- More than half of the alcohol drunk by adults is drunk during binge drinking; and
- About 90% of the alcohol drunk by youth under age 21 is drunk during binge drinking.
What exactly is binge drinking?[change | change source]
United States[change | change source]
In the United States, the most common definition of binge drinking was created by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in 2009. It says that binge drinking is a pattern of drinking alcohol that brings a person's blood alcohol content (BAC) to 0.08 or more. Blood alcohol content is the percentage of ethanol in the person's blood. (In the United States, a BAC of 0.08 means a person is legally drunk.) This means that a person would be binge drinking if:
- A usual adult man had five or more drinks in about two hours
- A usual adult woman had four or more drinks in about two hours.
United Kingdom[change | change source]
In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service says that binge drinking is having "eight or more units [of alcohol] in a single [drinking] session for men and six or more for women." (Units are used in the United Kingdom to measure alcohol.) This means a person would be binge drinking if:
- A usual adult man drank four glasses of wine, or three and a half pints of beer, in a single drinking session
- A usual adult woman drank three glasses of wine, or three pints of beer, in a single drinking session
European Union[change | change source]
A recent report paid for by the European Union suggested that binge drinking should be defined, across Europe, as drinking "60g alcohol (men) and 40g alcohol (women) in a period of about two hours."
Dangers of binge drinking[change | change source]
- Hurt themselves accidentally (for example, by falling or drowning)
- Physical aggression like hitting, kicking, or slapping
- Psychological intimidation, belittling, or humiliation
- Forced sexual intercourse or activities
- Controlling behaviors like isolating the person from friends and family.
- Drive while drunk, crash the car, and hurt or kill themselves or other people
- Hurt themselves or other people on purpose (injuries from guns, rape, and domestic violence are all more common among binge drinkers)
- Get sexually transmitted diseases or get pregnant without meaning to (because they are more likely to take risks and not use birth control like condoms)
- Have children who are born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
- Have high blood pressure, strokes, and other cardiovascular diseases
- Get liver disease, like cirrhosis
- Get brain damage
- Have erectile dysfunction
References[change | change source]
- United States Centers for Disease Control (January 16, 2014). "Fact Sheets - Binge Drinking". www.cdc.gov. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
- "Binge Drinking: Terminology and Patterns of Use Analyzing Internal and External Partnerships". www.samhsa.gov. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. September 24, 2015. Archived from the original on December 18, 2015. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
- Courtney, KE; Polich, J (January 2009). "Binge drinking in young adults: Data, definitions, and determinants". Psychological Bulletin. 135 (1): 142–56. doi:10.1037/a0014414. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
- National Health Service (December 31, 2014). "Binge Drinking". www.nhs.uk. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
- Anderson, Peter (2008). Binge Drinking and Europe (PDF) (Report). Achenbach Druck Hamm. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
- "Fact Sheet - The Dangers of Binge Drinking" (PDF). public.health.oregon.gov. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
- "Dating an Alcoholic - Help for Alcoholic Boyfriends & Husbands". Alcohol.org. Retrieved 2020-11-12.