• For 24/7 Treatment Help Call

    (800) 526-5053

  • About 17% of U.S. adults binge drink about once a week, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A 2019 study showed that about 24% of all U.S. citizens binge drank at least once in the past month, including a large underage drinking population.

    Reasons people binge drink include social, psychological, and even physical reasons. A binge-drinking session ends with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. This usually involves consuming 4 or 5 drinks in the same setting, for men and women respectively.

    Depending on the reasons why you binge drink, a number of methods can be used to help you avoid situations where you may binge drink, or to decrease your alcohol use altogether.

    1. Social Reasons

    Binge drinking can happen in social settings, such as at a bar with your friends or coworkers. College students have a much higher rate of binge drinking compared to other age groups, partly due to excessive drinking seen at college parties and other gatherings.

    Avoiding social situations where drinks might be offered can help you avoid peer pressure to drink. 

    If you have a serious drinking problem, a cognitive behavioral therapy program can help you practice habits to avoid situations where you might drink, and skills to say no if you are offered drinks.

    2. As A Coping Mechanism

    People with other mental health problems may turn to alcohol as a way to escape. The numbing and depressant effects of alcohol can help distract a person in the short term but can harm your health in the long term.

    People with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health problems have a higher risk of excessive alcohol consumption compared to the general population. 

    Instead of hurting your health in the long-term with alcohol, seeking mental health treatment can set you on the path to recovery.

    3. It’s Not Alcohol Use Disorder

    Binge drinking can be a dangerous drinking behavior. However, most people who binge drink do not have a chronic alcohol use disorder. Binge drinking is separate from chronic alcohol-related problems because the drinking is done over a short period of time. 

    Many people who binge drink report only drinking alcohol about once a week, or even less. Though binge drinking is not always a sign of alcohol dependence, the effects of binge drinking can still extend into the long term.

    Binge drinking can lead to an increased risk of liver disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, risky behavior, sexually transmitted diseases, and other health problems. Binge drinking and AUDs are often addressed and treated differently by health professionals.

    4. Brain Chemistry

    Ethanol, the main ingredient in most alcoholic drinks, can affect how your brain works. Until recently, it was not clear how ethanol could encourage problem drinking behaviors.

    One recent study points to ethanol affecting a passageway in the brain known as KCNK13. This passageway may be alcohol-sensitive. The presence of ethanol in the passageway may encourage binge drinking and other long-term drinking problems.

    Though more studies may be needed on this interaction in the brain, future treatments may focus on KCNK13 in the hopes of a more effective treatment plan.

    5. Lack Of Awareness

    Some people may binge drink on accident. They may not know their drinking patterns meet the requirement for binge drinking, or not keep track of how much they drink.

    Keeping track of your drinking habits can help you stay on top of your health. If you frequently experience blackouts, feel sick the day after you drink, or find yourself engaging in risky behaviors when you drink, you may want to start taking note of how much you drink.

    Healthcare organizations may offer pamphlets on the dangers of consuming large amounts of alcohol. In-depth learning about alcohol use can be done by talking to your doctor.

    Find Treatment For A Drinking Problem

    Binge drinking affects nearly a quarter of the U.S. population. Despite the millions of Americans consuming large amounts of alcohol yearly, very few seek treatment. 

    People who binge drink regularly may benefit from treatment, as treatment can have a variety of benefits, including reducing your health risks and helping you have better control over your drinking.

    To start practicing healthier drinking habits or to get help quitting drinking entirely, talk to your healthcare provider or contact us today.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2023 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.
    Medically Reviewed by
    Manish Mishra, MBBS
    on May 20, 2022
    Questions About Treatment?

    Ark Behavioral Health offers 100% confidential substance abuse assessment and treatment placement tailored to your individual needs. Achieve long-term recovery.

    100% confidential. We respect your privacy.
    Prefer Texting?

    Our friendly support team is here to chat 24/7. Opt out any time.


    Our Facilities

    Premier Drug Rehab & Mental Health Care Facilities In Massachusetts & Ohio

    Bedrock Recovery

    Canton, MA

    • Medical detox
    • Inpatient & Residential Treatment
    • Primary Mental Health Care
    • Movie Theater & Fitness Center

    Learn More

    Northeast Addictions

    Quincy, MA

    • Day treatment program
    • Intensive Outpatient Program
    • Full-Day Group Therapy
    • Easy Access to Public Transit

    Learn More

    Spring Hill Recovery Center

    Ashby, MA

    • Residential Treatment
    • Gender-Specific Residencies
    • Outdoor Recreation
    • Expansive 70-Acre Campus

    Learn More

    Ohio Recovery Center

    Van Wert, OH

    • Medical Detox
    • Residential Treatment
    • Primary Mental Health Care
    • 55-Acre Campus

    Learn More

    For Immediate Treatment Help Call 800-526-5053