Regardless of any new studies that come out raving about the benefits of a daily glass of wine, deep down you know that alcohol isn’t exactly a health beverage. There may of course be some benefits to drinking, but the drawbacks far outweigh the benefits when you’re binge drinking.
There are two main ways you can overdo it with drinking. There’s binge drinking, and then there’s daily drinking. Some people may even be guilty of both – binge drinking daily. We know the latter is a worst-case scenario, so let’s explore which is the most damaging: binge drinking vs. daily drinking.
What Is Binge Drinking?
Daily drinking is self-explanatory, but binge drinking leaves a little more to the imagination. Actually, there are a few specific definitions, but binge drinking generally means drinking a lot of alcohol in a short period of time. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), binge drinking is any type of drinking that brings your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams or above. This typically happens at 5 drinks for men and 4 drinks for women within a period of about 2 hours.
How Bad Is Binge Drinking?
You may think that a binge drinker is an alcoholic, but that’s not necessarily the case. Binge drinking doesn’t necessarily equate to alcoholism.
But if you’re guilty of binge drinking, you’re not alone. The CDC estimates that one in six adults binge drinks about four times a month.
So how bad is it for your health?
Well, it could be better. Binge drinking is associated with many health problems, including:
- Unintentional injuries (think car accidents, alcohol poisoning, and falls)
- Violence (including domestic violence, homicide, suicide, and sexual assault)
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Unintended pregnancy
- Chronic diseases (including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and liver disease)
- Cancer (especially breast, mouth, colon, esophagus and liver cancers)
- Memory and learning problems
How Bad Is Daily Drinking?
So, now let’s talk about that glass or two of wine each night. We all have tales of a relative who drank daily until the ripe old age of 80-something, but does that mean it’s healthy?
Much like binge drinking, daily drinking doesn’t necessarily equate to alcoholism, but there’s definitely a connection. Most alcoholics drink daily, but not all daily drinkers are alcoholics.
Still, the research shows that there’s a stronger connection between daily drinking and liver disease. A UK study found that there’s a much greater risk of developing Alcohol-Related Liver Disease (ALD) when you drink daily as opposed to when you binge drink. We can imagine that binge drinking daily would increase those odds exponentially.
And daily drinking is also associated with most of the same health conditions as binge drinking, so it’s an all-around bad idea.
Binge Drinking Versus Daily Drinking
If you’re guilty of either binge drinking or daily drinking and are looking for some reassurance that you’re not doing the worst thing, you may be disappointed. Neither of these drinking habits is good for your health.
But of the two, it seems that daily drinking tends to be more damaging (although it’s a very close race). This is only because there’s a broad range of habits that fall under the category of binge drinking. In fact, binge drinking is a practice and not necessarily a habit. Daily drinking is always a habit.
If you are in the habit of binge drinking, say a few times per month, it’s no better than daily drinking.
In both cases, you’re at risk of alcoholism and other health-related issues, like heart disease, cancer and more. This is why you really shouldn’t choose between binge drinking and daily drinking. Instead, drink alcohol only in moderation. That is, one to two drinks in a sitting no more than twice a week.
How To Stop Binge Or Daily Drinking
If you are binge drinking or daily drinking, your first action is to stop. But for many people, this is easier said than done. If you’re having trouble stopping, you may already be on your way to alcoholism. Problem drinkers aren’t quite alcoholics, but they are likely to become alcoholics if they keep drinking.
And if you think you need help quitting, be sure to find a rehab center right away. The longer you let alcohol rule your life, the harder it will be to stop.
You may have been fooled into believing that you need alcohol to have fun, but that’s not the case. If you take a hard look at what alcohol is doing to your life and health, it’s easy to see that the effects are not positive. But don’t worry. Before long, you’ll realise the benefits of treating addiction and be able to turn your life around before it’s too late.