Do you set the intention not to drink too much only to lose that resolve as soon as you start drinking and then you wake up the next morning feeling awful and full of drinkers’ remorse? You miss work or you’re late for work and people are beginning to notice. Or worse, you do something embarrassing or dangerous when you’re drunk. You worry about your binge drinking.
You don’t drink every day or even crave a drink during the week but when you do start you just can’t stop and you’re not even funny to be around when you’re drunk.
You’d love to be able to enjoy a drink without going over the top and you don’t really know why you do it or what to do about it.
What is binge drinking?
The usual measure of binge drinking would be downing five or more drinks for men and four or more for women in the space of two hours.
Binge drinking versus alcoholism
Alcoholics can be binge drinkers, but there isn’t a set number of drinks that makes someone an alcoholic. The key is the physical addiction to alcohol, the constant craving for it, and the inability to control drinking and get through the day without it. A common phrase is “drinking to feel normal,” which isn’t usually true for binge drinkers.
Many people who binge drink on the weekends can cruise through the week with no drinks at all. But although they might not qualify as alcoholics, they’d certainly meet the criteria for heavy drinking, possibly averaging the same number of drinks per week as many alcoholics. And even if a binge drinker doesn’t suffer from withdrawal symptoms or have a physical compulsion to drink every day, it’s an unhealthy pattern that he or she might need assistance to break.
Since alcohol abuse is defined as heavy drinking on five or more instances in a month, binge drinkers are typically at risk for becoming alcohol abusers, or alcoholics. The greater the number of drinks, and the frequency with which one drinks them, are factors in how likely it is to transform from a binge drinker to a full-blown alcohol abuser.
Are you a binge drinker?
Signs of a binge drinker include, but are not limited to:
- Dismisses concerns of others. The binge drinker might claim that they have everything under control and seek to present their drinking as normal and their critics as prudish or no fun.
- Drinking 5 or more drinks in 2 hours for men or 4 or more drinks in 2 hours for women.
- Drinking more than intended.
- Feeling unable to stop drinking or slow down.
- Blacking out or having gaps in memory while drinking.
- Displaying violent or dangerous behaviours while under the influence (i.e., driving while drunk, getting into fights or rows, and having unprotected sex).
If you suspect you are a binge drinker, what can you do about it?
First of all, look at why you do it. Many binge drinkers use alcohol as a way to cope with uncomfortable thoughts or emotions, to deal with stress, anxiety, boredom, feelings of failure or loneliness.
It’s a symptom of something deeper that needs attending to like lack of confidence, past trauma, anxiety, loneliness, sadness, unresolved grief and dealing with these and learning better coping mechanisms means that the dependency on alcohol is less and less.
Have you ever stopped to think why you’re using alcohol like this as a coping mechanism?
Working with me we can begin to uncover the issues that are driving you to drink more than you want to. To begin to take control of alcohol instead of it controlling you. We can use Coaching, NLP and Hypnotherapy powerful techniques to change the messages that are telling you that drink is the way to ease these past hurts and begin to heal them in a new, more healthy, effective way.
Gradually you can find you just don’t want to drink so much, or so often. That you just don’t need it in the same way, and you can get to a place where you can cope with life’s challenges, without reaching for the bottle. Of course, this is going to benefit your relationships, your work, your health and your self image, which reinforces the changes you make.
So, reach out for help now and learn better ways of dealing with life
Book a call to discuss your alcohol use and how I can help you to replace binge drinking with more helpful habits and strategies or contact me via email: