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Binge drinking

Many people binge drink without realising it.


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in health


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Binge drinking is a common occurrence, but there can be confusion over what the term means. Many people binge drink without even realising it. Knowing what binge drinking is can help us to better manage our drinking.

What is binge drinking?

Binge drinking means drinking a lot over a short period of time.

Specifically, the World Health Organisation defines binge drinking as six or more standard drinks in one sitting. A standard drink is:

  • a half a pint of beer
  • a small glass of wine
  • or a pub measure of spirit

Is binge drinking dangerous?

Binge drinking can pose numerous risks to your physical and mental health.

  • Binge drinking can increase our risks of accidents, injuries, and alcohol poisoning.
  • It also severely impacts our judgement and decision making abilities as well.
  • People are more prone to take risks as well after binge drinking, which can lead to possible harm and vulnerability.
  • Binge drinking has also been found to be associated with suicide and self-harm.

Reducing your risk

It is safer not to drink alcohol at all; but if you do decide to, here are some things you can do to reduce the risks:

  • Eat before or while you are drinking
  • Start the evening with a non-alcoholic drink
  • Drink non-alcoholic drinks in between alcoholic drinks
  • Drink slowly
  • Don’t get into buying rounds
  • Don’t down drinks or play drinking games

If you are worried about your drinking, you should talk to a trusted friend or family member about it. For information about getting help your drinking, click here.

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Published October 13th, 2017
Last updated October 23rd, 2017
Tags alcohol binge drinking
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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