Binge Drinking: When Does it Become a Problem?

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The Pattern Of Binge Drinking

People who drink large amounts of alcohol for long periods of time, run the risk of developing serious and persistent health problems.  Binge drinking is popular among the younger generations who drink excessively as part of cultural entertainment.

In simple terms binge drinking is drinking vastly excessive quantities of alcohol in a short space of time to get drunk.

Binge drinkers can be non-drinkers during the week and excessive during the weekend.

Because each of us are different, it is not possible to say exactly what constitutes binge drinking.

But the Office for National Statistics (ONS) claim it is having more than eight units for men and more than six units for women.

(one unit is the equivalent of one third of a pint of normal strength beer, or half a glass of red wine, or one 25ml single measure of whisky)

Binge drinking places an enormous physical strain on the body, particularly the liver.

It can also lead to memory loss or blackouts.

There is also the added risk of behavioural problems including arguing, fighting or casual sex (often unprotected as alcohol can lower your inhibitions).

Binge drinking also places an enormous strain on the NHS with many accident and emergency departments being stretched to capacity due to incidents or accidents which are caused because of binge drinking.


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Last Updated: January 18, 2023

About the author

Peter Szczepanski

Peter has been on the GPhC register for 29 years. He holds a Clinical Diploma in Advanced Clinical Practice and he is a Clinical Lead in Alcohol and Substance Misuse for Abbeycare Gloucester and works as the Clinical Lead in Alcohol and Substance Use in Worcestershire. Peter also co-authored the new 6th edition of Drugs In Use by Linda Dodds, writing Chapter 15 on Alcohol Related Liver Disease. Find Peter on Respiratory Academy, Aston University graduates, University of Birmingham, Q, Pharmaceutical Journal, the Dudley Pharmaceutical Committee, Dudley Council, Twitter, and LinkedIn.