Binge drinking

'Binge' or 'extreme drinking' is irresponsible and dangerous

Whether labelled 'binge drinking', 'extreme drinking' or 'heavy episodic drinking', any pattern of drinking that involves rapid intoxication or intoxication for an extended period of time carries the potential for considerable social, psychological and physical harm, and should be avoided.

While there is no universal scientific or medical definition of what constitutes binge or extreme drinking, it usually means drinking excessive amounts of alcohol in a short period of time. Whatever the definition, the important thing is what can be done to prevent it.

Binge drinking can take a toll on the body and be dangerous. It can cause or contribute to:

  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Accidents, including car accidents
  • Brain or neurological damage
  • Gastrointestinal tract damage
  • Risky behaviour (such as unprotected sex)
  • Alcohol dependence
  • Stroke or cardiovascular problems
  • Poor academic and work performance
  • Absenteeism

Staying within drinking guidelines helps avoid the risks of excessive alcohol consumption.

Binge drinking not only affects people who are drinking but it can also affect others who are exposed to, and who may rely on, them. If a binge drinker fails to make responsible choices, those who either are not drinking or who drink responsibly can be subjected to problems ranging from rude or loud behaviour to accidents caused by drunk driving.