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How is Binge Drinking Defined?

Binge drinking is consuming a large amount of alcohol in a short amount of time. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines it as consuming enough alcoholic beverages to bring the blood alcohol level above .08 g/dL. For the average woman, this is about four drinks in two hours, and for the average man, this is about five drinks in the same amount of time. There can be very serious consequences to heavy drinking, so it is important to get binge drinking help to prevent some of these consequences.

Why People Binge Drink

Drinking alcohol is a very socially acceptable thing to do, and many people drink heavily whenever they are around others who are doing the same thing. This is especially true at special occasions such as weddings or holiday get-togethers. Teenagers may be curious about how it feels to be under the influence of adult beverages, and they quickly find out that alcohol can release chemicals in the brain that make people feel good. Alcohol is a mind-altering drug, and when consumed rapidly, it removes inhibitions and emotional pain.

The Dangers of Binge Drinking

There are short-term consequences of binge drinking, including memory lapses, vomiting and hangovers. Drinking too much can lead to many other negative consequences that might not go away as quickly as these short-term consequences. Even if you only binge drink once, there is a chance you could experience an unintentional injury such as a fall, car accident, burn or drowning. Under the influence of too much alcohol, you could be uncharacteristically violent, or you might be assaulted. Existing health problems such as diabetes or heart conditions can worsen. Too much drinking can even cause death because alcohol can slow the breathing and the heart rate. Getting binge drinking help can prevent some of these unintended consequences and can also prevent the progression from alcohol use into addiction.

Resources

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Drinking Levels Defined https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/moderate-binge-drinking Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Binge Drinking https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/binge-drinking.htm

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