- 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)
- 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. 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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19210057. 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.