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New Book on Blackout Drinking May Help Shed Light on Alcohol Addiction Binge Drinkers "Forget" They're Addicted

New Book on Blackout Drinking by writer Sarah Hepola May Help Shed Light on Alcohol Addiction Binge Drinkers Forget They're Addicted. Read the highlights here.It's a pattern. A fun loving young woman has a few drinks at a party. Then a few more. Suddenly she's screaming at a friend. Then she's knocking over furniture. Then she's necking with a guy in the corner. Now she's passed out on the floor. In the morning she doesn't remember any of it. What happened to the classy intelligent woman we knew? Is she an alcoholic? A lunatic?

What's happening?

It's called Binge or Blackout drinking and it's a steadily growing problem particularly among young women. And While there's growing evidence that binge drinking can be a form of addiction, most binge drinkers have no idea they're in any kind of trouble.

A new book by writer Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering Things that I Drank to Forget, may help change all that. The book is getting a lot of attention for its honest depiction of blackout drinking. Hepola, admits her binge drinking, was also a full blown alcohol addiction.

Hepola, an editor at Salon, was a classic binge drinker, who largely drank socially but experienced regular blackouts, periods of time which she doesn't remember at all. She would often wake up in strange places unfamiliar bedrooms, sometimes naked.

At one point she woke up while having sex with a man she didn't know, a moment when she realized she had a problem. But despite that Hepola would keep drinking for another five years.

Thee blackout phenomena, although increasingly common is not well understood by those who study addiction according to Aaron White, the senior advisor to the director at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA

"Blackouts have basically been ignored as a subject of study," White told Atlantic Magazine. "We don't have any national data."

While once though to be the preserve of serious alcoholics who drink large quantities quickly, new research says the blackout phenomena may be much more common. It point to another common addiction issue - binge drinking.

Binge drinkers rarely see themselves as addicts or even having a drinking problem because their heavy drinking usually occurs in spurts. The other part is new. Due to memory issues, binge drinkers often have no real recollection of their problem behaviour, they literally may forget their addicted.

Binge drinkers experience dramatic brain change when drinking. Because saturating amounts of alcohol cause the Hippocampus, a part of the brain concerned with memory, to shut down. Heavy drinking impairs a person's ability to form long term memories. A drinker can still make short term memories, but is literally unable to make long term ones. This is why a black out drinker can seem to reasonably cognizant at the time, but will have no recollection of events afterwards, as if a section of their life was missing - thus the famous blackout.

So after a night of binge drinking, the person truly has no idea what happened. They might have said something offensive, they may have acted dangerously they may even have had sex with someone and have no memory of it. This can be harmless for some. But it can also be very dangerous, as the person has a hard time being accountable for their actions as they honestly can't remember what they did. Because binge drinkers don't understand the scope of their situation, they usually don't seek treatment in a drug and alcohol treatment centre.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared binge drinking a dangerous health issue for women age 18 to 34. It is also increasingly connected to alcohol and drug addiction.

Binge drinking often hides a growing addiction that may require treatment. Because binge drinkers often need days to recover from a drinking episode if often disguises the fact, the person has become an addict who relies on alcohol.

Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centres are full of people who thought they were just an occasional binge drinker. Increasingly binge drinking and blackouts means real addiction is looming ahead. And that's something worth remembering.

If you know a binge drinker that you may have a problem. Don't be afraid to make the call. 1-877-777-4386

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