Not very many people have a set intention to binge drink the first couple times they end up doing so. You might have had a rough week at work and wanted to let off some steam with friends. The night starts off with a few drinks, before you get lost in the desire to have a good time and have too much alcohol. If you can relate to this experience, you’re not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in six adults in the country binge drink at least four times a month.
Did you know that the definition of binge drinking and its effect on the body changes depending on your gender? Join us as we take a look at the binge drinking effects between genders, and explore if this behavior is more dangerous for men or women.
A Look at Binge Drinking for Men
The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says that binge drinking for men is when someone has 5 or more drinks in two hours. Not only do men tend to drink more alcohol than women, the CDC reports that they are twice as likely to binge drink. Due to these facts, men also have higher rates of alcohol related hospital visits. Once a man is regularly binge drinking, they become a higher risk for suicide, driving under the influence and being a victim of assualt.
Part of the reason why men are much more likely to binge drink is their relationship with societal pressures. Men often succumb to peer pressure when drinking because it’s regarded as an easy way to impress friends and feel more confident in social situations. However, the short term benefits of binge drinking are not worth the long term consequences. Some of the health risks of binge drinking for men include:
- A higher risk of experiencing high blood pressure while drinking than women.
- Alcohol abuse can cause sexual dysfunction and infertility in men.
- An increased risk of developing ulcers, nerve damage and strokes.
- The risk of experiencing brain damage.
It’s also important to note that when compared to women, men’s bodies can filter alcohol through their system faster. This binge drinking fact partly explains why it’s common for men to partake in excessive drinking and not worry about potential consequences.
What to Know About Binge Drinking for Women
Women who are heavy drinkers or regularly engage in binge drinking are more likely to experience alcohol-related health problems than men. A woman’s body absorbs more alcohol and reaches a higher blood alcohol concentration much quicker compared to a man who drinks the same amount. This fact can be explained by taking a look at some of the biological differences between the genders.
Women have less water in their bodies than men, which means it takes longer for their system to break down and process alcohol. Since women also weigh less on average, their blood alcohol content builds at a much more rapid pace. As a result, many experts on alcohol use disorders and binge drinking agree that women have a higher risk of developing long-term health problems such as:
- Brain damage, which is more likely to occur in women compared to men.
- A higher risk of developing heart disease.
- A risk for breast cancer that gets higher the more a woman abuses alcohol.
- Developing stomach ulcers and intestinal bleeding.
- Liver disease and bone loss.
To help avoid health complications from excessive drinking, the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommends that women drink no more than three drinks a day and seven drinks per week.
Binge Drinking: Is It More Dangerous for Men or Women?
Based on binge drinking facts, it’s safe to say that it’s more dangerous for women to drink excessively. Not only do their bodies have a harder time processing alcohol, the potential long-term health effects are much more likely and severe when compared to men. While binge drinking is more dangerous for women, alcohol abuse poses risks no matter your gender. If you’re struggling with your relationship to alcohol, there is hope to find lasting recovery.
Find Hope for Recovery from Alcohol Abuse in Florida
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