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What Is High-Intensity Binge Drinking?

Published on June 22, 2021
What Is High-Intensity Binge Drinking?

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines binge drinking as women who drink 4 or more beverages within two hours and men who drink more than 5 drinks during the same period of time. 

High-intensity binge drinking, on the other hand, has different requirements.

A portion of those who binge drink actually consume 2-3 more times the number of alcoholic drinks. This excessive alcohol consumption is known as high-intensity binge drinking and can cause a number of health problems.

Prevalence Of High-Intensity Binge Drinking

High-intensity binge drinking may occur during holidays such as New Year’s Eve, the Fourth of July, and even during spring break or sporting events. Birthdays are also a time when this potentially dangerous type of heavy drinking is likely to occur.

The moments that put you at an increased risk of overdose due to high-intensity binge drinking may involve social events with your family and friends. High-intensity binge drinkers are more likely to partake in this form of substance abuse during special occasions throughout the year. 

Excessive drinking in the form of high-intensity binge drinking can take place in all age ranges, including those who are younger. This results in underage drinking

High-Intensity Binge Drinking In Young Adults

Any one of us can become high-intensity binge drinkers. However, those who drink large amounts of alcohol in this manner are typically young adults such as college students

For instance, those who have just turned 21 years old may engage in excessive alcohol use. 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that alcohol misuse is problematic among young people and that young high-intensity binge drinkers have an increased risk of developing alcohol addiction or substance use disorder.

Negative Consequences Of High-Intensity Binge Drinking

With this pattern of drinking, there are many serious problems that may occur, including:

  • blackouts
  • ​car crashes
  • impaired control
  • developing physical alcohol dependence
  • trouble with your job
  • problems at school
  • slips, falls, and other accidents

In addition to this, there can be other unintended consequences such as engaging in risky behaviors like unsafe sex that can cause sexually transmitted diseases. Abusing alcohol can also result in violence, sexual assault, suicide, or homicide. 

Health Concerns 

High-intensity binge drinking poses many health dangers. When your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels become too high, alcohol poisoning may occur. 

Other health concerns and long-term effects can include:

  • liver disease
  • heart disease
  • ​high blood pressure
  • cirrhosis
  • ​weakened immune system
  • ​various types of cancer

Unhealthy drinking habits, such as high-intensity binge drinking, can also lead to alcohol use disorder (AUD)

Alcohol Treatment

If you or a loved one suffers from a drinking problem, know that addiction treatment is available. Treatment facilities can assist you with withdrawal symptoms, offer group therapies that focus on your mental health and provide various treatment programs to help you stop drinking. 

To learn more about our treatment options, please call our helpline today.

Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
This page does not provide medical advice.

Alcohol Research: Current Reviews - High-Intensity Drinking
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - Data on Excessive Drinking
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - What is Excessive Alcohol Use?
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) - Drinking Levels Defined
Society for the Study of Addiction - High-intensity Drinking in the United States
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) - Alcohol Use: Facts & Resources

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