10 Consequences Of Binge Drinking To Be Aware Of

4 min read
Apr 7, 2024 10:11:26 AM

Binge drinking can have countless short and long-term effects on your life, affecting your health, finances, and general well-being.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as the consumption of alcohol to the point of raising your blood alcohol concentration to 0.08 grams percent or above.

This pattern of drinking can be dangerous – but what exactly are the main consequences of binge drinking? That’s what we’ll be exploring today. Read on for 10 of the most prominent consequences of binge drinking to be aware of.


1 – Increased Risk of Injuries and Accidents

One of the most immediate effects of binge drinking is the increased risk of injuries and accidents. When you’re under the influence of alcohol, your coordination and judgement become impaired.

This can make you more prone to:

  • Falls
  • Car accidents
  • Drowning
  • Burns
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Unplanned pregnancy
  • And other mishaps


Ultimately, binge drinkers are more likely to experience injuries compared to moderate drinkers, highlighting the dangers associated with heavy drinking.


2 – Weakened Immune System

Binge drinking doesn’t just affect your immediate safety – it can affect your immune system over time.

Excessive alcohol consumption can weaken the body’s defences, making it harder to fight off infections and illnesses. This puts binge drinkers at a greater risk of contracting diseases and experiencing longer periods of sickness.

Drinking alcohol in moderation could actually reduce inflammation and make vaccines more effective. However, drinking too much alcohol over time can lower the number of infection-fighting cells in your body and raise the risk of getting sick from bacteria and viruses.


3 – Financial Difficulty

Drinking heavily over time can take a huge toll on your finances. It can lead to significant financial strain, as the cost of alcohol adds up over time.

For example, if you are drinking two bottles of spirits every week, this could cost upwards of £50 per week, which is around £2,600 per year on alcohol. Likewise, if you have over 12 pints in a pub or bar over a weekend, this could set you back £50-60 per weekend on beer or cider alone.

As well as the cost of alcohol, you should consider additional costs such as legal fees and lack of productivity at work.


4 – Relationship Problems

Binge drinking can strain relationships with family members, friends, and romantic partners. Excessive alcohol consumption may lead to arguments, misunderstandings, and even violence.

Over time, these issues can have a huge impact on trust and intimacy, further exacerbating the impact of binge drinking on your life.


5 – Long-Term Health Issues

While the short-term effects of binge drinking are concerning, the long-term consequences are equally alarming.

Chronic alcohol abuse can contribute to many health problems, including:

  • Liver disease
  • Heart disease
  • Neurological disorders
  • Digestive problems
  • Stroke
  • Cancer of the mouth, throat, colon, oesophagus, breast, voice box, liver, and rectum


By regaining control over your drinking habits or quitting alcohol completely, you can reduce the risk of these long-term health issues.


6 – Mental Health Problems

Binge drinking can take a toll on your mental well-being. It can exacerbate existing mental health conditions or even cause you to develop new mental health problems.

There is a strong correlation between heavy alcohol consumption and conditions such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder


Alcohol abuse can impair cognitive function and memory, impacting daily functioning and quality of life. Although drinking alcohol may appear to relieve symptoms of mental health conditions temporarily, it can actually make them worse in the long term.

Ultimately, people who drink alcohol appear to be more likely to experience mental health issues – and likewise, people with mental health problems may be more likely to drink alcohol.


7 – Legal Trouble

Binge drinking could potentially lead to legal issues. Excessive alcohol consumption can lower your inhibitions, increasing the risk of reckless behaviour and even criminal activities.

For example, heavy drinking could increase the risk of committing criminal offences such as:

  • Public intoxication
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Driving under the influence
  • Violent behaviour


These offences can have lasting consequences, potentially leading to fines, licence suspension, and even incarceration.


8 – Alcohol Poisoning

Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to alcohol poisoning. This is a potentially life-threatening condition caused by dangerously high levels of alcohol in the bloodstream.

Drinking more than 12 units of alcohol can put you at considerable risk of developing alcohol poisoning – especially if you drink a lot of alcohol in a short period of time.

Drinking slowly can prevent the risk. This is because the liver removes around one unit of alcohol from the body per hour.

Some symptoms of alcohol poisoning to be aware of include:

  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness


If you recognise these signs in yourself or somebody else, seek medical attention immediately. Alcohol poisoning can be fatal, so seek help sooner rather than later.


9 – Blackouts and Memory Issues

Binge drinking can cause periods of memory loss or blackouts. When you drink excessive levels of alcohol, you may struggle to recall events that occurred during the binge episode.

The part of your brain that helps with memory, called the hippocampus, doesn’t function properly when you drink too much. Alcohol also affects the chemicals in your brain that help you think clearly.

Drinking too much over time can make memory problems worse and even lead to serious brain issues.


10 – Potential for Addiction

The more you drink, the higher the risk of developing an addiction. Binge drinking can increase the risk of developing alcohol use disorder – a chronic and relapsing condition that can be difficult to overcome without support.

Alcohol addiction is characterised by the lack of control over drinking. As you build a tolerance, your body becomes used to alcohol. Over time, your body may crave alcohol to feel ‘normal’.

You may begin to prioritise alcohol, neglect your responsibilities and experience withdrawal symptoms when you try to quit drinking or drastically lower the number of units your body is used to. The good news is that there is help out there for you.


Get Help Today for Binge Drinking and Alcoholism

If you or someone you know is struggling with binge drinking or alcoholism, it’s essential to seek help as soon as possible.

At Rehubs, we are here to help you along your recovery journey. Whether you’re looking to stop drinking alcohol for good, or you’re simply looking to gain control over your drinking habits, our online rehab programme can provide you with the support and tools you need.

Our platform provides accessible and confidential support, including therapy sessions, educational resources, and peer support networks.

With the right guidance and support, you can overcome binge drinking and reclaim control over your life. Don’t wait until it’s too late – reach out for help today and take the first step towards a healthier, happier future.

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