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Is a Binge Drinking Problem the Same as Alcoholism?

Simple Path Recovery on April 18, 2018

Unfortunately, there is no rule for the number of alcoholic drinks within a specific number of days which help to determine whether or not a person is an alcoholic. It’s deeper than simply adding together how many drinks a person consumes. And, alcohol abuse is different for each person who struggles with it. When it comes to determining whether or not drinking is a problem, it may not be so obvious. So, how can someone know if their binge drinking problem is indeed alcoholism?

What’s Binge Drinking?

Binge drinking is when an individual consumes more alcohol than they should in one sitting. According to The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, binge drinking is defined by a person’s blood-alcohol concentration. If a person’s blood alcohol concentration level is above a .08, they have drunk enough alcoholic beverages to be considered a binge drinker. Typically, to reach this level of blood-alcohol concentration, a man has to drink 5 or more drinks and a woman four or more in the matter of a two-hour timespan.

I Binge Drink–am I an Alcoholic?

Sure, alcoholics are classically binge drinkers because they usually require mass amounts of alcohol to reach tolerance levels. But, are all binge drinkers alcoholics? Not necessarily. Unfortunately, there is no drawn line to help individuals measure their alcohol abuse issues. But, there is a spectrum of alcohol abuse which can help determine whether or not a drinking problem exists. Instead of thinking about alcoholism and binge drinking as separate issues, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders considers all individuals who may exhibit problem drinking behaviors as having Alcohol Use Disorder. This disorder affects anyone from binge drinkers to severe alcoholics. It characterizes the severity of alcohol abuse in three levels: mild, moderate, and severe. So, while binge drinkers may not be severe alcoholics, their problem drinking behaviors do put them on the spectrum of alcohol abuse disorder.

Binge Drinking VS. Alcohol Addiction

If someone is an alcoholic, you may assume that they are struggling with an alcohol addiction. And, while binge drinkers may exhibit self-harming behavior characteristic, they may not be struggling with addiction. At least not yet. Addiction identifies in two ways, dependence and experiencing consequences as a result of addiction.

So, those struggling with alcohol addiction will require alcohol so that their bodies can function. Basically, a person with severe alcohol abuse disorder or alcohol addiction will need to drink every day to ward off withdrawal symptoms. A binge drinker may not necessarily have this same physical or even mental dependence on the drug. Additionally, alcohol addiction can be identified when an individual experiences consequences brought on by an addictive lifestyle. Whether it be financial issues, the loss of a job, divorce, or even going to jail–no alcohol addiction goes without repercussion.

Need Help with a Binge Drinking Problem?

Whether you are binge drinking on the weekends or struggling with the results of a severe alcohol addiction, you can turn away from alcohol abuse. If you want to get help for a binge drinking problem, treatment is effective. Here at Simple Path Recovery, we provide individuals, ranging in all severities of alcohol abuse disorder, find new and healthy lifestyles. We offer a number of services and programs so that every person can find their own methods of obtaining healing. Ready to take back the hold that alcohol has on your life? Today’s the day to begin that journey.

Call Simple Path Recovery now to speak with an experienced addiction representative. And, get on the simple path to recovery to take back your life from alcohol abuse!

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