Preloading Causes Increased Intoxication
Alcohol is the most commonly used substance for recreation around the world.
In moderation, it does not pose a major health risk for many people.
However, if consumed in excess and high frequency, it can be detrimental in many ways.
Preloading, also known as “pre-gaming”, is a common practice among individuals, typically in the younger demographic, where they consume alcohol prior to going to bars or clubs to drink more.
This is done primarily for two reasons: 1) It saves the individual money because drinking at home is cheaper than the average price of a drink at a bar or club; 2) The individual will already be under the influence of alcohol and make him or her more sociable due to the lessened inhibitions.
However, preloading often results in an increased risk of intoxication to the point of alcohol poisoning.
Alcohol poisoning is the result of consuming too much alcohol that the body can process and can result in breathing problems, heart rate problems, increased body temperature, and even coma and death.
Alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances to develop a dependency on, and preloading increases the chances of developing alcohol dependency.
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Research on Preloading
Griffith University conducted a study that examined the effects of preloading. Researchers studied 360 Brisbane patrons and performed a breath-test on each of them. The research professor from the School of Applied Psychology, Grant Devilly, was the facilitator of this study.
His goal was to study, the motivation for preloading and the results that preloading produced in addition to the effects it had on the subject’s drinking throughout the night. Results of the study found that most of the subjects were motivated to preload in order to save money by having drinks at home as well as wanting to socialize with their friends in a familiar environment.
The subjects did not expect that their blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) would be as high as the researchers recorded. Another study was conducted in the Australian state of Victoria, where individuals aged 18-24 were the subjects analyzed to determine the prevalence of preloading.
The study found that three-quarters of the subjects engaged in the act of preloading prior to drinking at bars and pubs. Contradictory to most research, Cambridge, England conducted a study that concluded that preloading did not present a risk factor for alcohol poisoning or requirement of an emergency department.
This may be attributed to the contrasting culture of the U.S. Another study in Liverpool concluded people who engaged in preloading were 2.5 times more likely to become involved in a physical altercation as opposed to 12 months prior to the study. Switzerland also conducted a study with similar results that indicated preloading has many risk factors.
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How Preloading Affects Individuals Differently
How preloading affects an individual is based on many factors, such as sex, weight, tolerance, body fat, and other biological factors. On average, an adult male who consumes five alcoholic drinks in under two hours is considered binge drinking.
For the average adult female, this standard is four alcoholic drinks in under two hours. Binge drinking is defined as obtaining a blood-alcohol percentage of 0.08g/dl or higher in less than two hours of consuming alcohol.
Binge drinking is a common occurrence in preloading. This often leads to excessive intoxication prior to going out to drink. Many times, people do not realize how much alcohol they are consuming when they binge drink during preloading.
Binge drinking leads to an increased risk of intoxication and alcohol poisoning. Studies have concluded that, on average, women tend to engage in preloading more often than men. Preloading often leads to alcohol dependency.
Alcohol Use Disorder
Alcoholism is medically referred to as alcohol use disorder and affects millions of Americans. Drinking to excess can come with several unintended consequences that negatively affect not only the individual struggling with a drinking problem but also family and friends who see the damage left in its trail.
Alcohol abuse is a difficult problem to deal with, and it can be painful and frustrating for everyone. It is important to know that you are not alone, and there is help available for you or your loved one.
Recovery is a process that requires patience, support, and perseverance. At Resurgence Behavioral Health, you will receive professional treatment from experienced professionals who care about their clients. A brighter future of well-being and stability is a call away.
Common Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder (Alcoholism)
Despite its universal acceptance in socialization, the fact remains that alcohol use can be dangerous if not consumed responsibly. Often, people experience alcohol and find the pleasure outweighs the risks.
They can sometimes drink excessively and frequently. Peer pressure can lead to increased alcohol use due to wanting to be accepted by their peers.
Capacity for alcohol intake varies among each individual, therefore there is no determined amount of consumption that can provide an accurate indication of an alcohol use disorder diagnosis.
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Below are common signs of alcohol use disorder or alcoholism:
- Decline in work or school performance and neglecting other responsibilities because of alcohol use (either using or recovering)
- Binge drinking or drinking more than intended
- Drinking as a coping mechanism for another mental health condition, also known as self-medicating
- Continuing to drink despite negative consequences
- Blacking out or not remembering actions under the influence of alcohol
- Lying about how much alcohol is consumed
If you or someone you know displays any of these signs, it may be time to consider receiving a proper evaluation from a licensed healthcare professional. They will help you find the proper treatment and resources available for alcohol use disorder.
Long-term Effects of Alcohol Use Disorder
- Developing alcohol use disorder
- Liver disease
- Stomach ulcers
- Cognitive deficiencies
- Substance-induced mental health conditions
- Suicidal ideation/tendencies
- Brain damage
- Increased blood pressure
- Heart problems
How Is Alcohol Use Disorder Treated?
A variety of methods have been successfully used to treat alcohol use disorder. Many mental health treatment centers or rehabilitation clinics offer treatment through inpatient and outpatient programs.
If the case is too severe to receive treatment in an outpatient setting, then admission into a mental health treatment center or rehabilitation clinic is the next step to obtain the proper treatment.
Alcohol use disorder is treated through various therapies, pharmaceutical interventions, and counseling from healthcare professionals, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, psychiatric nurses, and social workers.
Typically, only a licensed medical doctor such as a psychiatrist can prescribe medication. However, in some states, psychologists can prescribe medication.
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To overcome substance addiction, proper drug therapy treatment is required. It is not an easy walk, but our treatment is the best option when it comes to your health.
We provide the most professional treatment to give you a fighting chance in a rough battle. Let today be the day you reach out to Resurgence Behavioral Health so that you can begin to reclaim the life you have been missing!