What Is Binge Drinking?
The following information is provided by James Golden, M.D., Inpatient Addiction Physician, Betty Ford Center, in reference to a recent headline death from binge drinking:
The NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) defines a “binge” as a pattern of drinking alcohol that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 gram percent or above. For the typical adult, this is often interpreted as consuming five or more standard drinks (male) or four or more drinks (female) over approximately two hours. For the purposes of this definition, a drink refers to half an ounce of alcohol, e.g. one 12-ounce beer, one five ounce glass of wine or a 1.5 ounce shot of distilled spirits.
The disease of addiction always eventually gets out of control. The absorption of alcohol may be somewhat unpredictable and/or rise quickly to lethal levels if one consumes large quantities very rapidly. Given the level of tolerance a person might have – combined with the extra added binge on just one occasion – it’s not surprising that the eventual blood alcohol level can rise to a lethal state.
Other consequences of binge drinking may include brain damage, alcohol poisoning, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular issues and even skeletal muscle damage.
Additional information for this piece came from www.ias.org.uk and www.niaaa.nih.gov/
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