Binge Drinking

What is Binge Drinking Information

Binge-drinking refers to drinking a large amount of alcohol in a short time. This is usually 5 drinks for men or 4 drinks for women, on one occasion.

People who binge-drink do not always have an alcohol problem. However, binge-drinking can raise your risk of becoming dependent on alcohol (having alcohol use disorder). In addition to health problems, such as heart disease, liver disease, or cancer, binge-drinking can also lead to legal, financial, and interpersonal problems. Friends and family may notice signs of binge-drinking or alcohol use disorder before you do.

What lifestyle changes can be made?

  • Avoid drinking too much. If you choose to drink, drink slowly, set a limit for yourself, and follow that plan. Aim for a limit of 1 drink a day for nonpregnant women and 2 drinks a day for men. One drink equals 12 oz of beer, 5 oz of wine, or 1½ oz of hard liquor.
  • Encourage others around you not to binge-drink.
  • Become aware of situations and people who trigger your drinking behavior, and either avoid those or find a new way to deal with them. Find hobbies that you can do instead of drinking, such as exercising or outdoor activities.
  • Do notdrink if:
    • You are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
    • You plan to drive a vehicle.
    • You plan to use machinery, such as a lawn mower or power tool.
    • You have a health condition that alcohol can make worse.
    • You take medicines that are affected by alcohol, including prescription pain medicines.
    • You are recovering from alcohol use disorder.

Develop skills to manage your moods and emotions so you do not need to drink to cope with them. This may include using stress reduction techniques such as:

  • Deep breathing.
  • Meditation or yoga.
  • Exercise or playing sports.
  • Keeping a stress diary.
  • Listening to music.

Why are these changes important?

Binge-drinking can put you at risk for serious health problems, including:

  • Accidental injuries, such as alcohol poisoning or falls.
  • Violence, such as sexual assault.
  • STDs (sexually transmitted diseases).
  • Developing alcohol use disorder.
  • Mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression.
  • Problems with memory or learning.
  • Liver disease.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Heart disease.
  • Stroke.
  • Cancer of the liver, colon, esophagus, breast, or mouth.

If you binge-drink while pregnant, your baby may also be at risk for health problems, including:

  • Miscarriage.
  • Stillbirth.
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs).
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

What can happen if changes are not made?

In addition to health problems, binge-drinking can also raise your risk of:

  • Car accidents.
  • Problems with relationships and other social situations.
  • Legal or financial problems.
  • Unplanned pregnancies.

What are the benefits of controlling my drinking?

Controlling your drinking or quitting drinking can make you feel better and:

  • Help you control your weight.
  • Make you more likely to get into good physical shape and stay fit.
  • Improve how your body processes vitamins and minerals.
  • Improve your health by lowering your blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar (glucose).
  • Help you think more clearly and make better decisions.

What actions can I take to [prevent/lower my risk of/lower my child’s risk of] [X]

Where to find support:

You can get support for stopping binge-drinking from:

  • Your health care provider. He or she may be able to recommend counseling if you drink too much.
  • The National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Service: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
  • Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholics Resource Center: 1-800-839-1686

Where to find more information:

You can find more information about binge-drinking from:

Contact a health care provider if:

  • You cannot control your drinking, or you think that your drinking might be out of your control.
  • You have unexpected physical problems that cause you distress, such as accidental injuries.
  • You need help with the consequences of your drinking.

Get help right away if:

  • You have thoughts about hurting yourself or others.

If you ever feel like you may hurt yourself or others, or have thoughts about taking your own life, get help right away. You can go to your nearest emergency department

Summary

  • Binge-drinking refers to drinking a large amount of alcohol in a short time. This is usually 5 drinks for men or 4 drinks for women, on one occasion.
  • Binge-drinking can lead to serious health problems, such as heart disease, liver disease, or cancer.
  • Binge-drinking raises your risk of developing alcohol dependence (alcohol use disorder) and social and relationship problems.
  • Talk with your health care provider about your drinking habits. He or she may be able to recommend counseling if you drink too much.

Binge-Drinking Information, Teen

Binge-drinking means drinking a lot of alcohol in a short time (on one occasion). This is usually 5 drinks for men or 4 drinks for women.

Underage drinkers are more likely to binge-drink, even though they usually drink less often than adult drinkers. People who binge-drink do not always have an alcohol problem. However, binge-drinking can raise your risk of becoming dependent on alcohol (having alcohol use disorder). In addition to health problems, such as heart disease, liver disease, or cancer, binge-drinking can also lead to legal, financial, and interpersonal problems. Your friends and family may notice signs of binge-drinking or alcohol use disorder before you do.

What lifestyle changes can be made?

  • Do notdrink if you are under age 21. This is the best way to avoid binge-drinking and other consequences of alcohol use. Underage drinking is illegal, and it can lead to serious problems.
  • Encourage others around you not to drink.
  • Become aware of situations and people who trigger your drinking behavior and either avoid those or find a new way to deal with them. Find hobbies that you can do instead of drinking, such as exercising or outdoor activities.
  • If you choose to drink:
    • Drink slowly, set a limit for yourself, and follow that plan.
    • Avoid drinking games because they promote excessive drinking.
    • Make sure to eat something while you drink.
    • Do not drive. Ride with a safe, responsible driver who has not been drinking.

Develop skills to manage your moods and emotions so you do not need to drink to cope with them. This may include using stress reduction techniques, such as:

  • Deep breathing.
  • Meditation or yoga.
  • Exercise or playing sports.
  • Keeping a stress diary.
  • Listening to music.

Why are these changes important?

Binge-drinking can put you at risk for serious health problems, including:

  • Accidental injuries, such as alcohol poisoning or falls.
  • Developing alcohol use disorder.
  • Violence, such as sexual assault.
  • STDs (sexually transmitted diseases).
  • Problems with memory or learning.
  • Mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression.
  • Brain damage.
  • Liver disease.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Heart disease.
  • Stroke.
  • Cancer of the liver, colon, esophagus, breast, or mouth.

What can happen if changes are not made?

Along with health problems, underage binge-drinking can also raise your risk of:

  • Car accidents.
  • Blacking out.
  • Poor decision-making, and acting in ways that you would not normally act.
  • Problems with relationships and other social situations.
  • Problems in school, such as learning difficulties or getting failing grades.
  • Legal problems. These may lead to future financial problems.
  • Unplanned pregnancies.
  • Sexual abuse or unwanted sexual activity.

What are the benefits of controlling my drinking?

Controlling your drinking or quitting drinking can make you feel better and:

  • Help you control your weight.
  • Make you more likely to get into good physical shape and stay fit.
  • Help you have more stable relationships with fewer ups and downs.
  • Help you think more clearly and make better decisions.

What actions can I take to [prevent/lower my risk of/lower my child’s risk of] [X]

Where to find support:

You can get support for stopping binge-drinking from:

  • Your parents, a school counselor, or another trusted adult. They can help you find support and resources to help prevent binge-drinking.
  • Your health care provider. He or she may be able to recommend counseling if you drink too much.
  • The National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Service: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

Where to find more information:

You can find more information about binge-drinking from:

Contact a health care provider if:

  • You cannot control your drinking, or you think that your drinking might be out of your control.
  • You feel that you cannot talk with anyone (such as friends and family) about your drinking.

Get help right away if:

  • You have thoughts about hurting yourself or others.

If you ever feel like you may hurt yourself or others, or have thoughts about taking your own life, get help right away. You can go to your nearest emergency department

Summary

  • Do not drink if you are under the age of 21. Underage drinking is illegal, and it can lead to serious problems.
  • Binge-drinking is when you drink a lot of alcohol in a short time (on one occasion). This is usually 5 drinks for men or 4 drinks for women.
  • Binge-drinking is dangerous, and it can lead to problems with school, friends, family, and your physical and mental health.
  • You can get support for binge-drinking from your parents, a school counselor, or another trusted adult. They can help you find support and resources to help prevent binge-drinking.
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