Had One Too Many Last night? Learn How Your Impulsivity Makes It Hard for You to Stop Your Binge Drinking

In Binge drinking by Yuliya Richard

Tell me your stories about when you were on a bender… I bet some of them would be funny! But maybe some of them would involve you doing something that you have later regretted, like embarrassing yourself, having a fist fight with a bar attendant, having an argument with your partner, losing your wallet, being inexcusably rude to a client, losing the respect of your colleagues – or maybe even losing your job.

If you have a tendency to binge drink it often leads to quite bad outcomes. It can ruin your relationships, diminish the respect of people around you, put you in trouble with authorities and also damage your health.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA, 2004) has established that a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 g %, which is considered a binge dose, is dangerous for a drinker and for the society. Another definition of binge drinking is a hazardous pattern of consuming five or more drinks in a row. Injuries to self and others, crime, damage to property, unplanned or unsafe sex and decreased productivity are only some of the consequences of binge drinking.

After smoking and obesity, alcohol use is the third leading cause of death. Binge drinking, in particular, claims half of 85,000 alcohol-related deaths in the USA. Similar trends can be seen in other countries, such as Australia and the UK.

It is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges a person has to deal with. The consequences of binge drinking far outweigh the temporary perceived benefit of momentary pleasure.

So, what makes it so hard to manage this problem drinking habit? Research suggests that impulsivity is the most consistent predictor of drinking motives, drinking quantity and alcohol problems. Impulsive individuals display poor self-control and emotional instability, which manifests in behaviours that might be risky and inappropriate, and that often lead to negative and undesirable consequences (Gay et al., 2011).

It has been suggested that individuals who engage in binge drinking behaviours experience problems associated with difficulties in controlling their impulses and impulsive decision making (Field, Schoenmakers, & Wiers, 2008). Despite the negative consequences, people who binge drink will consistently choose to drink alcohol now and deal with the aftermath later.

Implusive people can find it hard to control their urges and to resist temptations.

While the impulsivity trait has been shown to be predictive of alcohol use disorders, at the same time alcohol use can reduce self-control and lead to an increase in impulsive behaviours (Dick et al., 2010). What a vicious cycle!

Some research suggests that the peak period for risky drinking behaviour is during the years from 18 to 25. Many 18–25-year-olds show a reduction in heavy drinking as they grow up and mature, having to embrace the new responsibilities of adult life, such as marriage, having children and career development.

The solution to managing your out-of-control impulsive drinking is available. If you still struggle to control your binge drinking, make the decision to manage your problem drinking behaviour. With education about binge drinking and about your dysfunctional impulsive behaviour, you can learn how to deal with impulses and urges, to create sustainable positive habits and to manage your emotions in a healthy way.

You cannot make excuses or justify this behaviour in any other way. You deserve to have a life of success, health, and happiness. Don’t repeat the disasters of the past office parties. Prevent future embarrassments and maintain your health. Be proud of yourself and your achievements. Don’t ruin your chances in life by not knowing how to slow down after your first drink.

The ability to control your behaviour at all times will help you to achieve your personal and professional goals and will also help you to get through the tough times. You can learn how to experience negative emotions or conflict with others in a positive way that will not lead to negative consequences. Spend a moment now to imagine what your life would look like if you could always be in control of your behaviour and resist temptations and urges. Imagine your life being completely under your control.

When you are ready to learn how to manage your impulsive behaviour, contact us or view our program. After registration, you can start learning straight away at your own pace in the convenience of your own home. Through the program, you can access recorded webinars, templates and material that will help you to master your impulsive behaviour and to be in total control at all times. We understand that your journey might require some additional support; so, don’t hesitate to contact us and we will help you to master your impulses.

Written By Dr Richard, PsyD Clinical and Health Psychology, Principal Psychologist at Blue Horizon Counselling – Psychology and Psychotherapy practice based in Sydney.

Image: Flickr.com
License: Creative Commons Copyright
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