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Nowhere to go: how to stop the binge and return to life

28.08.2019 Author: Psychologist Pavel Khoroshutin
withdrawal symptoms

“It was exactly the last time, and it will not happen again, I promise!” – a phrase familiar to almost everyone who at least once got out of hard drinking, and their loved ones, who were nearby at this difficult moment. But time passes. The hardships of fighting a state of total loss of oneself in an alcoholic dope are forgotten. And a beer to honor an accidental meeting with an old friend or a couple of glasses of wine at a family holiday launches the old mechanism in a new circle.
Another binge may be the last in life, but, alas, not always by the will of the addicted. The human body during such periods experiences tremendous overload, which leads to irreversible changes in the internal organs of all body systems. Repeated binges lead to diseases of the stomach and liver, alcoholic psychoses. The probability of strokes and heart attacks increases tenfold.

Living with a binge alcoholic is hard. Many families do not stand such a test and break up.

Is there a chance to stop the chain of alcohol libations? How to help a loved one recover from a binge? About this – in today’s article.

  1. Wake up in captivity: signs of binge
  2. Effects of libations or how binges destroy life
  3. Withdrawal syndrome and its symptoms
  4. How to recover from a binge
  5. When to go to the clinic
  6. Alcohol behavior correction: what solutions does the 7Spsy method offer

Wake up in captivity: signs and types of binges

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“I’ve been drinking for five years. During this time, several times I went into very deep binges, there was even a clinical death. But I hope that I have not yet degraded to the very end. I have a loving husband, he is not a drinker and does not believe in my alcoholism.
I began to drink not from hopelessness and poverty, as is often the case. On the contrary, amid prosperity and complete well-being. I used to despise alcoholics and never thought that this could happen to me. At first I did not see this as a global problem. There were recipes for how to quickly get well after another binge. But very soon they stopped working, and now I’m really scared”.

– Natalia, 34, PR director

Binge is a pathological condition caused by the use of alcohol for a day or more. Most often, chronic alcohol dependence leads to this condition, however, isolated short binges can occur in people who do not suffer from alcoholism. The reason for binge may be an attempt to ease the strain from prolonged stress or a series of holidays. In medicine, binges are usually divided into true and false (by occasion), long-term and short-term (by duration). [1]

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Classification by occasion
TypeLength and frequencySigns
False binge (pseudo-binge)A few days, rarely, occasionallyA person retains interest in external events and is able to independently stop drinking alcohol under the influence of external circumstances (for example, after the end of the New Year holidays or vacations) or because of fatigue. The body is not exhausted 
True bingeFrom a few days to several months, often and regularly All human interests are concentrated around drinking. The need to go to work, household chores lose their meaning. The body is brought to a state of severe alcohol intoxication (when a person is already physically unable to tolerate alcohol)
Classification by duration
Short bingeLength and frequencySigns
Short bingeFrom 2 to 5 days, often and regularlyA person always finds a reason for alcohol: connects drinking with various, often not particularly noteworthy events, “relaxes” after a working week and hangs out on weekends. He/she boasts the ability to get out of drinking bouts before work, considering it the ability to control alcohol intake. The body recovers quite quickly. Over time, the duration of binge increases
Long bingeFrom one week to several months, with varying intervals A person stops going to work and going out until the alcohol in the house is over. Absolutely loses interest in everything that is not connected with the opportunity to drink. Neglects personal hygiene. The need for alcohol becomes so strong that the remaining needs compared to it seem insignificant. Alcohol does not bring pleasure and pleasant sensations. A person feels depressed and continues to drink, already experiencing an insurmountable physical need. Intoxication of the body with the decay products of alcohol increases. Forced refusal of alcohol leads the body into a state of delirium tremens (hallucinations, nightmares, loss of control over movements)

All binges, regardless of their duration and motives, should be considered as a pathological condition arising from a learned behavior model. It is possible to change this model by acting on deep psychological attitudes. One way to do this is to modify the behavior via 7Spsy.

Effects of libations or how binges destroy life

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“My brother is the pain of our family. As long as I remember him as an adult, he was drinking all his life. His mother was pulling him out of binges. Sometimes we even had to negotiate with the police to isolate him for 15 days. After binge, I sent for treatment, but all the results came to naught after a maximum of 2-3 months. He lost his family. In fights with drinking companions, he was seriously injured, lost 90% of his vision, became disabled. Now he doesn’t drink, but he cannot return to his former full-fledged life”.

From anonymous posts on a topic forum

Examples of how alcohol destroys people’s lives can be found in each person’s environment. Dependence affects all spheres of life: work, family, environment, physical and mental health. Below we give only a few typical scenarios. But there can be more of them in the fate of each addict, and all of them, as a rule, are intertwined with each other.

From disability to job loss

Even a mild hangover affects performance: a person loses the ability to concentrate on tasks, becomes more conflicted, impulsively responds to problems that arise. Excessive alcohol consumption takes a lot of energy, everyday duties are forgotten or simply not performed. Needless to say, not every employer will like the regular “sweeps” of an employee.

From conflicts with family to family breakdown

Алкоголь вызывает раздражительность и агрессивность, если человек пьёт слишком много и у него возникает зависимость. Частые запои сопровождаются проявлениями домашнего насилия. Постоянные запои, чередующиеся с обещаниями «завязать», подрывают главную опору отношений — доверие. Пристрастие к алкоголю может серьёзно отразиться и на финансовом состоянии семьи, что только добавляет поводов для разногласий в паре.
There are many couples in which one of the spouses, despite the warm advice of others to part with the alcoholic, stays close, suffers and asks himself/herself daily: how can he or she be helped? Moreover, the relatives themselves are in a dependent position: the behavior and mood of the addict have a strong influence on them, they assume the role of a lifeguard and it is rather difficult to break off such toxic relationships.

If, before the continuing binges, the relationship in the couple was healthy, then the partner can choose own happiness and refuse to help the partner cope with the addiction, at least after several unsuccessful attempts.

In any case, an alcohol dependent person runs the risk of breaking family relationships.

From reduced self-esteem to self-loss

Many go into binges, trying to hide from problems with others, turn off consciousness, feel euphoria and ease. But, sobering up, they experience a deep sense of guilt towards loved ones. Drunk people often behave inappropriately in society, and after that they feel ashamed of unwitting witnesses to their condition. Self-flagellation does not help resolve internal conflicts, but only increases the likelihood of a new “fall into the abyss”.

From health problems to death

Statistics of morbidity and mortality from alcohol cannot but make worrying. According to studies for 9 months of 2016, over 36 thousand cases of acute poisoning by alcohol-containing products were recorded in the Russian Federation, including 9.3 thousand with fatal outcome (25.6%). [2] In February 2019, the Minister of Health of the Russian Federation Veronika Skvortsova stated that about 70% of deaths of working-age men are related to alcohol. [3] Sultan Khamzaev, member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation and the head of the Sober Russia project, called Skvortsova’s data underestimated and said that the problem is much larger, “comparable to genocide”. [4]
The liver suffers from alcohol first: it modifies and increases in size, loses its ability to filter out all the blood diluted with alcohol. After repeated prolonged binges, cirrhosis of the liver may develop.
Under the harmful effects of alcohol, the kidneys cannot cope with their functions, the entire urinary system is disrupted. The risk of urolithiasis increases.

Binges are inevitably accompanied by problems with the cardiovascular system: increased blood pressure, tachycardia (increased heart rate).

Problems cannot be avoided in the gastrointestinal tract as well. In a drunken state, a person loses appetite. Food does not enter the stomach, but gastric juice continues to be produced, and the hydrochloric acid contained in it begins to irritate the mucous membrane of the stomach walls. As a result, this leads to gastritis or an ulcer, and in the worst case, to protrusion (the appearance of an opening in the stomach wall), which can lead to death.
While getting out of a binge, when the body is no longer able to absorb alcohol, a person may suffer from prolonged repeated vomiting. Heaves can occur even during sleep, which is very dangerous: there are some cases of death at the end of binge, when patients are suffocated sleeping due to vomit in the respiratory tract.

Alcohol also reduces sexual potency (men may have problems with erection).

Read about how to help a loved one realize the problem of alcoholism and begin treatment in this article.

Withdrawal syndrome and its symptoms

alcoholism clinic

Withdrawal syndrome is also called physical dependence syndrome, deprivation syndrome or hangover syndrome. It occurs after the cessation or sharp reduction in the dose of alcohol after a prolonged binge. An irresistible desire to drink, accompanied by severe fear, anxiety, feeling bad, occurs due to intoxication and mental disorders. The peculiarity of withdrawal syndrome is that all its symptoms disappear after repeated use of alcohol. Withdrawal syndrome of any severity is a sign of the second stage of alcoholism and requires mandatory treatment. [5]

Signs of withdrawal symptoms
Somato-vegetativeHyperhidrosis, puffiness of the face, redness of the eye membranes, high blood pressure, heart rhythm disturbance, pain in the heart, severe headaches, vomiting, stomach pain, loose stools
Neurological Tremor of the head, hands, tongue, epileptic seizures 
MentalShyness, suspicion, fear, anxiety, irritability, short temper, aggressiveness, depression, sleep disorders

How to recover from a binge

alcoholism treatment

“I went into binges more than once, and my friends, too. I tried many ways to get out of hard drinking. I must say that every time everything is different. No, the pressure after a binge always jumps, the heart goes awry, you feel exactly where the liver is. But at the end there are new sensations every time. I went out the dry way, which is very difficult, and with the help of lighter drinks, which is not always effective, and with the help of medications, which is rather disgusting. I came to the conclusion that the most effective way is to treat the like with the like, gradually reducing the dose”.

– Vitaliy, 47, car mechanic

As you know, getting rid of alcohol addiction is almost impossible – alcoholism is qualified as a chronic incurable disease. How long a hangover after a binge will last depends on its duration, on whether this has happened before, and on the general condition of the body. It is possible to reduce the frequency and duration of binges only if the patient is aware of the problem and will be ready to deal with it. A major role in this is played by the support of relatives and friends. Their knowledge how to help a loved one recover after a binge can not only ease his/her condition, but also save the life.

Folk methods to stop and recover after a binge

In many Russian families, ways to get rid of a hangover after drinking are often passed down from generation to generation. Home withdrawal from hard drinking is, as a rule, folk remedies that will help remove toxins and reassure the patient.

However, they should be used with great care, after consulting with a doctor.

1. Gradual abandonment of alcohol
Following a sharp rejection of abundant libations, alcoholic psychosis, popularly called delirium tremens, can develop. Therefore, in some cases, in the first days of withdrawal, relatives give the patient small doses of alcohol, increasing the frequency of doses, in order to gradually relieve the symptoms of a hangover syndrome after drinking. It is usually not possible for the patient to independently control the dose and frequency. If you choose this method, you should make sure that the patient does not have the opportunity to get alcohol.

2. Cleansing the stomach
If the patient broke up and took the excess dose, you should rinse the stomach with a safe solution. Helpful after a binge is light salt solution in cool boiled water (1 tablespoon per 5 liters of water).
3. Drinking a lot of liquid
You should provide a loved one (or yourself – during an independent withdrawal from hard drinking) with plenty of soft drinks. It can be brines, light black tea, mineral water, juices, fruit drinks.

4. Infusions and mixtures
To cope with thirst and swelling, infusions of lemon balm, mint or chamomile will help. They have a diuretic effect and remove excess fluid from the body, thin the blood, cleanse the body and soothe the nervous system. Herbs with a calming effect: valerian, motherwort, thyme, licorice, clover help cope with increased excitability, aggressiveness and insomnia after hard drinking.
5. Gentle nutrition
Nutrition should start when the body is ready to eat. As a rule, this happens on the second day of getting out of hard drinking. Better to start with low-fat chicken broth. In addition to nutritional properties, such a broth has a certain sedative effect, helps combat anxiety. With caution, you can enter dairy products – low-fat cottage cheese, yoghurts without additives. From fruits at first, choose bananas. Hunger aggravates the craving for a drink, so it is better to eat more often, but by small portions. 

6. Eating vitamin C products

When the appetite returns, foods high in vitamin C (ascorbic acid) should be added to the diet. It binds toxins that are formed due to alcohol poisoning, and helps eliminate them from the body. It can be oranges, lemon, sauerkraut.

Medications to stop and recover from a binge

It will not be possible to cope with a hangover after a long binge and its detrimental effects on the body with folk remedies and home care alone. The body needs rehabilitation, which is impossible without the use of medications.
Please note that here we do not give specific recommendations for taking, but only list the groups and some names of drugs that are used to recover from hard drinking. Before you start taking any of these medicines, you should consult with a specialist.

A doctor may prescribe the following drugs:

  • antiemetics (Tserukal, Metoclopramide and others);
  • sorbents (activated carbon, Enterosgel, Polysorb and others);
  • analgesics (Analgin, No-Shpa and others);
  • sedative and nootropic drugs (Donormil, Phenibut and others);
  • antihypertensive drugs (Delfan, Kapoten, magnesium sulfate and others);
  • diuretics (Diacarb, Triampur and others).

There are also special drugs that promise a quick cure for a hangover after hard drinking (Alka-Seltzer, Alekol, DrinkOFF and others). But they should be taken with extreme caution and be sure to consult a specialist. [6]

When to go to the clinic

when you need to go to the clinic

“I needed three binges, three bottom-deep sinks, with repeated calls to relatives with complaints and insults, with random meetings and acquaintances (a miracle that I did not get involved in any street story!). With drunken wars of words with my husband to finally establish my decision to start helping myself”.

– Julia, 35, accountant

If a person has a hangover after binge so severe that it threatens his/her life, then this is an occasion to seek medical help. We list a few alarming signs, when they appear, you must immediately contact a drug treatment clinic:

  • severe throbbing and pressing headache;
  •  sharp pains in the epigastric region, accompanied by nausea, vomiting, loose dark stools;
  • a feeling of bile bitterness in the mouth, icteric color of the skin and whites of eye;
  • difficulty in swallowing, uncontrolled copious saliva from the mouth;
  • pain in the chest (pressing, tingling), irradiated under the left shoulder blade or arm;
  • any discomfort in the area of the heart (increased heart rate or malfunction);
  • loss of sensitivity of the skin, numbness or tingling;
  • sharply arising muscle weakness in the limbs and throughout the body;
  • visual impairment (blurred outlines of visible objects, flashes and dark floaters before the eyes);
  • blood in urine and stool.

In no case do you try to go out on your own and do not leave a sick relative home after a strong binge, if there have already been similar cases, and there have been such serious consequences as acute alcoholic psychoses, exacerbations of peptic ulcer, pancreatitis, arrhythmia, myocardial infarction, stroke , angina attack, abnormalities in the liver.

You should immediately seek hospitalization if, on the third or fourth day after stopping drinking, strange things begin to appear in the person’s behavior: he/she ceases to understand where he/she is, doesn’t recognize his/her relatives, constantly listens to something and peers into the void, talks to imaginary interlocutors, tries to fight them away or hide from them, becomes excited and loses sleep. In this state, a person can cause injuries and traumas that are incompatible with life, so you should be serious with that.

We will help you to give up alcohol

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With the medical finish of a binge, alcohol detoxification is carried out by washing the stomach, cleansing the intestines through enemas and sorbents, as well as through powerful infusion therapy. Droppers with saline and clear fluid solutions are the most effective rehabilitation method after hard drinking. Both diuretics and ethanol antidotes, as well as other adjuvants, are injected intravenously. These remedies eliminate signs of dehydration, and contribute to the rapid removal of alcohol from the body. Inpatient treatment is carried out in drug treatment centers, where the condition of the patient is monitored by narcologists and paramedical personnel.

Alcohol behavior correction: what solutions does the 7Spsy method offer

What needs to be done after getting out of binge, when a person feels much better and no longer needs medical attention? It is important to take measures to prevent recurrence in the future. It’s too early to relax – you need qualified help from a psychologist and deep internal work on changing attitudes, which lead to a state of hard drinking over and over again. Do not think that the problem will be solved by itself.
Forcing a person to work with a psychologist is difficult. Such work turns out to be effective only for a short time, and it will be more likely the appearance of the result, rather than true changes in consciousness.  A person needs to decide for himself/herself on giving up alcohol in the future in order to preserve the important values of life: family, self-esteem, career, friends. Relatives can help and support in a frank conversation, talk about how a person is important and needed, and how important his/her state of health and well-being is. Scandals, reproaches and threats to a person with addiction do not have an impact. Rather, they lead him/her to the same actions, but already in spite.
Only when the addict is ready to work on himself/herself, and his/her relatives are ready to back him/her, the chances of a successful result increase many times, and you can choose a way to interact with a psychologist.
To solve the problem of alcohol dependence and recurring binges, you can use the 7Spsy technique-based behavior modification course. This is a patented method of behavioral psychology based on the theories of I.P. Pavlov, A.A. Ukhtomsky, B.F. Skinner. The method allows you to give up alcohol in up to 6 weeks. The work is carried out remotely, under the close supervision of a psychologist and with complete confidentiality. Before the start of the course, the patient undergoes diagnostic testing, after which he/she receives a set of tools for full-sensory correction of behavior. In the course of the course, he/she can contact the psychologist through a convenient communication channel: by phone, e-mail or online chat. Psychologist’s consultations are free.
Thanks to the 7Spsy behavior modification technique, you can master a new model of behavior and enjoy a life free of addiction.


Syropyatov O. G., Dzeruzhinskaya N. A., Soldatkin V. A., «Sudebnaya ekspertiza psihicheskogo zdorov’ya v grazhdanskom processe: uchebnoe posobie», Feniks, 2012 g.
Ob otravleniyah spirtosoderzhashchej produkciej

  1. Syropyatov O. G., Dzeruzhinskaya N. A., Soldatkin V. A., «Sudebnaya ekspertiza psihicheskogo zdorov’ya v grazhdanskom processe: uchebnoe posobie», Feniks, 2012 g.
  2. Ob otravleniyah spirtosoderzhashchej produkciej (https://www.rospotrebnadzor.ru/about/info/news/).
  3. Bol’shaya chast’ muzhchin umirayut iz-za alkogolya (https://tsargrad.tv/news/bolshaja-chast-muzhchin-umiraet-iz-za-alkogolja-skvorcova_183091).
  4. Sem’ iz desyati muzhchin umrut: Eksperty sravnili smertnost’ ot alkogolya v Rossii s genocidom (https://tsargrad.tv/news/pivo_183124).
  5. Federal’nye klinicheskie rekomendacii po diagnostike i lecheniyu abstinentnogo sindroma (https://minzdrav.gov-murman.ru/documents/poryadki-okazaniya-meditsinskoy-pomoshchi/1642.pdf).
  6. Preparaty, primenyaemye pri alkogol’noj intoksikacii (http://mosapteki.ru/material/preparaty-primenyaemye-pri-alkogolnoyo-intoksikacii-2148).