Alcohol Binge Drinking

Binge drinking as a pattern of alcohol consumption that involves rapidly drinking alcohol to the point of intoxication (and beyond) separated by periods of abstinence or lower levels of drinking.

Typical guidelines describing binge drinking at least 4 standard alcohol drinks for women or 5 drinks for men within a 2 hour period.

What is a "standard" drink?

Examples of "standard" drink include:

While many people have seen these examples of a standard drink before, it is easy to underestimate your level of alcohol consumption because of the size of modern alcohol beverages served and the alcohol content of these beverages.

Things to consider in judging the amount of alcohol you are drinking:

Isn't Binge drinking just a normal college behavior?

Binge drinking is sometimes perceived as "normal" because it can be relatively common in certain social settings. Binge drinking is not limited to college settings.

What is so bad about binge drinking anyway, it's not like I drink every day? Just Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Binge drinking accounts for more alcohol related deaths than all other patters of alcohol use.

What is considered a "safe" or "healthy" amount of alcohol to drink.

Large scale studies considering both the health risks and benefits of alcohol consumption tend to find that about 1 standard drink per day is the maximum amount a healthy adult may drink. However, your own safe level of drinking may be less than this or to not drink alcohol at all, depending on your unique health background, social circumstance, and set of risk/protective factors.

I can drink 5 drinks without feeling the effects, that means my "safe" level of drinking is higher than 1 drink right?

Wrong. If you are not able to perceive changes in how you feel after consuming 5 drinks in a short period of time, you likely have developed what doctors call tolerance. Tolerance is your body's way of adapting to your pattern of alcohol intake. While tolerance may result in you needing larger and larger quantities to feel the euphoric or intoxicating feelings of alcohol, you still may be experience problems with motor coordination at lower levels (prior to feeling buzzed). Because of this, you should not base your decision to operate a motor vehicle based on how “buzzed” you feel, consider the amount you have been drinking and in what time period.