Know When 2 Stop

Binge Drinking Awareness

Know the Facts


What is binge drinking?

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, binge drinking is defined as a pattern of alcohol consumption that brings the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level to 0.08 percent or more. It is the consumption of an excessive amount of alcohol in a short period of time.

Four drinks or more for a female and five drinks or more for a male within two hours is binge drinking.


What is considered moderate alcohol consumption?

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, United States Department of Health and Human Services and United States Department of Agriculture, moderate drinking is up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men.

What is considered a “drink”?

A drink is defined as 12 ounces of a 5 percent alcohol by volume beer; 4 ounces of 13 percent wine; or 1.5 ounces of 40 percent distilled spirit.

Is binge drinking different for men and women?

Yes, binge drinking for women is consuming 4 or more drinks on one occasion and binge drinking for men is consuming 5 or more drinks on one occasion.

woman with alchoholic beverage

What are the effects of binge drinking?

Binge drinking can harm your health. Short-term and long-term health risks are associated with binge drinking. Some short-term risks include injuries, alcohol poisoning and risky sexual behaviors. Some long-term risks include high blood pressure, cancer, alcoholism, social problems and mental health problems.

How common is binge drinking?

In Anne Arundel County, over half of the 18-25 year olds who drink are binge drinking and don’t realize it.

Can binge drinking lead to alcohol poisoning?

Yes, binge drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning – a medical emergency that results from high blood alcohol levels. Very high levels of alcohol in the body can shut down critical areas of the brain that control breathing, heart rate and body temperature, resulting in death.

Collection of empty alchohol containers

What health problems are associated with binge drinking?

  • Unintentional injuries (e.g., car crashes, falls, burns, drowning)
  • Intentional injuries (e.g., firearm injuries, sexual assault, domestic violence, suicide)
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Unintended pregnancy
  • Children born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
  • High blood pressure, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases
  • Liver disease
  • Neurological damage
  • Poor control of diabetes

What are the some statistics of binge drinking?

  • 24 percent of binge drinkers reported being a passenger in a car with a driver under the influence of alcohol.
  • 33 percent of binge drinkers reported they “blacked out” or forgot what they did.
  • 31 percent of binge drinkers reported having unprotected sex.
  • 15 percent of binge drinkers physically injure themselves.
  • 24 percent of binge drinkers get rides from drunk drivers.
  • 32 percent report doing something they regretted.

Where can I get help or more information concerning alcohol abuse?

For alcohol abuse treatment resources, call the Substance Abuse Treatment and Referral Resource Line at 410-222-0117 weekdays 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. More information about alcohol abuse and alcoholism is at www.preventsubstanceabuse.org.

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