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Binge Drinking, Extreme Drinking, And Their Criterion

Five/Four (5/4) Rule of Binge Drinking

as any male who has had five or more drinks on a single occasion in a months time.
or a female who has four or more  drinks on a single occasion.

This is commonly known as the five-four rule .

Image From the American College of Cardiology
binge drinking

http://www.eurekalert.org/multimedia/pub/55639.phpIf you have done this on more than five occasions in a month you are considered a hard drinker.

So a person could have a drink before dinner, a couple of glasses of wine with it, and a night cap when they return home and meet the criteria above.

They may not ever even reach a BAC above .02 if they only have one drink per hour.

This isn’t what I think of as binge drinking..

Binge Drinking Is Defined For The Typical Adult As:

A “binge” is a pattern of drinking alcohol that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 gram percent or above. For the typical adult, this pattern corresponds to consuming 5 or more drinks (male), or 4 or more drinks (female), in about 2 hours. Binge drinking is clearly dangerous for the drinker and for society.
From the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA):

This definition doesn’t work for me either but, the following one does.

The Journal of Studies on Alcohol emphasizes, binge describes an extended period of time (typically at least two days) during which time a person repeatedly becomes intoxicated and gives up his or her usual activities and obligations in order to become intoxicated.

This is the kind of drinking I know about. Believe me, if you are around somebody for awhile you will know if they are binge drinkers.  It is hard to hide the after effects of binge drinking.

Binge drinking statistics from the Center for Disease Control.

According to national surveys

  • Approximately 92% of U.S. adults who drink excessively report binge drinking in the past 30 days.2
  • Although college students commonly binge drink, 70% of binge drinking episodes involve adults over age 25 years.3
  • The prevalence of binge drinking among men is 2 times the prevalence among women.4
  • Binge drinkers are 14 times more likely to report alcohol-impaired driving than non-binge drinkers.3
  • About 90% of the alcohol consumed by youth under the age of 21 years in the United States is in the form of binge drinks.5
  • About 75% of the alcohol consumed by adults in the United States is in the form of binge drinks.5
  • The proportion of current drinkers that binge is highest in the 18- to 20-year-old group (51%).3

binge drinking deaths

Binge drinking is associated with many health problems, including but not limited to

  • Unintentional injuries (e.g., car crashes, falls, burns, drowning).
  • Intentional injuries (e.g., firearm injuries, sexual assault, domestic violence).
  • Alcohol poisoning.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Unintended pregnancy.
  • Children born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
  • High blood pressure, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases.
  • Liver disease.
  • Neurological damage.
  • Sexual dysfunction.
  • Poor control of diabetes.

More binging statistics, but on college students

In the United States of America, despite the fact that the lawful drinking age is 21, most young adults will binge drink in college or university. Research shows more than 50 % of male college students and 40% of girl college students have took part in binge drinking during the past couple of weeks. Almost 1/3 of freshman in college or university have experiences with binge drinking prior to heading back home for the holiday season. Sadly, binge drinking is in no way restricted to the more than 18 years old crowd. It has been documented that 25 % of high school students have participated in binge drinking within the last month.

A few techniques for binge drinking are chugging, shotguns, shots, funnels, shooters, and other drinking games.Within the United States of America two well-liked drinking games are pong and quarters , where the inability to get one of such objects inside a glass after bouncing it off a flat surface results in chugging a beer or the consumption of a shot.

adults who binge drinking

Binge Drinking . . .

No matter the system, on average, students who binge drink skip considerably more classes, receive reduced marks, are sexually reckless, have suffered accidental injury or date rape, and already have or are developing medical conditions. In alcohol and/or drug addiction, nearly all drunks or drug addicts at one time had been binge drinkers.

Right after binge drinking, an individual is likely to:
1) Have an disagreement, dispute, or altercation.
2) Fall down, stumble, or just plain pass out.
3) Vomit, and possibly choke to death
4) Get into an car crash and injure themselves or someone else (occasionally fatalities occur).
5) Overdose or suffer alcohol poisoning
While in a blacked out condition, urinating on one’s self is prevalent. In extraordinary circumstances, however, a binge drinker’s bladder can rupture and induce septic blood poisoning.

most drinks per day

Intensity* of binge drinking among adults† — Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System combined landline and cellular telephone developmental dataset, United States, 2010

Tips on How to Reduce Binge Drinking

  • Know how much alcohol is in a standard drink and number of standard drinks in your beverages (often listed on the packaging in bottled drinks)
  • Keep count of the number of standard drinks consumed
  • Do not let people top up your glass before it is finished, otherwise you can lose track of how much alcohol you have drunk
  • Eat while drinking to help slow down the absorption of alcohol into your system
  • Drink beverages with lower alcohol content (e.g. low-alcohol beer instead of full strength beer)
  • Switch to non-alcoholic drinks when starting to feel the effects of alcohol
  • Avoid keeping up with friends drink for drink or being in ‘shouts’
  • Avoid drinking competitions and drinking games
  • Drink slowly and put your drink down between sips
  • Only have one drink at a time
  • Don’t make drinking alcohol the main activity

Practical Tips on Reducing Binging From:  http://www.tacklingbingedrinking.gov.au/internet/tackling/publishing.nsf/Content/practical-tips

See also:
What is Binge Drinking.  From the Center for Disease Control

Effects of Binge Drinking

  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Blackouts (memory lapses, drinker cannot remember things that occurred while intoxicated)
  • Diarrhea
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Distorted vision and hearing
  • Impaired judgment
  • Upset stomach
  • Headaches
  • Decreased perception and coordination
  • Unconsciousness
  • Anemia (loss of red blood cells)
  • Coma
  • Death

As we know binge drinking is 5 standard drinks for men and 4 standard drinks for women within 2 hours in the United States.  It is important to note that many binge drinkers are not alcoholics. Although, alcoholics are almost certainly binge drinkers.  To me binge drinking means drinking until I pass out and then getting up and doing the same thing for the next several days.  Followed by withdrawal.  Binge drinking effects were measured by lost work days and disappointed friends and family.  For people who drink like me, the effects of binge drinking can be so horrible it can lead them to quit.  It did me.

Off topic: The effects of Binge Drinking

The effects of binge drinking are quite dangerous.  The danger of overdose and death are somewhat real, the notion of losing a job is a “real and present danger”, and the danger of something happening when you go through withdrawal is somewhat real.
Somewhat real means that things can happen, but not to you, they happen to other people.  They happen to other people just like you, but not to you.

That lasts until you get further into your alcoholism.  Then the anxiety you experience will be real and profound.  You will be afraid of everything.  Think of a panic attack as level 10 and withdrawal anxiety as level 7.5 to 8.5 that can go on for an entire day (or until your body passes out).  I used to take Valerian and Kava to settle my nerves.  They barely helped at all.  Certain allergy medicine can also be used. (the PM part of Tylenol PM otherwise called diphenhydramine).  Again, not much help.  Benzodiazepines work well but now you need a doctor to get them.  The effects of binge drinking by the third or fourth day of inebriation get “God Awful” bad.

Extreme Drinking

Extreme drinking may be understood to be the prompt ingestion of ten or more alcoholic drinks for men and eight for women.  This is how alcohol poisoning and overdose happen.

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