Josh Chandler | February 8, 2024

Binge Drinking vs. Alcoholism: What are the 5 Key Differences?

Binge drinking and alcoholism often occur together, but they are different, and it might not be immediately clear what the differences are between drinking vs. alcoholism. Binge drinking is a practice that involves the consumption of large amounts of alcohol in a relatively short period of time. Alcoholism, on the other hand, is a condition that’s also known as alcohol use disorder or alcohol addiction. Binge drinking may or may not be a symptom of a person’s alcoholism. A person who binge drinks is at risk for developing an alcohol use disorder. If you binge drink or believe you may have developed an alcohol dependence or alcohol use disorder, you can rely on Muse Treatment for help. 

Muse Treatment is a leading addiction treatment center that offers a complete lineup of substance abuse treatment. We treat alcohol addiction near Los Angeles, illicit drug addiction, and prescription drug addiction at our licensed facility. Muse Treatment offers inpatient rehab programs, outpatient treatment plans, aftercare, and dual diagnosis treatment. We also feature medical detox, which targets the physical aspects of a person’s substance addiction. 

Both binge drinking and alcoholism are dangerous for a person’s health. At Muse Treatment, we help clients develop the strategies they need to stop abusing alcohol or to stop drinking completely if they have an alcohol addiction. Our licensed clinicians are experienced and highly trained. We offer empathetic care at our high-quality treatment center that’s filled with amenities and features a comfortable, healing environment. We offer evidence-based and holistic therapies to help clients stop drinking for good. 

If you binge drink or have an alcohol use disorder, you need to understand your condition so that you can manage it effectively. Let Muse Treatment help you with our customized alcohol recovery rehab programs. We will personalize an addiction treatment plan that’s ideal for you and your support needs. 

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Understanding Binge Drinking: Definition and Characteristics

Binge drinking occurs when a person consumes large quantities of alcohol in a short period of time. Often, young adults will binge drink, especially on weekends, as a form of ‘partying.’ Some people, of course, may binge drink during the week or any time they consume alcohol. A person may or may not have an alcohol use disorder if they binge drink, but if they currently do not, habitual binge drinking can increase the likelihood that an alcohol addiction will develop. 

Someone who binge drinks may experience blackouts or drink until they get physically sick. Binge drinking is extremely dangerous because the body can only metabolize alcohol so quickly. If a person drinks faster than the body can process the alcohol, they may develop alcohol poisoning — a type of overdose — that can land them in the emergency room or worse. Alcohol poisoning can lead to death or may permanently damage a person’s organs or other aspects of their health.

Binge Drinking, Alcoholism, Alcohol Addiction, Alcohol Addiction Treatment,

Alcoholism Unveiled: A Closer Look at Chronic Alcohol Abuse

Alcoholism is a chronic condition that involves physical dependence, psychological dependence, and even behavioral or social dependence. A person who has an alcohol use disorder (aka alcoholism) is typically unable to regulate their drinking or to stop drinking in spite of its negative consequences on their lives and health. A person who has an alcohol addiction feels powerful compulsions to use alcohol. If they attempt to stop drinking, they will experience withdrawal symptoms that are fueled by powerful cravings to drink. 

Alcoholism is associated with a high relapse rate, so people with this type of condition need to enroll for treatment at a high-quality addiction treatment center such as Muse Treatment. We combine medically sanctioned, holistic, and alternative treatments to empower clients to manage their alcohol use disorder successfully. Even though alcoholism is a chronic condition, it can be managed with abstinence. Let Muse Treatment help you stop drinking for good. 

Key Differences Between Binge Drinking and Alcoholism

Binge drinking and alcoholism may go hand in hand, but they are different. Binge drinking is an activity while alcoholism is a condition. Binge drinking may be a symptom of an alcohol addiction, but not necessarily. Even so, people who binge drink are at heightened risk of developing alcoholism in time.

A person may binge drink but abstain from drinking between binge drinking sessions. This is a form of alcohol abuse, but not typically alcoholism. A person who has an alcohol addiction tends to drink more frequently but may still binge drink at times. Someone who binge drinks can get help with their alcohol abuse problem, but help doesn’t usually involve medical detox or the more robust clinical support needed to address alcoholism. 

Someone who has an alcohol addiction may or may not binge drink. They, too, require alcohol abuse treatment, but their condition involves a chronic element, so they must manage their alcohol addiction on an ongoing basis. Currently, the only way to manage an alcohol use disorder is with abstinence. 

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The Health Impacts: Binge Drinking vs Alcoholism

Both binge drinking and alcoholism can lead to the erosion of a person’s mental and physical health. Alcoholism without binge drinking tends to lead to this erosion over time. However, a single session of binge drinking can irrevocably damage a person’s health. With help at Muse Treatment, clients can learn how to curtail their binge drinking and/or manage their alcohol addiction. It’s important to prioritize treatment as alcohol abuse can detract from one’s health and well-being. 

Treatment Approaches at Muse Treatment for Binge Drinkers and Alcoholics

Muse Treatment has a reputation for empathetic care and our full spectrum of substance abuse treatment plans. We offer various treatment approaches because some clients respond better to some than others. Our treatments include medically traditional therapies like psychotherapy and alternative and holistic therapies like meditation. Together, our treatment offerings target all aspects of alcohol abuse and alcoholism. We also individualize therapy to ensure that all clients get the help they need to get and stay sober. 

Recognizing the Signs: When Does Binge Drinking Become Alcoholism?

Binge drinking becomes alcoholism when a person can’t stop drinking. If they drink every day, think about drinking on a routine basis, or find it difficult to control their drinking, they likely have an alcohol use disorder. A person who continues to drink even when their drinking negatively impacts their health, career, and relationships may have an alcohol use disorder. The presence of withdrawal symptoms indicates that a person has developed an alcohol dependence or full-blown alcohol addiction.

Binge drinking only increases the likelihood that an alcohol use disorder will develop. Binge drinking is a form of alcohol abuse. By abusing alcohol on a regular basis, a person is at increased risk of developing alcoholism, which is a chronic illness. 

Prevention and Support: Strategies to Curb Binge Drinking

Muse Treatment helps clients develop strategies to curb binge drinking. If needed as in the case of alcohol addiction, we help clients stop drinking altogether so they can safely and effectively manage their addiction. By curbing binge drinking with high-quality alcohol addiction treatment, you may be able to prevent the development of an alcohol use disorder from developing. 

24/7 support availability,
start your recovery today!

Getting Help: Contact Muse Treatment for Support

Call Muse Treatment today at 800-426-1818 to get help for your alcohol abuse problem or alcohol addiction. Our treatment programs can be tailored to your unique support needs. Let us help you stop abusing alcohol or successfully manage your condition. Contact us to discuss our alcohol abuse treatments today. We look forward to helping you get your recovery on track.

Alcohol Abuse,Alcohol Addiction,
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Josh Chandler
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