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And no matter which category you fall into, there are consequences. “You subject your body to more health risks, to more toxicity and you begin a cycle of withdrawal problems,” she adds. The study recommends that alcohol screening and intervention by health care providers become a routine part of clinical care. Again, it’s not the actual number of drinks you’re consuming, but the amount of alcohol in them.

  • If your excessive alcohol use is a reoccurring issue, you might admonish yourself for your poor self-control or even develop a sense of self-loathing.
  • “Substance use is not limited to teens and young adults, and these data help us understand how people use drugs across the lifespan,” NIDA Director Nora Volkow said in a press release.
  • Binge drinking is the most common form of excessive alcohol use in the US.
  • “People who binge drink are more likely to develop alcohol use disorder, particularly if they continue to binge drink even if it causes them problems,” Dr. Koob says.
  • Alcohol is a toxin, and overuse of the substance can wear on your body and contribute to the development of a range of chronic disorders, including certain types of cancer and heart disease.

Therefore, drinking more water won’t necessarily protect you from a hangover the next day. The only sure way to reduce or avoid a hangover is to drink less alcohol. Whatever your personality, though, there are steps you can take to modify your habits and take back control of your drinking. You have a hard time cutting yourself off once you start drinking. Perhaps you frequently get caught up in the feeling of euphoria that comes with being intoxicated.


Binge drinking will bring the BAC to 0.08 percent or above, which can increase the risk of accidents, impaired judgment and alcohol poisoning. If you are having trouble cutting back on your alcohol use, you might need treatment for alcohol addiction or alcohol abuse. Both inpatient and outpatient treatment is available, and the specific course of treatment depends on your physiology, your level of drinking, and your lifestyle. To find out more about how to decrease your alcohol consumption, or if you are unsure whether your moderate drinking has crossed the line into alcohol abuse or addiction, call us for a free referral. Long-term binge drinking can lead to liver disease, including cirrhosis, which is a chronic and irreversible condition that can lead to liver failure. Symptoms of liver disease include unexplained weight loss, yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice), and passing blood in stools.

How do I know if I binge drink?

  • Drinking more than you planned.
  • Drinking more often.
  • Drinking early in the day.
  • Feeling defensive about your drinking.
  • Not being able to slow down or stop your drinking.
  • Needing more alcohol to get the same effect.
  • Giving up activities you enjoy to spend more time drinking.

According to the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 6% of US adults reported heavy drinking. The CDC and other health organizations around the world recommend no more than one to two drinks per day, or fewer than seven drinks per week for women and fewer than 15 drinks per week for men. And health organizations note that drinking moderately still carries some risks. There is no such thing as safe drinking, only moderate drinking. It’s not uncommon for people to get defensive when others point out their unhealthy drinking habits. Your loved one might deny the problem, deflect, or get mad at you.

If I drink heavily, five or more drinks once a week, am I an alcoholic?

These people are the most likely to have nights out or to be involved in social situations which likely include heavy drinking. Drinking two bottles of beer at home is within moderate drinking guidance, but having two glasses of wine at a bar might become binge drinking. Simply explain why you’re concerned about their binge drinking. You might point out the effects that it’s having on their mood or physical health. Or you could let them know how it’s affecting your relationship. Alcohol abuse can cause or worsen symptoms of depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders.

In a recent study by The Recovery Village, 44% of respondents reported abusing alcohol in an attempt to ease uncomfortable feelings that stem from underlying anxiety. Because alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous – and even kill you – make sure you have medical advice from your doctor or a rehab facility when you decide to stop drinking. Al-Anon and Alateen – Support groups for friends and families of problem drinkers. In times of stress, hardship, or loss, help your loved one find better ways to cope with negative emotions.

Binge drinking has serious risks.

If you don’t have a friend who takes your wellbeing seriously, it’s time to change social groups. Any drinking is considered excessive drinking for pregnant women and any persons under the age binge drinking of 21, the legal drinking age. If someone asked you to describe binge drinking, you would likely picture a scene of college students throwing back shots or chugging beers during a wild party.

how many drinks is considered binge drinking

If you’re having a hard time shifting your focus from internal to external, consider the quality of your inner self-talk. Dissect and challenge those worries with more realistic thoughts. The truth is other people are usually far less focused on you than you believe. Having a full stomach may make you less likely to drink as much as you would on an empty stomach. Federal and state health agencies also offer resources and can refer you to someone who can help. At Silvermist we are committed to being available for you or your family member day or night, you can call us 24/7.

Health Fast Facts

In the short term, binge drinking can lead to poor decision-making and increased risk of bodily harm and injury. Creating responsible drinking habits is also about looking at your drinking patterns in the long run. While a single episode of binge drinking may not be indicative of a problem with alcohol, persistent binge drinking can be a sign of alcohol use disorder. An alcohol abuse problem can include binge drinking, having negative consequences such as hangovers with your drinking but continuing anyway, and drinking despite the desire to stop. Binge drinking can lead to a host of harmful consequences, both physically and mentally.

how many drinks is considered binge drinking

To help an underage drinker drop the habit, you’ll need to understand their motivations and be willing to converse with them in a nonjudgmental way. Because underage drinking can come with legal consequences, it’s also necessary to establish rules and consequences. In some cases, the people around you might continue to pressure you to drink. Perhaps you’re worried that they’ll think less of you if you don’t drink more.