How to Quit Drinking, for Now or Forever

Young drinkers tend to use alcohol to break the rules or assert their independence from their parents. This is one of the reasons binge drinking is so common on college campuses. Your journey toward overcoming binge drinking can start today, with accessible resources ready to guide you toward positive change. Predominantly prevalent among adults aged 18 to 34, the rate of binge drinking is higher among men than women.

how to stop binge drinking

For example, you can set a goal that cuts your number of drinks in half by the end of a three-month period. Calculating your alcohol consumption sheds light on patterns of when and how often you choose to drink. It can also be helpful to set goals with your therapist, and create a plan for achieving your goals. On the other hand, binge drinking is generally defined as four drinks for women and five drinks for men within a two-hour period.

What Happens to Your Body When You Binge Drink

If they continue to engage in the same unhealthy patterns, you could revisit the conversation later. Pregnant women who binge drink can affect their child’s physical and cognitive development. A child with FASD might experience heart or bone problems, reduced attention span and memory, or learning disabilities.

• Make sure if you drink alcohol that you also eat to slow absorption of alcohol. Everyone can contribute to the prevention of excessive alcohol use. “For patients who are left with cirrhosis after severe injury to the liver from alcohol, even one drink of alcohol is toxic to the liver,” cautions Dr. Lindenmeyer. BetterHelp can connect you to an addiction and mental health counselor.

Binge drinking vs. alcoholism

Binge drinking is when a person consumes enough alcoholic beverages during a 2-hour period to bring their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08% or higher. Typically, this means four drinks for women and five drinks for men. It’s easier to achieve a goal with the right tools, resources, and people to empower you along the way. By working with therapists and physicians who are trained in treating unhealthy substance use, together you can create a customized plan that works toward your goals in a way that feels right for you. It may be easier, and more appropriate, for you to abstain from alcohol, rather than attempt to cut down on consumption. This is especially true if you have signs of an alcohol use disorder (AUD).

As there are many different kinds of malts, liquors and wines, it’s important to pay attention to the labels and serving sizes. Antidepressants, antiepileptic drugs, and certain stimulants are also sometimes used to treat BED, though more research is needed to evaluate the long-term effects of these medications (38, 39). Sleep affects your hunger levels and appetite, and sleep deprivation may be linked to binge eating.

Women and Alcohol

Kids are experiencing their life away from their parents for the first time. They’ll want to experience life without their parents’ restrictions. According to Dr. Streem, the bottom line is that Americans need to drink less alcohol. In fact, one study in 146 people found that those with BED reported significantly more symptoms of insomnia than people without a history of this condition (24). One small study in 50 people with BED showed that practicing yoga for 12 weeks led to a significant reduction in binging (12).

  • If there are people in your life who pressure you to drink more or give you a hard time about drinking in moderation, it’s probably time to stop hanging out with them.
  • The spiral from binge drinking into alcohol addiction can be a gradual process.
  • Consider if you should avoid situations where heavy drinking is involved or limit your time with friends or places where binge drinking behavior is likely to take place.

To keep that limit in mind, consider writing it down, setting a reminder on your phone, or telling a friend about your intentions. Remember that drinking can lower inhibitions and impair judgment, so once you go past your set limit you might have a harder time stopping. how to stop binge drinking But the next morning, you notice that your depressive symptoms or anxious thoughts are worse than usual. If you are with someone who has consumed alcohol to excess, seek emergency help. “People who are that intoxicated can asphyxiate on vomit,” Dr. Miller says.

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Learning to stop binge drinking and drink only in moderation can be beneficial if you do not have an alcohol addiction. Meeting up for drinks in the evening can become a habit, but this isn’t the only way to relax and catch up with friends. Instead of centering every gathering on alcohol, consider meeting friends for breakfast or lunch. This allows you to socialize without putting yourself in a situation where binge drinking is normalized.

June 2, 2022