Binge drinking is a common term you hear around college campuses or when discussing alcoholism. However, many discussions fail to fully explain what it means to binge drink. As such, many individuals find themselves asking the question, “What does it mean to binge drink?”
What Does It Mean to Binge Drink: Explained
Binge drinking is defined as the pattern of drinking so much alcohol that it brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration to 0.08% or higher. How many drinks you need to consume before reaching this blood alcohol concentration depends on your sex and size.
For adult females, approximately four or more drinks need to be consumed in 2 hours. Males will need to consume five or more drinks than the same amount of time. For youth and teenagers, fewer drinks over that two hour span will result in the same blood alcohol content. Girls can consume 3 drinks in two hours and boys can drink three to five drinks, depending on their size.
Binge drinking is found among most demographics, but it’s most common among preteens, teens, and young adults. However, binge drinking is becoming less common in young adults and more common in older adults as the years go on.
Binge Drinking, Alcoholism, and Other Risks
Binge drinking is a common sign of alcoholism or beginning stages of substance abuse disorder, which requires treatment. Individuals who are suffering from alcoholism often begin by experiencing multiple nights of binge drinking a week. That binge drinking then evolves into alcoholism.
Individuals who binge drink don’t always become alcoholics, though. Binge drinking is common among teenagers and college age students, and most of them will not become addicted. In other words, binge drinking can be a sign of alcoholism, but not always.
Even though binge drinking doesn’t always lead to alcoholism, it’s important to avoid this dangerous practice. It can lead to acute harm, such as alcohol overdoses and blackouts. In some cases, binge drinking can lead to death. Between 2011 and 2015, about 46% of deaths related to alcohol misuse were caused by binge drinking specifically.
Furthermore, binge drinking can increase your likelihood of being the victim of unsafe sexual behavior, sexually transmitted infections, and other potentially deadly consequences, such as car crashes, burns, drownings, and falls.
Not to mention, chronic binge drinkers often develop the same illnesses as Alcoholics. Chronic binge drinkers can develop brain damage and even liver damage.
Signs of Alcoholism
If you notice that you or a loved one is binge drinking more and more often, you may be suffering from early stages of alcoholism. Some other signs of alcoholism include:
- Feeling powerless over your ability to use alcohol.
- Desiring to stop drinking but not being able to do so.
- Devoting a lot of time and money to drinking.
- An increased tolerance to alcohol.
- Experiencing cravings when not drinking.
- Experiencing withdrawals when not drinking.
- Drinking to ease withdrawal pains.
- Drinking alcohol in risky situations, such as while driving.
- Declining social activities or hobbies that used to interest you.
- Experiencing problems at home or the workplace because of alcohol.
- Continuing to drink alcohol even when it is leading to problems in your social, physical, and personal lives.
If you are experiencing the symptoms above, you likely need to seek treatment for your alcohol addiction.
Get Help with Ava Recovery
Binge drinking is loosely defined as drinking four drinks in two hours for females or five drinks in two hours for males. Drinking this amount of alcohol in that timeframe results in a blood alcohol content of 0.08%, a dangerous amount for anyone. If you or a loved one is suffering from binge drinking, it’s important to get help. Binge drinking can lead to several dangerous scenarios, including alcoholism. Contact Ava Recovery to learn more about alcohol treatment options available for you.