• / Prevention and Education Services

Prevention and Education Services

Binge Drinking Risks

Binge drinking is the most common, costly, and deadly 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 or women consume 4 or more drinks in about 2 hours. Most people who binge drink are not alcohol dependent.



Binge drinking is a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dL. This typically occurs after 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men—in about 2 hours.

1 in 6 adults binge drink.

Binge drinking is most common among younger adults aged 18–34 years, but more than half of the total binge drinks are consumed by those aged 35 and older.

Binge drinking has serious risks such as:

• Unintentional injuries such as car crashes, falls, burns, and alcohol poisoning.
• Violence including homicide, suicide, intimate partner violence, and sexual assault.
• Sexually transmitted diseases.
• Unintended pregnancy and poor pregnancy outcomes, including miscarriage and stillbirth.
• Chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and liver disease.
• Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon.
• Memory and learning problems.
• Alcohol dependence.

Signs of Alcohol Poisoning:

• Mental confusion, stupor, coma, or the person cannot be roused
• Vomiting
• Slow or irregular breathing
• Hypothermia or low body temperature, bluish or pale skin

Alcohol poisoning can lead to permanent brain damage or death, so a person showing any of these signs requires immediate medical attention. Don’t wait. Call 911 if you suspect alcohol poisoning.
(Source: CDC)
(Source: NIH – National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism)