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Is binge drinking a common version of alcohol abuse?

Bonnie Lynn Wright, PhD
Geriatrics Nursing

You do not have to be an alcoholic to abuse alcohol. Binge drinking is a contemporary norm. Teens and young adults may not call it binge drinking. They do use the term pre-drinking, getting together at someone's house to have drinks before they go out to drink. They cannot afford to drink as much as they want to at a bar. So they pre-drink more cheaply at a home then polish off getting drunk while they are out. Unfortunately, they can lose track of how much they are consuming and end up more drunk or alcohol poisoned before they or anyone around them knows it.

I wonder if sociological researchers will discover that binge drinking is related in some way to the "designated driver" concept. That is, they feel they can drink as much as they like because they are not driving, almost as though driving were the unhealthy behavior as opposed to drinking alcohol. Have we focused so much on the one problem that we have ignored the other health problem?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Binge drinking is a common form of alcohol abuse, particularly among young adults. It is estimated that nearly half of all young adults drink to excess at least once a year. Binge drinking is an extreme form of excess alcohol consumption that is the leading cause of alcohol poisoning.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.