Many people can enjoy alcohol with few health risks. However, binge drinking can lead to immediate and long-term health risks. You can reduce your risks by drinking in moderation and developing mindful drinking strategies. You can also seek support if you are concerned about your drinking.
If you have hepatitis, drinking alcohol increases your risk for fibrosis, liver disease and liver cancer.
People who have alcohol use disorder
There are various strategies you can try to avoid binge drinking:
Take note of how much you drink, and when and where you drink more.
Plan ahead. Set a goal for how many drinks you want to have and write it down.
Space your drinks out over time and drink non-alcoholic drinks, such as seltzer or water, in between alcoholic drinks.
Eat food while you are drinking.
Participate in social activities that do not center around drinking alcohol.
Be aware of what settings, experiences or people may trigger the urge to binge drink.
Alcohol Use Disorder
Alcohol use disorder is a health condition that can include the following symptoms:
A strong, irresistible urge to drink.
Experiencing days when you drank more or for a longer period of time than you had planned.
Attempted many times to cut down or stop drinking.
Blackouts (memory loss).
The need to drink increasingly more alcohol to feel its effects.
Spending a lot of time either drinking or hungover after drinking.
Multiple situations where a person puts themselves in harm’s way while drinking or after drinking.
Withdrawal symptoms when the effects of alcohol wear off, including nausea, sweating, tremors and anxiety, restlessness, hallucinations and seizures.
Continued use of alcohol even when it is interfering with other aspects of life, including health, family, friends, work or school.
The severity of a person's disorder may be reflected by how many of the above symptoms they have experienced.
Treatment and Services
If you think drinking alcohol is affecting your life negatively, talk to a friend, family member, mental health professional or medical provider. One way to get started is to contact NYC Well for free, confidential support.
Treatment can mean stopping drinking or learning how to manage and moderate your drinking. You can get the following types of treatment and services for alcohol use disorder in NYC:
Medications for alcohol use disorder, such as naltrexone and disulfriam