Enjoying a beer, glass of wine or well-mixed cocktail, either with a meal or by itself, is one of life's great treats and can have numerous positive benefits. In fact, studies have shown that drinking beverages like wine can actually boost overall health. However, knowing when to stop and what constitutes overdrinking is important to both physical and emotional well-being.
“Binge drinking is defined as five drinks for men and four drinks for women in a period of one or two hours. It is also thought to be heavy episodic drinking, with the intent of becoming intoxicated," said Allen Nace, MA, LMHC, CASAC, Administrative Director of Community Rehabilitation Services/Addiction Treatment Services at HealthAlliance Hospital: Broadway Campus, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth).
Even if your drinking habit doesn’t affect your lifestyle, Nace says it is important to understand there are long-term health risks associated with binge drinking, such as brain damage, liver damage, stroke, heart problems, cancer and infertility. “Alcohol is an integral part of our culture, and often included in our celebrations,” he said. “Ask yourself: Would you be willing to attend a wedding or other celebratory affair where there would not be any alcohol? If not, it may be time to examine the issue.”
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