What Happens to the Brain of Colorado Binge Drinkers?

Wooden letter spelling out binge drink.

The number of people who drink alcohol in unhealthy quantities grows every year, and Colorado is not immune to the plague. Some of these people are not defined by society as alcoholics but as binge drinkers.

Binge drinking is when alcohol has been consumed in an extreme volume over a short time span. This is cited as five or more drinks in a two-hour time span for men and four or more drinks in a two-hour time span for women. The most common age range for binge drinking occurs between ages 18 and 34.

In contrast, an alcoholic is defined as a person who requires the consumption of alcohol to function on a daily basis and would suffer the effects of withdrawal if the required alcohol is not ingested. In the eyes of society, being an alcoholic is much more stigmatized than binge drinking, especially if the binge drinking is carried out by young people just having a “good time”. But are the results of binge drinking any less harmful than that of alcoholism?

Binge drinking occurs in 1 out of 6 adults in the United States approximately four times per month.  When under the influence of alcohol, a depressant, a person can engage in risky behaviors that can cause self-harm or harm others. Long-term effects of binge drinking can include stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, certain types of cancers, and liver damage. Cognitive damages are a result of binge drinking and the ability to “get things done”, or execute necessary tasks, becomes extremely impaired.

Group of people lifting filled beer mugs as a toast.

Many young people participate in binge drinking as part of “being young”. In fact, many of those under the age of 21 who reported binge drinking cited multiple instances of binge drinking. College students, in particular, are a group well-known for drinking to excess at parties and social events. Many do not believe there is any harm to their bodies when not under the influence of alcohol.

However, a study has shown that when at rest, the brain of binge drinkers mirrors the brain of a chronic alcoholic. This is particularly damaging to young adults as the brain is still in development during the ages at which most attend college and, subsequently, could be more likely to engage in binge drinking behavior. With some sources claiming that the brain is not fully developed until the age of 25, irreparable damage can be done during what society deems as typical college party activities.

Group of young people playing beer pong with red cups.

The misuse of alcohol in any form is detrimental to both mental and physical health, with young adults being the most vulnerable to long-term damages. Help for both binge drinking and alcoholism can be found through a Colorado alcohol rehab program. Whether you or a loved one partake in binge drinking activities like approximately 17 percent of the country does or alcohol has a much tighter hold upon you, there are resources available through Colorado alcohol rehab programs that can help at any stage of the habit.

If you even have the question as to whether you have or someone you care about has an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, do not wait another moment to ask for help. Contact us today!

What Happens to the Brain of Colorado Binge Drinkers?
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