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The dangers of binge drinking

What is binge drinking and what are the dangers of it?


Written by Megan Stonecipher and posted in opinion


This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SpunOut.ie. It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for SpunOut.ie please contact editor@spunout.ie.


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Ireland has been found to have extremely high levels of binge drinking.  In fact according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Ireland has the second highest rate of binge drinking around the world.  The Health Research Board (HRB) also found that 75% of the alcohol consumed in the 2013 was done so through binge drinking.  Although drinking does have some benefits, those benefits are only seen when drinking in moderation.

What is binge drinking?

  • Binge drinking is defined as drinking a lot of alcohol in a short period of time.
  • Specifically, the World Health Organisation defines binge drinking as six or more standard drinks (a standard drink is half a pint of beer, a small glass of wine, or a pub measure of spirits).

Dangers of binge drinking

  • The risks associated with binge drinking can have both serious short and long-term impacts on 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.

Reduce your risk

  • It is always important to know your limit and tolerance level when drinking.  
  • The department of health recommends that women have no more than 11 standard drinks spread out across the week with two alcohol free days, and that men have no more than 17 standard drinks spread out across the week with two alcohol free days.
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Published June 19th, 2017
Last updated October 23rd, 2017
Tags alcohol wellbeing health
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