For 24/7 Treatment Help Call:
Don't Wait. Get Help Now
All calls 100% confidential and free

7 Signs Of Binge Drinking

Published on July 15, 2021
7 Signs Of Binge Drinking

Not everyone with a severe alcohol use disorder (AUD) binge drinks. And, not all binge drinkers have AUD. 

Yet, binge drinking is a major risk factor and common component of alcohol use disorder. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, binge drinking is considered to be the most common, costly, and deadly pattern of excessive alcohol consumption among U.S. adults.

Binge Drinking Defined

Among the general public, binge drinking is considered reckless alcohol use over a short period of time, intended to cause a person to get drunk.

But among health care and public health professionals, binge drinking is more precisely defined as a pattern of alcohol abuse/drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 g/dl or above. 

This occurs when a male consumes five or more drinks in roughly two hours, or when a woman consumes four or more drinks in roughly two hours.

If you’re consistently drinking to get drunk as fast as possible, consider seven signs of binge drinking.

1. Wild Weekends

Long-term, binge drinking episodes are especially harmful when it’s both regular and frequent. 

If you, like many people with drinking problems, are obsessively looking forward to Friday night, the next drinking holiday, or the next weekday you have off of work or school so you can drink an excessive amount of alcohol to celebrate, there could be cause for concern.

You may also have cause for concern if binge drinking occurs more than four or five days out of the month, or if you notice yourself planning more and more of your life around drinking over time, a hallmark sign of a substance use disorder (SUD). 

2. Poor Self-Control

Addiction is, by definition, compulsive and out of a person’s total control. Accordingly, many binge drinkers struggle to drink in moderation, especially in certain settings. 

You may sit down, have a drink, and without noticing it begin having more and more as the minute’s tick by, without being fully aware of it. Or, you may set limits for yourself but not stick to them, leading once again to excessive drinking.

3. Hangovers

Substance abuse is never without consequences, and in the case of heavy drinking, this means frequent and uncomfortable hangovers. 

Physical symptoms of hangovers may include:

  • fatigue and weakness
  • poor sleep quality
  • nausea and vomiting
  • sensitivity to light and sound
  • dizziness and vertigo
  • poor concentration
  • rapid heartbeat
  • thirst and dry mouth

These symptoms can drag down your quality of life and work or school performance. And in severe cases, persistent hangovers may actually be alcohol withdrawal symptoms, a result of physical dependency. 

4. Blackouts

If you drink a large amount of alcohol over a short period of time, the ethanol can cause a type of temporary amnesia, blocking the transfer of memories from your short-term to long-term memory storage. 

Blackouts may occur after excessive alcohol consumption. This dangerous effect impairs inhibitions, attention, judgment, and decision-making.

5. Regret

If you binge drink, you likely enjoy the euphoria, confidence, and lack of concern that alcohol provides. But when alcohol changes a person’s behavior and personality for the worse, regret likey follows.

After binge drinking, you may experience regret such as:

  • guilt that you drank too much again
  • embarrassment at what you did while drunk
  • stress and anxiety related to things that happened

Also, consider that binge drinking is heavily associated with accidental injuries and major healthcare expenses, acts of sexual assault, risky sex and sexually transmitted diseases, legal problems, acts of violence, and more.

6. Health Problems

Beyond blackouts, hangovers, and alcohol poisoning, frequent binge drinking will likely put you at an increased risk of:

  • illness
  • obesity
  • cancer
  • liver disease
  • ​high blood pressure
  • mental health and memory issues
  • AUD/alcohol addiction

7. Concerned Loved Ones

If you struggle with poor drinking behaviors, your family members, friends, and co-workers may notice and broach the subject with you. 

While your first reflex may be to lash out or laugh it off, if those who love you are concerned for you, you may have a more serious problem than getting a bit too loose over the weekend. 

To learn about our addiction treatment centers and recovery services like medical detox, behavioral therapies, support groups, and medication-assisted treatment, please connect with our helpline today.

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

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - Drinking too much alcohol can harm your health. Learn the facts
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - Binge Drinking is a serious but preventable problem of excessive alcohol use
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) - Interrupted Memories: Alcohol-Induced Blackouts
National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus - Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)

Questions About Treatment?

100% confidential. We respect your privacy.