Everyone can contribute to the prevention of excessive alcohol use. A supportive friend or adult could help you to avoid pressure situations, stop drinking, or find counseling. Binge drinkers have a harder time in school and they’re more likely to drop out. Drinking disrupts sleep patterns, which can make it harder to stay awake and concentrate during the day.

is binge drinking alcoholism

There are many medical conditions that are linked directly to frequent episodes of binge drinking. Those who can stop drinking after any binge session may still be addicted to alcohol. Treatment for these individuals will focus on the physical and emotional issues that caused their addiction in the first place. Binge drinking and alcoholism share many of the same effects on the body, however. There are a number of physical effects that arise from drinking too much alcohol. This means that while excessive drinking may relieve anxiety and stress, over time it can contribute to the development of more anxiety and stress, including additional feelings of depression.

Anxiety in Children and Teens

According to the most recent data, 25.8% of American adults binge drink within a given month. In a survey conducted by The Recovery Village, 32% of those who had tried to quit drinking sober house or were considering it reported binge drinking five or more days per week. Binge drinking over the course of a month is slightly more common among men (29.7%) than women (22.2%).

Since women generally have less body water than men, they reach a higher blood alcohol concentration level quicker. The number of people who binge drink continues to increase each year. Even with research studies and information about the dangers of excessive drinking, alcohol is still frequently viewed as a fun pastime. Although binge drinking is not alcoholism or alcohol dependency, it can be just as risky. Drinking large amounts of alcohol can affect you mentally, physically and emotionally. Not only can binge drinking hurt you, it can also take a toll on your family members and friends.

What’s the Difference Between Binge Drinking and Alcohol Use Disorder?

Still, both patterns of drinking can lead to health concerns and affect your overall well-being and quality of life. Experts typically define binge drinking by the number of standard drinks you consume in a single period of 2 hours or less. Your age and the sex you were assigned at birth determine your threshold. While binge drinking is, indeed, a form of drug abuse and addiction, most individuals who binge drink do not meet criteria for alcohol dependency. But if they quickly follow that drink with three or more, the effects of one binge drinking episode can be dangerous and unpredictable, impacting an entire campus and community. Parents, educators and college officials must all play an active role in educating students about the dangers of binge drinking, setting rules and faithfully enforcing them.

Alcoholism treatment should focus less on the physical aspects and more on the emotional issues that caused the addiction in the first place. A binge drinker is someone who drinks far more in a short period than is typically safe. This can be measured by the amount consumed in any one session, either measured in drinks or grams of alcohol. Someone who drinks 10 to 15 drinks in one session or a single drink every hour for four hours is considered a binge drinker. Binge drinking can be caused by recreational use or an alcohol addiction.


And the next factor for binge drinking alcoholics is that once a binge begins, you do not have the ability to stop, even if you have a desire to do so. Both terms are often used interchangeably, describing two different drinking behaviors. It’s essential to know the difference between them to identify the severity of alcohol misuse in an individual. We explore the difference between binge drinking and alcoholism, including causes, symptoms, and long-term effects. You may also hear alcoholism described as an alcohol use disorder, or AUD. If you have an alcohol use disorder, you’ve developed a dependency on alcohol.

Can you be an alcoholic if you only drink once a month?

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA): A person who drinks heavily once a month has a 20% likelihood of developing an addiction. Drinking heavily once a week gives that same person a 30% likelihood of becoming an alcoholic.

However, the binge drinker tends to have a short period in which they consume most of their alcohol. They can take weeks or even months to sober up before completing a binge session again. Unlike AUD, binge drinking isn’t considered a mental health condition.


The possibility of alcohol poisoning increases significantly when one binge drinks, which is dangerous to someone’s overall health and can result in an emergency hospital visit. Many people with alcohol use disorder hesitate to get treatment because they don’t recognize that they have a problem. An intervention from loved ones can help some people recognize and accept that they need professional help.

is binge drinking alcoholism

If you’re struggling with alcohol challenges, our treatment programs can help you learn how to live without reaching for the next drink. Our expert staff members strive to provide you with compassionate yet comprehensive and effective care. Excess drinking can affect your physical and mental health in many different ways.

Binge Drinking Definition

The first is characterized by high Agreeableness, Extroversion, and Openness, whereas the second is defined by high Conscientiousness and low Extraversion, Openness, and Agreeableness. High Extraversion also appeared related to BD in other longitudinal study (5). Nine out of 10 binge drinkers aren’t dependent on alcohol, but doctors and scientists think they’re more likely to develop alcohol use disorder. Liquor stores, bars, and alcoholic beverage companies make drinking seem attractive and fun.

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