‘Binge drinking’ usually refers to drinking lots of alcohol in a short space of time, or drinking to get drunk. Researchers commonly define binge drinking as consuming more than eight units of alcohol in a single session – that’s just over three pints of 4% strength beer.
Why binge drinking is harmful
Drinking too much, too quickly on a single occasion can increase your risk of:
- accidents resulting in injury, causing death in some cases
- misjudging risky situations
- losing self-control, like having unprotected sex
- leave you vulnerable and impair your ability to make decisions
Drinking heavily can increase your risk of some health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, liver disease and strokes. Alcohol is a contributing factor in up to 60 medical conditions, including several types of cancer.
To reduce your health risk from binge drinking, try to:
- limit how much you drink on any single occasion
- drink more slowly
- drink with food
- alternate with water or non-alcoholic drinks
- plan ahead to avoid problems, such as making sure you can get home safely or having people you trust with you