
Shame is a common thing that’s felt among alcoholics and people who binge drink. Even though alcohol is widely promoted in many societies and seen as a rite of passage and widely promoted and marketed, there’s still a sense of shame that many alcoholics feel when it comes to seeking help, and that’s something that we can all work to reduce.
Every little drop of stigma that exists around somebody coming forward to talk about being an alcoholic means that some portion of people won’t be able to overcome that stigma. The less stigma, the more people will feel safe and comfortable seeking help.
Reducing The Societal Stigma of Seeking Help for Drinking Problems
One thing that helps a lot is when celebrity alcoholics come forward to talk about their struggles and overcoming them. Regardless of how one might feel about celebrity culture, they can certainly help to normalize things in society, for example seeking treatment and help for an addiction.
Another way to decrease the stigma is simply by talking about it in your own circles and your own life. Be mindful of the types of jokes you make regarding alcoholism or substance abuse, and ensure that you aren’t sending signals that might made an addict feel like they have to hide their struggles from you.
Finally, if you’re struggling, the best thing you can do to break down stigma is to reach out for help and make that change in your life – this will not only help you a great deal – but it will make those around you that may also be struggling with alcoholism or other addictions feel more empowered to help themselves, too.