’Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry. Some of us, however, take those festive suggestions to dangerous lengths and end up binge drinking. While one night of imbibing multiple drinks may only leave you with a hangover, using the holidays as an excuse to drink abusively from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve can lead to alcoholism and other negative brain/body effects.
Why do people drink too much during the holidays?
“A lot of traditions at this time of year involve alcohol,” says Carrie Carlton LCSW at Beachway Therapy in Boynton Beach, Florida. “You’re with friends and family who you may not see all the time, and you want to have a good time, and so you celebrate with a few drinks. This isn’t harmful as long as you’re aware of your limits.” Unfortunately, that can be more difficult when you’re not used to drinking a lot, as well as when you’re guzzling seasonal cocktails that you’re unaccustomed to.
What is binge drinking?
Binge drinking is typically defined as more than 5 drinks for men and 4 drinks for women within a short span of time, usually 2 hours. The safest course of action, if you must imbibe, is to pace yourself and space out your drinks to give your liver time to break down the alcohol.
What is “holiday heart syndrome”?
Holiday heart syndrome is a term for a reason. The name was coined in 1978 after doctors in New Jersey started noticing patients showing up to emergency rooms with arrhythmias after bouts of heavy drinking, usually during weekends or holidays. These patients were apparently healthy with no history of heart problems or other risk factors. Continue reading “WHY BINGE HOLIDAY DRINKING IS ANYTHING BUT MERRY”