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    Understanding Binge Drinking

    What Is Binge Drinking? Image

    Understanding Binge Drinking

    Understanding Binge Drinking What Is Binge Drinking?


    The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking alcohol that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 percent—or 0.08 grams of alcohol per deciliter—or higher. For a typical adult, this pattern of alcohol misuse corresponds to consuming 4 or more drinks (female), or 5 or more drinks (male) in about 2 hours. Research shows that fewer drinks in the same timeframe result in the same BAC in youth; only 3 drinks for girls, and 3 to 5 drinks for boys, depending on their age and size.1

    How Common Is Binge Drinking?

    According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 66 million, or about 24 percent of people in the United States ages 12 and older reported binge drinking during the past month.2 While binge drinking is a concern among all age groups, there are important trends in the following age groups:

    Preteens and teens: Rates of binge drinking among 12- to 17-year-olds have been decreasing in the last decade. Still, according to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 4.9 percent of people in this age group reported binge drinking in the past month.3Young adults: Rates of binge drinking among 18- to 22-year-olds have been decreasing in the past decade but remain high. According to the 2019 NSDUH, 27.7 percent of people in this age group who are not enrolled in college full-time and 33.0 percent of full-time college students in this age group reported binge drinking in the past month.4Older adults: Binge drinking is on the rise among older adults—more than 10 percent of adults ages 65 and older reported binge drinking in the past month,3 and the prevalence is increasing.4 The increase in this group is of particular concern because many older adults use medications that can interact with alcohol, have health conditions that can be exacerbated by alcohol, and may be more susceptible to alcohol-related falls and other accidental injuries.Women: The number of women who binge drink has also increased. Studies show that among U.S. women who drink, about one in four has engaged in binge drinking in the last month, averaging about three binge episodes per month and five drinks per binge episode.5 These trends are concerning as women are at an increased risk for health problems related to alcohol misuse.

    What Are the Consequences and Health Effects of Binge Drinking?

    While drinking any amount of alcohol can carry certain risks (for information on impairments at lower levels, please see this chart), crossing the binge threshold increases the risk of acute harm, such as blackouts and overdoses. Binge drinking also increases the likelihood of unsafe sexual behavior and the risk of sexually transmitted infections and unintentional pregnancy. These risks are greater at higher peak levels of consumption. Because of the impairments it produces, binge drinking also increases the likelihood of a host of potentially deadly consequences, including falls, burns, drownings, and car crashes.

    Alcohol affects virtually all tissues in the body. Data suggest that even one episode of binge drinking can compromise function of the immune system and lead to acute pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) in individuals with underlying pancreatic damage. Alcohol misuse, including repeated episodes of binge drinking, over time contributes to liver and other chronic diseases, as well as increases in the risk of several types of cancer, including head and neck, esophageal, liver, breast, and colorectal cancers.

    Binge drinking can be deadly. Roughly 95,000 deaths resulted from alcohol misuse in the United States between 2011 and 2015, and almost half (46 percent) were associated with binge drinking.6 Binge drinking also is costly. Researchers estimated that binge drinking accounted for 77 percent ($191.1 billion) of the $249 billion economic cost of alcohol misuse in 2010.7

    How Does Binge Drinking Affect Adolescents?

    Brain development, once thought to taper off at the end of childhood, enters a unique phase during the adolescent years. Research indicates that repeated episodes of binge drinking during the teen years can alter the trajectory of adolescent brain development and cause lingering deficits in social, attention, memory, and other cognitive functions.8

    What Is “High-Intensity” Drinking?

    “High-intensity drinking” is defined as alcohol intake at levels twice or more the gender-specific threshold for binge drinking. This dangerous drinking pattern means 8 or more drinks for women and 10 or more drinks for men on one occasion. Research suggests that high-intensity drinking peaks around age 21 and is most common among young adults attending college.9

    This pattern of drinking is of particular concern because it is associated with an even greater risk of severe health and safety consequences. More research is needed to identify interventions that can be used to discourage this pattern of use.

    For more information about binge drinking, alcohol use disorder, and available evidence-based treatments, please visit Rethinking Drinking and the NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator.

    Source : www.niaaa.nih.gov

    Binge drinking

    Binge drinking

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Jump to navigation Jump to search Binge drinking

    1912 U.S. Happy New Year postcard

    Specialty Toxicology, psychiatry

    Binge drinking, or irresponsible drinking, is drinking alcoholic beverages with an intention of becoming intoxicated by heavy consumption of alcohol over a short period of time, but definitions (see below) vary considerably.[1]

    Binge drinking is a style of drinking that is popular in several countries worldwide, and overlaps somewhat with social drinking since it is often done in groups. The degree of intoxication, however, varies between and within various cultures that engage in this practice. A binge on alcohol can occur over hours, last up to several days, or in the event of extended use, even weeks. Due to the long term effects of excessive alcohol use, binge drinking is considered to be a major public health issue.[2]

    Binge drinking is more common in males, during adolescence and young adulthood. Heavy regular binge drinking is associated with adverse effects on neurologic, cardiac, gastrointestinal, hematologic, immune, and musculoskeletal organ systems as well as increasing the risk of alcohol induced psychiatric disorders.[3][4] A US-based review of the literature found that up to one-third of adolescents binge-drink, with 6% reaching the threshold of having an alcohol-related substance use disorder.[5] Approximately one in 25 women binge-drinks during pregnancy, which can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.[6] Binge drinking during adolescence is associated with traffic accidents and other types of accidents, violent behavior as well as suicide. The more often a child or adolescent binge drinks and the younger they are the more likely that they will develop an alcohol use disorder including alcoholism. A large number of adolescents who binge-drink also consume other psychotropic substances.[7]

    Frequent binge drinking can lead to brain damage faster and more severely than chronic drinking (alcoholism). The neurotoxic insults are due to very large amounts of glutamate which are released and overstimulate the brain as a binge finishes. This results in excitotoxicity, a process which damages or kills neurons (brain cells).[8] Each binge drinking episode immediately insults the brain; repeat episodes result in accumulating harm. The developing adolescent brain is thought to be particularly susceptible to the neurotoxic effects of binge drinking, with some evidence of brain damage occurring from drinking more than 10 or 11 drinks once or twice per month.[9] A 2020 study found that even a single episode of binge drinking can lead to atrophy of the brain's corpus callosum, from which damage was still detectable by an MRI scanner five weeks later.[10] With prolonged abstinence neurogenesis occurs which can potentially reverse the damage from heavy alcohol use.[11]


    1 Definitions 2 Causes 3 Health effects

    3.1 Adolescence and young adulthood

    3.2 Central nervous system

    3.3 Pregnancy 3.4 Sudden death 3.5 Urinary system 3.6 Acute hazards

    3.7 Cardiovascular system

    4 Pathophysiology 5 Diagnosis 6 Prevention 6.1 Reduction 7 Treatment 8 Epidemiology 9 History

    10 Society and culture

    11 Sex differences 12 See also 13 Notes 14 References 15 External links


    Stolle, Sack and Thomasius define binge drinking as episodic excessive drinking.[7] There is currently no worldwide consensus on how many drinks constitute a "binge", but in the United States, the term has been described in academic research to mean consuming five or more standard drinks (male), or four or more drinks (female),[12] over a two-hour period.[13] In 2015, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, citing the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, defines binge drinking as "a pattern of drinking that brings a person's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. This typically happens when men consume five or more drinks, and when women consume four or more drinks, in about two hours."[14] and estimated that about 16% of American adults met these criteria at least four times per month. One 2001 definition from the publication states that five drinks for men and four drinks for women must be consumed on one occasion at least once in a two-week period for it to be classed as binge drinking.[15] This is colloquially known[] as the "5/4 definition", and depending on the source, the timeframe can vary. In the United Kingdom, binge drinking is defined by one academic publication as drinking more than twice the daily limit, that is, drinking eight units or more for men or six units or more for women (roughly equivalent to five or four American standard drinks, respectively).[16] In Australia, binge drinking is also known as risky single occasion drinking (RSOD)[17] and can be classified by the drinking of seven or more standard drinks (by males) and five or more standard drinks (by females) within a single day.[18] When BEACH (Bettering the Evaluation and Care of Health) conducted a study which gathered information of people over the age of 18, it defined binge drinkers as those who consumed six or more standard drinks on one occasion whether that be weekly or monthly.[19]

    Source : en.wikipedia.org

    Binge Drinking

    Excessive alcohol use can lead to increased risk of health problems such as injuries, violence, liver diseases, and cancer.The CDC Alcohol Program works to strengthen the scientific foundation for preventing excessive alcohol use.

    Binge Drinking

    Binge drinking is a serious but preventable public health problem.

    Binge drinking is the most common, costly, and deadly pattern of excessive alcohol use in the United States.1,2,3 Binge drinking is defined as consuming 5 or more drinks on an occasion for men or 4 or more drinks on an occasion for women.

    Most people who binge drink do not have a severe alcohol use disorder.1 However, binge drinking is a harmful risk behavior associated with serious injuries and multiple diseases. It is also associated with an increased risk of alcohol use disorder. 1

    How common is binge drinking?

    One in six US adults binge drinks, with 25% doing so at least weekly.4

    Binge drinking is just one pattern of excessive drinking, but it accounts for nearly all excessive drinking. Over 90% of US adults who drink excessively report binge drinking.1

    Who binge drinks?4

    Binge drinking is most common among younger adults aged 18–34.

    Binge drinking is nearly twice as common among men than among women.

    Binge drinking is most common among adults who have higher household incomes ($75,000 or more), are non-Hispanic White, or live in the Midwest.

    For some groups and states, binge drinking is not as common, but those who binge drink do so frequently or consume large quantities of alcohol.

    Binge Drinking Across the Lifespan

    Skip Over Chart Container

    0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 Percentage


    18–24 25–34 35–44 45–64 65 andolder Age Group

    Data Sources: Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, 2019 and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2018.

    Data Table

    How many binge drinks are consumed?

    One in four US adults who binge drink consume at least eight drinks during a binge occasion.4

    Overall, 17 billion total binge drinks are consumed by adults annually, or 467 binge drinks per adult who binge drinks.5

    Four out of five binge drinks are consumed by men. 5

    More than half of binge drinks are consumed by adults 35 and older. 5

    People with lower incomes and lower levels of education consume more binge drinks per year.5

    Most people younger than 21 who drink alcohol report binge drinking, often consuming large amounts. Among high school students who binge drink, 44% consumed eight or more drinks in a row.6,7

    Binge drinking has serious risks.

    Binge drinking is associated with many health problems,8–10 including:

    Unintentional injuries such as motor vehicle crashes, falls, burns, and alcohol poisoning.

    Violence including homicide, suicide, intimate partner violence, and sexual assault.

    Sexually transmitted diseases.

    Unintended pregnancy and poor pregnancy outcomes, including miscarriage and stillbirth.

    Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

    Sudden infant death syndrome.

    Chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and liver disease.

    Cancer of the breast (among females), liver, colon, rectum, mouth, pharynx, larynx, and esophagus.

    Memory and learning problems.

    Read more about the CDC study that found that excessive drinking in the U.S is a drain on the American economy.

    Costs of excessive drinking

    Binge drinking costs everyone.

    Excessive drinking, including binge drinking, cost the United States $249 billion in 2010, or $2.05 per drink. These costs were from lost work productivity, health care expenditures, criminal justice costs, and other expenses. Binge drinking accounted for 77% of these costs, or $191 billion.2

    Preventing Binge Drinking

    The Community Preventive Services Task Force

    external icon

    recommends evidence-based interventions to prevent binge drinking and related harms.  Recommended strategies include:

    Using pricing strategies, including increasing alcohol taxes.

    Limiting the number of retail alcohol outlets in a given area.

    Holding alcohol retailers responsible for the harms caused by illegal alcohol sales to minors or intoxicated patrons (dram shop liability).

    Restricting access to alcohol by maintaining limits on the days and hours of alcohol retail sales.

    Consistently enforcing laws against underage drinking and alcohol-impaired driving.

    Maintaining government controls on alcohol sales (avoiding privatization).

    The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

    external icon

    also recommends screening and counseling for alcohol misuse in primary care settings.

    Source : www.cdc.gov

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