What Is Binge Drinking?

What Is Binge Drinking?

When you think of binge drinking, what is the first thing you think of? For many, binge drinking is associated with the excessive consumption of alcohol on a single occasion. While this is true, you may be surprised to learn the number of drinks for men and women that is considered binge drinking.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, binge drinking is defined as the following:

  • A pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration to levels of 0.08 g/dL


  • 4 drinks for women (in about 2 hours)
  • 5 drinks for men (in about 2 hours)

Additionally, heavy drinking is defined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as drinking 5 or more drinks on the same occasion on each of 5 or more days in the past 30 days. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) defines heavy drinking as 15 or more drinks per week for men, or 8 or more drinks per week for women. Either way, developing binge drinking or heavy drinking habits can be dangerous for both the person drinking and his/her family and friends.

Binge Drinking Risks

Binge drinking can increase the risk of injuries related to alcohol such as accidents while driving under the influence, sexually transmitted diseases, suicide, violence, alcoholism, death, alcohol poisoning, date rape, HIV/AIDS, pregnancy, and unprotected or unplanned sex. Long-term effects of excessive drinking include heart disease, liver disease, various cancers, and mental illness.

Binge Drinking in Southwest Florida

Nancy Dauphinais, clinical supervisor for Crossroads, was recently featured in USA Today speaking about the rise of binge drinking in Southwest Florida. As Nancy explains, one consideration for the level of heavy drinking in our area can be attributed to this area being a vacation destination. Since recreational drinking is considered a social norm when vacationing in areas such as Naples and Fort Myers, this can play a role in the rise in binge/heavy drinking levels.

Seeking Treatment for Alcoholism

If you or someone you know struggles with heavy or binge drinking, or you think it may becoming a problem, you can find professional help for alcoholism and alcohol use disorders at Crossroads. A division of the David Lawrence Centers, Crossroads offers a full continuum of treatment for alcohol and substance use disorders. We take a holistic approach to every patient and provide the right support needed to develop a strong path to recovery.

Our alcohol abuse treatment programs include:

  • Inpatient detoxification
  • Residential and partial hospitalization services
  • Intensive outpatient services
  • Additional support services (including medication-assisted treatment options and aftercare support)

To learn more about Crossroads’ alcohol abuse treatment programs, click here or call us 24/7 at (239) 354-1428.

May 11, 2015 | Blog

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