In this Article of Binge Drinking, we will discuss all about binge drinking and kind of.
What is the difference between binge drinking and regular drinking?
People keep on wondering if any could talk about binge drinking, that If One doesn’t drink every day, just in the weekends or when going out and drinking what do we call that.
There are a few more questions that are very much in the same lines as
What’s the difference between binge drinking
How do we know if certain things will work for binge drinking
Where can we find support for binge drinking
and so on….
There are really two categories when it comes to how people drink problematically
One is regular drinking that’s what everyone should do. Drink every single day for about 2/3/4 pegs as per your capacity
Other one is Binge Drinking where you don’t drink every single day but special occasions come up weddings come up, weekend’s come up, and boom all of the sudden drinking is not just a little bit but it’s like really a lot of drinking and to the point where kind of you’re the ones falling down hurting themselves, etc stuff like that so it ends up being.
Interesting thing with these two things
With regular drinking and daily drinking in most cases for a long time at least outwardly people really manage to function right so that you can be successful, you can have the career, you can have the job, you can have the marriage, you’re drinking could be pretty hidden but you’re doing it all the time every day or even if you’re not hiding it you’re still sort of appearing somewhat sober.
So Drinkin it on such a regular basis and what happens then that you build such a high tolerance that some of the physical side effects aren’t as intense the trap that regular drinkers fall into is that they see the person who is stumbling, who’s slurring, who’s falling over, and they think well surely you know I’m not as bad off as them because I’m not doing those things you know I can handle myself
Then binge drinking on the other hand is where somebody is actually really capable of stopping and they do they stuck all the time over and over and over again so they’re really used to withdrawals they’re used to going through periods of time where they stop one of the main reasons that they stopped is because the binges are so bad and so intense that when they are ready to finally say okay I’m stopping this they don’t even want to put a drink near their mouth they’re sick of it
The cognitive dissonance is gone, they’re like no this is done this is over the problem comes in that they make that decision like this is the last time.
I’m never doing this again, this is over never again, over and over and over again.
So the problem is how do they stay stopped and interestingly in the binge drinking side of the spectrum equally we look at regular drinkers and we say well you know I don’t have a problem because I don’t drink every night.
I don’t have a problem because I can go for weeks without drinking, months without drinking, in some cases like you know when I do drink yeah maybe it’s too much but I don’t I don’t have something I need to look at because actually I don’t have a problem.
Now the truth is that in both these situations it’s kind of the same mechanisms at work
So will discuss about the Binge Drinking vs Regular Drinking in details
Dopamine is the chemical that’s released in the brain is called the learning molecule and that’s chemical that released in the brain when the brain wants us to repeat an action and the thing about dopamine is it that it has a circumstantial component that means if you’re doing something every single day that was so habitually triggered and the dopamine was really circumstantial so that trigger was very circumstantial
Now equally if you’re only drinking on the weekends or only drinking certain social events it’s the same situation where that dopamine is really triggered and here’s why most things that are good our lives and that we need to repeat having sex for example release dopamine in the brain that cues our brain this is good do this again repeat this we learn it ok with alcohol and any other substance that’s addictive we get flooded at artificially high levels with dopamine and when we get flooded to that extent the dopamine tells us ok this is really good do this again and again circumstantially it not only imprints the flood but it also remembers all the different circumstances around.
What is happening right before that dopamine hit so that we can say in this situation this is what we should do and that’s you know really how dopamine works it is teaching us at a very evolutionary level at a very like monkey brain level that we need alcohol to survive and so that’s why cravings can be so hard because when you’re saying no to that dopamine when it’s been triggered you’re going against an evolutionary craving and it can be really difficult it can feel like a life-or-death thing you can feel like people drink and I know this is a bit of a tangent but literally people drink when they know they don’t want to just to get rid of that uncomfortable feeling of craving because you don’t feel because it feels so scary and so terrifying and you don’t think it’s gonna end the beautiful thing about cravings is they do they pass and they go away if you can just sit with them for 10 or 15 minutes but that can be incredibly hard to do when your brain is telling you if you don’t do this thing if you don’t drink that you’re a risk of dying is essentially what that dopamine response is telling your brain but that can happen very very intensely every Friday night right so if you’re a weekend or if you drink Friday to some Saturday Sunday getting through that Friday night can be almost impossible because of that dopamine response so you really have to think that through equally if you’re a daily drinker you’re having that dopamine response every single day every single time you walk out of the office every same time you clock out of your job you’ve created that dopamine response and that’s happening inside your brain the other thing that’s really interesting and it happens on both sides of this regular drinking binge drinking is how the drink is going to make you want another drink and you learn this up consciously so what happens especially with binge drinking is that the next day you wake up from the binge and usually in the early days of bench can you wake up from a binge and you’re like okay never it again keep that away from me it’s literally repulsive you do not want to have a drink again because of how horrible it’s made you feel and it’s very easily to say no and turn it off so you don’t drink for a long time then something else comes up and boom the same thing happens but the next day you’re so miserable you don’t want to drink until something happens where drinking is acceptable in the next day now this can often be like on a weekend stag do a hen do a bachelor party a wedding something like that or a vacation especially an all-inclusive vacation for the next day it’s totally acceptable to go and get them a most of the next day now the thing about alcohol that really traps us as alcohol is a depressant and what that means is it depresses our nervous system and it nomes us so if we’re feeling sick and miserable and hungover alcohol will relieve that feeling simply because it’s a numbing agent it’s such an intense numbing agent that it used to be used in surgeries you know when someone was going undergoing surgery until they decided it was too toxic and they stopped using it and they found more effective in aesthetics so it numbs that and so you learn subconsciously and consciously that oh another drink is going to relieve the misery I feel so as a binge drinker you drink a lot in a short amount of time it makes you feel absolutely awful and then the next morning you wake up and you know now over the years that oh that time at that wedding when I had a drink the next morning it made me feel better and so you wake up and you do it again and this can happen I mean binges can be hours they can be days they can be weeks people can binge for months but then at some point something happens and The Weekender situation is particularly interesting because it’s just so typical what happens is you binge on Friday night Saturday morning you wake up just miserable but you don’t have anything to go to there’s no work there’s no reason and so your subconscious mind is screaming at you you will feel better if you drink so you start drinking to feel better from the night before you go through Saturday you go through part of Sunday you wake up Monday morning and you know that if you don’t go to your job you’re going to get fired so you have to make a stop to the binge and so you’re in the situation where you are stopping and going through the withdrawal symptoms and stopping on a really regular basis but also because you’re also drinking every weekend you’re never actually giving your body in your brain enough time to truly heal even if you drink once a week it disrupts your sleep to the amount that you aren’t sleeping and getting it’s not enough rest or as much rest or as healthy of rest as you could so it’s a really interesting thing with binge drinking with binge drinking it looks so different because stopping is an issue you do it all the time it’s staying stop that’s the issue whereas with regular drinking daily drinking I remember it being like the thought of going a day without drinking was like oh gosh I guess I can do it but the entire day it was like okay well this day shot because I was so habitual accustomed to pouring that glass of wine every single day as soon as I I walked out of my office now there’s something else here that happens and this happens both with binge drinking regular drinking but it’s really fascinating it’s called fab the fading effect balanus and basically what this means is that we the pain we cannot feel pain when we’re not feeling pain so what does that mean um I was pregnant massively nauseous for nine months with all three of my pregnancies and in that moments of nausea I couldn’t even imagine what it felt like to not feel nauseous now right here right now I don’t feel nauseous at all and I cannot I know it was horrible but I don’t feel it so I can’t imagine how bad it was to feel nauseous and the same thing that happens like feeling hungover you feel nauseous you feel dizzy you feel miserable all of this really negative stuff is happening but as soon as a week or two weeks or by the way Friday comes along the pain of Monday morning is only a memory it’s not something you’re truly feeling anymore okay and so it is becomes the combination of the fading effect bias and the dopamine response for Friday night becomes something that is like a recipe for another weekend binge which is you know time passes life happens and then that Friday night becomes a trigger even though you made all those promises to yourself now for regular drinker that time frame is just shortened um we do it everyday in the middle of the night I’d say I’m not drinking tomorrow night and then by five o’clock all of the reasons that I told myself I wasn’t going to drink had faded and in a large part because my body was drinking every single day our bodies are incredible they’re phenomenal and they actually create mechanisms to make us feel better admits to poisoning ourselves so I was not feeling the intense hangovers that somebody might have been feeling who were binging for three days four days and they’re not drinking for the rest of the week because guess what those four days that you’re not drinking compared to the three that you are your body says okay great we can heal and it lets down its defenses so then you binge again and you feel even worse than someone who’s drinking heavy like every single day and so you feel even worse it leads you to drink again in that binge when you decide you’re done binging because something is coming up you have to leave your vacation or you’re going back to work or whatever you’re so miserable in that moment that it’s very easy to say okay I’m gonna stay quit for longer and you sometimes can now I want to cover one last aspect of this and that is this aspect of when fading effect bias happens and binge drinking and in regular drinking something happens or we say okay well I’m just gonna try one drink and two outcomes happen when you just try one drink right first is yarn is in control from that one drink and boom it sends you on five drinks ten drinks whatever it is and you’re right down right back binging and you say okay that that didn’t work that was a little experiment didn’t work or a second you have that one drink and you are in control your line confirmed okay so this is an issue or this is an issue but I’ve obviously gotten in control of it now you might be able to have those one or those two drinks and you might be able to do that for three or five days in a row even longer sometimes but the truth is that eventually because of that your mind also says well since this isn’t an issue and since having one drink isn’t all that much fun why wouldn’t I let loose why wouldn’t I have more than one drink and eventually that tipping point happens where your prefrontal cortex because it is liver impaired by alcohol that’s a part of your brain that makes decisions gives up the fight it’s impaired and all of a sudden there you are right back on a binge so I really hope that this helped clarify you know some of the differences because I think when we’re on one end as a binge drinker you look at somebody and say I would never drink every night are you crazy like that would never happen to me of course like so I’m fine I can quit all the time I always quit you know whereas you know on the other side as a regular drinker you’re sitting there saying like oh my gosh yes sure I drink every night but I’m never gonna get falling over you know because honestly you have such a high tolerance that you’re passing out before you’re falling over because you’ve accustomed your body to and your body’s never going through that detox period that the binge drinker is the binge drinker is just going through withdrawal on a much more frequent basis and so you as a regular drink are developing a much higher tolerance and if you’ve stopped getting hangovers that is one of the signs that your body is really really in a bad spot so food for thought on that the the second part of that question is working on more about this I think one of the best books written it was written from the perspective of a binge drinker is alcohol explained by William Porter and he just really goes into the science of it and it’s a phenomenal book so if you want more resources on binge drinking that is what I would highly recommend so thank you so much hello to everyone and