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You're in the Danger Zone

answered 12:24 PM EST, Thu July 11, 2013
anonymous anonymous
Long time weekend binger. Very straight laced during the week and then by Saturday I just get smashed and smoke a lot of dope and drink a lot. Hangovers always sucked but were tolerable. Now, just out of nowhere, they are excruciating. I am 29. The last 6 weeks of hangovers have felt like the worst I have ever had. Why would I just suddenly start getting exponentially more hungover after doing what I have been doing as I have been doing it for years before?

Dr. Mark Abrahams Says...

Dr.  Mark Abrahams . Abrahams
PhD, MTS, LMHC, NCC, CCMHC, MAC, NBCFCH
LinkedIn.com

Allow me to begin my response with a bit of personal information. Eight of my high school acquaintances began drinking at age 15. Friday and Saturday nights expanded to Friday night, all day Saturday, and Saturday night. Then the weekend included all day Sunday as well. Some of those guys went to college, others didn't. By age 20-21, they also got worse hangovers. Why? All of them had developed fibrosis of the liver, and one of them had developed cirrhosis of the liver, which is more dangerous. Their livers were not filtering the alcohol and other toxins from the blood, because the liver was sickening, becoming 'fatty,' which is really not fat, but rather scar tissue from dying liver cells. Scar tissue does not work like normal liver cells. It wasn't until one of those young men committed suicide that the others were shocked into sobriety and joined Alcoholics Anonymous. At my 30 year high school reunion (12 years ago), all of them were still alive, and clean and sober.

Headaches following 'normal' drinking are usually caused by dehydration, because people fail to drink water in between drinking alcohol. But the worsening of your headaches may indicate increased amounts of toxins in your blood. I am not a medical doctor, but you are almost out of your 20s, and binge drinking is a common pattern of alcoholic drinking. If you haven't had a medical exam lately, I'd highly recommend that you do so. You need to come to terms with the fact that you are suffering from Alcohol Abuse and/or Alcohol Dependence as evidenced by your own words, and it has finally caught up with you. There is just so much insult the body can take before injury occurs, and it sounds like you may have crossed that line. But, in order to be sure, you have to talk honestly with a physician so that the appropriate medical tests can be done, and you know just how much damage you have incurred. Please do not procrastinate, act now and set up a medical examination today. 

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Page last updated Jul 11, 2013

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