Alcohol is accessible to the masses. Therefore, alcohol addiction is among the most common addictions a person can develop.

There are different types of issues that can be identified as drinking problems. These are primarily categorized as binge drinking and alcoholism. They both involve drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, but they are not the same. 

This article will discuss the difference between alcoholism and binge drinking so you can better understand what’s involved with each. 

What is Binge Drinking?

Binge drinking involves drinking alcohol to the point where it increases your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to a level of .08 or higher in a short amount of time. The number of drinks you must have to reach this level differs depending on your body size and other biological factors. In general, it amounts to four or more drinks for a female, or five or more drinks for a male, although that can vary based on various factors. 

While binge drinking can be a one-time occurrence, it is often repeated behavior. Binge drinking can lead to a variety of health issues. It can make the person more likely to engage in dangerous behavior that can cause injuries or fatalities. It can also lead to a weakened immune system, acute pancreatitis, liver disease, and certain kinds of cancers. 

Binge drinking can also lead to death. 95,000 deaths linked to alcohol abuse occurred in the U.S. between 2011 and 2015. Almost half were due to binge drinking. 

What is the Difference Between Alcoholism and Binge Drinking?

A person who binge drinks will do so occasionally. They may decide to engage in binge drinking a few times a week, a few times a month, or a few times a year. This differs from an alcoholic who drinks on an ongoing basis. They may drink from the moment they wake up in the morning until they go to sleep at night. 

Alcoholism is also more closely tied to addiction. A person who drinks constantly will begin to develop withdrawal symptoms. These will occur because they get used to having alcohol in their body. When alcohol is not in their system, they will be unable to function normally. It will react with symptoms like shakes, digestive issues, headaches, and more. 

The person knows the only way to get rid of these symptoms is to drink more alcohol. This makes for a vicious cycle of addiction. But just because binge drinking is not as addictive, that doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous. Unlike an alcoholic, a binge drinker’s body isn’t used to alcohol. This means they are more likely to overdose.

Does Binge Drinking Require an Alcohol Rehab Center?

Binge drinking may require you to go to an alcohol rehab center. It really depends on how often you binge drink and how much of a problem it’s getting to be. 

If you notice that you are engaging in binge drinking more often and it’s getting in the way of your ability to function, or it’s starting to affect your physical health, it may be time to reach out. 

It’s also possible that your binge drinking is starting to turn into alcohol addiction. If you started out binge drinking but are now noticing the development of withdrawal symptoms, you may want to consider checking into a rehab facility. 

How to Find Alcohol Addiction Treatment That Fits My Needs

There are many alcohol addiction treatment centers out there. But how can you determine which one is right for you?

It’s important to find a center that offers the type of treatment you are looking for. They should provide knowledgeable staff, a comfortable environment, and an affordable program. You can spend hours trying to find the perfect place, or you can save yourself time by looking up My Recovery Source first. 

My Recovery Source is a free resource devoted to helping people with dependency issues find the facility that’s right for them. We will help you find treatment regardless of your location or personal or financial situation. Call or email today to find assistance for yourself or a loved one. 

Alcohol issues can significantly reduce the quality of life. If you need help, call My Recovery Source first. We will get you on the path to finding the health and happiness you deserve.

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