Many people think ‘binge drinking’ is when a person drinks continually, possibly for a couple of days or more, and gives up other activities and responsibilities, including work and family. We've all heard people saying things like:
A binge is when you drink for three or four days constantly.
Bingeing is disappearing at the weekend and being found in the pub drunk all the time.
When you binge, you drink to the point where you don’t remember anything.
Actually, binge drinking is:
- a man drinking 10 or more units of alcohol in one session (as little as five pints of normal strength beer);
- a woman drinking seven or more units of alcohol in one session (eg three small glasses of wine and a couple of vodkas).
Health experts have determined that drinking above these levels can be harmful to your health. And if you think about it… many of us actually binge drink regularly at weekends without realising!
Binge drinking doesn't even mean you have to be drunk – some people who drink regularly would not be drunk at these levels, while others would be very drunk indeed.
Binge drinking is associated with particular health risks, even if you drink less than your weekly limit (21 units for men or 14 units for women).