Binge Drinking


Well-Known Member
8 Jun 2011
What is binge drinking?
Binge drinking is drinking heavily on a single occasion, or drinking continuously over a number of days or weeks.

A person who binge drinks may usually have restrained drinking habits, but may frequently overindulge to an extreme level. Alternatively, someone may not necessarily set out to drink a lot, but may be unsure of their limits, resulting in drinking too much over a short period of time. You may also be more likely to binge drink if you are feeling peer pressure to do so. Or, you may be feeling anxious or socially awkward, for example at a party, and you may binge drink with the aim to reduce those feelings.

Is binge drinking harmful?
Binge drinking can be immediately and directly harmful to your health. It can expose you to injury or to unnecessary risks to yourself and others. As well as having adverse short-term effects, binge drinking can also cause long-term effects on your health and well-being. See the section above for information on the short and long term effects of binge drinking.

How much can you drink?
We all respond to alcohol differently, and it is important that you know your own limits, and understand how alcohol affects you as an individual. How alcohol affects you may be influenced by a number of factors, such as:
  • how much alcohol you drink
  • how quickly you drink it
  • whether you consume the alcohol with other drugs
  • whether you’re male or female
  • your mood
  • your body type
  • whether or not you’ve eaten.
If you have not drunken alcohol before, it may be difficult for you to know what your limits are. The first time you drink alcohol, it may be a good idea to try drinking in a safe area, where someone can help you if you drink too much. This might be at home, or at a friends place.

Tips for controlling your drinking

There are a number of things you can do to keep your drinking under control, including:
  • set limits for yourself and stick to them
  • start with a non-alcoholic drink
  • try having a ’spacer’ – alternating non-alcoholic drinks with alcoholic drinks
  • drink slowly – take sips not gulps
  • try a low alcohol alternative to a pre-mixed drink
  • eat before or while you are drinking, avoid salty snacks, they make you thirsty
  • avoid rounds or ’shouts’
  • have one drink at a time, so you can keep track
  • avoid sculling competitions, and drinking games
  • stay busy – don’t just sit and drink
  • be assertive – don’t be pressured into drinking more than you want or intend to.