With so much time spent indoors, or in one place, it’s easy to get carried away with doing something without even realizing it. A glass of wine after the day’s last meeting may be the norm, but that seemingly harmless glass can turn into a whole bottle before you even notice it. This habit may seem insignificant or inconsequential, but very few actually realize that they are binge drinking.
The CDC defines binge drinking as consuming four alcoholic drinks in a two-hour span for women, and six alcoholic drinks within two hours for men. It can also be defined as a pattern of drinking that raises an individual’s blood alcohol content (BAC) to 0.08 g/dl.
How many of us have been unknowingly engaging in binge drinking habits?
Rehabs.com, a leading provider of addiction treatment resources, conducted a survey of 3,500respondents and found that over 1 in 3 drinkers in Maryland (36%) are unaware that they are binge drinkers. Broken down by gender, it was found that more men are unaware of their excessive drinking compared to women. Consuming this volume of alcohol once in a while might seem trivial, however, binge drinking is associated with a number of dangers, including an increased risk of alcohol poisoning, which is responsible for around 2,200 deaths each year in the US alone. Binge drinking also increases an individual’s risk of developing chronic diseases, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and liver disease.
Drinking alone is associated with its own set of dangers, such as the increased risk of injury and excessive consumption. One might assume it is safer to drink with others around, but responses show that 75% of drinkers often lose track of how many alcoholic beverages they consume when they are drinking with friends. However, 42% of respondents admit they actively avoid friends who binge drink.
Concerningly, 1 in 3 (34%) respondents believe it is acceptable to binge drink on special occasions, such as a birthday celebration.
Finally, it was also found that beer is the primary beverage of choice when people binge drink, followed by wine, spirits and cocktails.