Binge drinking is a common pattern of excessive alcohol use in the United States. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. This typically happens when men consume 5 or more drinks, and when women consume 4 or more drinks, in about 2 hours.
Most people who binge drink are not alcohol dependent.
According to national surveys
•Approximately 92% of U.S. adults who drink excessively report binge drinking in the past 30 days.
•Although college students commonly binge drink, 70% of binge drinking episodes involve adults age 26 years and older.
•The prevalence of binge drinking among men is higher than the prevalence among women.
•Binge drinkers are 14 times more likely to report alcohol-impaired driving than non-binge drinkers.
•About 90% of the alcohol consumed by youth under the age of 21 in the United States is in the form of binge drinks.
•About 75% of the alcohol consumed by adults in the United States is in the form of binge drinks.
•The proportion of current drinkers that binge is highest in the 18- to 20-year-old group (51%).
Binge drinking is associated with many health problems, including—
•Unintentional injuries (e.g., car crashes, falls, burns, drowning).
•Intentional injuries (e.g., firearm injuries, sexual assault, domestic violence).
•Sexually transmitted diseases.
•Children born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.
•High blood pressure, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases.
•Poor control of diabetes.