Know Your Limits
What is binge drinking?
Binge drinking or excessive drinking is commonly described as having 5 or more alcoholic drinks for men or 4 or more drinks for women in a short period of time (under 2-hours). It is a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above.
You and your friends might describe it as:
- Drinking to get drunk.
- Drinking one drink after the other.
- You might recognize other terms for binge drinking like: hammered, plastered, out of control, wasted and shit-faced; maybe you “Hear the black-out train coming.”
Why is binging risky?
Drinking like this or binge drinking increases your risk of injury, violence, crashes, health problems, unintended pregnancy and STD, and blackouts.
For most people, when they started drinking heavily, they did not think it would become a problem. You think, “I have control over this. It is voluntary.” But over time the more frequently you drink and the more quantity you drink on any of those occasions, increases your risk of developing an alcohol use disorder.
What makes me at risk?
- Have had an alcohol use disorder or now have symptoms (more info).
- Have a physical or mental condition that is caused or worsened by drinking.
- Are taking a medication that interacts with alcohol.
- Family history of alcohol problems.
- Whether you’ve had drinking-related injuries.
- Symptoms such as sleep disorders and sexual dysfunction.
If none of the conditions above apply to you, then talk with your doctor to determine whether you should cut down or quit based on factors such as:
- You tried cutting down but cannot stay within the limits you set.
- Are or may become pregnant.
- Your age.