how to stop binge drinking

Ugh! Another morning of waking up in pain, with cringe-worthy memories, if you can remember at all, of your embarrassing actions from the night before only adding to the misery. Somehow, once again, you got swept up in the moment, the revelry, and were unable to control your alcohol intake. Drinking games, pub crawls, party dares—whatever the catalyst you just couldn’t resist partaking with gusto.

Eventually, as always, the sense of abandon and cheer the booze first gifted you with dissipated to sloppy, drunken nonsense. You behaved in ways you never would have sober and more than once ended up participating in high-risk antics. Your reputation is becoming tarnished right along with your self-esteem. It is time to learn how to stop binge drinking and gain control of your life.

What is Binge Drinking?

Binge drinking refers to the practice of consuming large quantities of alcohol in a short duration. For women this means four or more alcoholic beverages within two hours, and for men it entails five or more alcoholic beverages. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines an alcoholic beverage as:

  • One 1.5 ounce shot of 40% alcohol spirits
  • One 5 ounce glass of wine
  • One 12 ounce bottle of beer

Binge drinking has captured a lot of media attention in recent years as alcohol poisoning events occurred on American college campuses or fraternity houses. Alcohol poisoning is always a present danger if an individual engages in binge drinking. According to the Centers for Disease Control, six people die each day due to alcohol poisoning. Another dangerous effect of binge drinking involves driving under the influence, potentially resulting in a serious accident or fatalities.

What Causes Someone to Binge Drink?

There are several notable reasons why someone would engage in binge drinking. Some may be emotionally motivated, while others are socially motivated. Some of these reasons for binge drinking might include:

  • Getting caught up in the moment and not paying attention to the amount of alcohol consumed
  • Peer pressure to participate in drinking games and compete with others to drink dangerous amounts of alcohol
  • Emotional upheavals, a romantic breakup, loss of a job, loss of a loved one a financial setback, or other distressing life events
  • Attempting to manage a mental health disorder by overconsumption of alcohol

Is Binge Drinking the Same as Alcoholism?

In most cases, binge drinking, while problematic and dangerous, is not technically considered an alcohol use disorder. However, those who continue to engage in binge drinking are three times more likely to eventually develop an alcohol use disorder. When problem drinking begins to take a toll on one’s life, leading to various adverse consequences, then they have crossed over into an alcohol use disorder.

Steps for How to Stop Binge Drinking and Gain Control of Your Life

To understand how to stop binge drinking and gain control of your life it should be assumed that some therapy is in order. Binge drinking is a behavioral symptom of an underlying psychological issue that should be identified, processed, and treated. Without going through the sometimes painful and difficult process of examining sources of emotional pain, the self-destructive behavioral response, binge drinking, will likely continue.

An outpatient program for treating alcohol misuse provides the resources and therapeutic activities that can help the individual stop the problem drinking and reclaim their life. An outpatient program offers various levels of intensity, depending on the severity of the problem at hand. At the least, outpatient counseling twice a week can be very effective in helping the person overcome the issues that fuel the binge drinking behavior.

How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Can Help Treat Binge Drinking

CBT is a short-term therapy that is highly effective in helping individuals to acquire new behavior responses to stressors. When the binge drinking is the result of negative self-esteem, negative self-talk, social anxiety, struggling to fit in, or other similar triggers, the CBT therapist will guide the client toward replacing the negative thoughts with positive ones that then culminate in constructive behaviors. CBT generally lasts for about three months, long enough to help the client establish new thought/behavior patterns as habit.

Phoenix Rising Addiction Center Treats Binge Drinking Behaviors

Phoenix Rising Addiction Center is an outpatient alcohol and drug treatment program located in Orange County, California. Through cognitive behavioral therapy, our compassionate therapists can help clients examine the triggers and motivations behind binge drinking and help them replace the maladaptive and self-destructive behaviors with new productive, positive thought/behavior patterns. Phoenix Rising Addiction Center offers evening programming as well, to accommodate students or individuals with daytime commitments. Wanting to know how to stop binge drinking and gain control of your life? Contact Phoenix Rising Addiction Center Heath Care today at (949) 518-0345 and reclaim your life.