Binge drinking has a reputation for being the wild cousin of alcohol abuse. You blackout. You neglect duties. You stop working. You drink nonstop. You waste cash on expensive and cheap drinks alike. It often plays out as a dramatic Hollywood movie in people’s heads. While alcohol abuse intervention is important for kinds of alcoholics, it is even more so for those who do binge drinking.
The portrait most people have of binge drinking due to novels and movies is for the most part accurate. It is a period when the substance abuser frequently becomes intoxicated again and again and does indeed stop other parts of their life to do so, such as neglecting work and family duties. Clinics typically use this description as their prime definition for what is binge drinking.
But what exactly constitutes a “binge?” In Sweden, doctors classify it as drinking half of a bottle of alcohol of any kind or two wine bottles in a single instance. However, Italy has a different idea, claiming that drink eight alcoholic beverages was okay and even normal. For the United Kingdom, it’s capped at eleven drinks on a single occasion, and for the United States, it’s five for men and four for women since alcohol penetrates the blood stream of women quicker than it does for a man, and thus affecting them faster. But if woman drank four drinks of sat wine and over a long period of time, such as a celebratory dinner, doctors could technically call her an official binge drinker. The various definitions show a bigger problem though. Because it is a hard to define disease with parameters constantly fluctuating, alcoholism intervention and residential drug treatment is harder to provide.
More real and practical definitions are starting to take hold. Taking off from the point that a binge is any instance where many alcoholic drinks are consumed at one instance over a period of time—many being defined to suit the specific person binging—some doctors and others in the medical community now say binge drinking is also about drinking that ends in detrimental acts and behavior. With the core of binge drinking stared to be more easily defined, alcohol addiction treatment is getting easier to provide for those who binge.
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