While it is no surprise that college students make up a large percentage of the population who partake in excessive alcohol consumption, the adult population is closing the gap. Although the number of drinkers who binge is highest in the 18- to 20-year-old range, adults over the age of 25 make up 70 percent of binge-drinking episodes. In addition, men are three times more likely to binge drink than women, and binge drinkers have a 14 percent higher chance of reporting driving while under the influence of alcohol as compared to those who don’t binge. Another telling statistic: About 75 percent of the alcohol consumed by American adults is by those who are binge drinking.
Are You a Binge Drinker?
The answer may surprise a lot of people. Binge drinking was given an official definition in 2004, approved by the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism (NIAAA) National Advisory Council. It describes binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that causes blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to be .08 gram percent or above. For males, that would equate to about five or more drinks in a two-hour period, and about four or more drinks for females during that time frame.
That definition has spawned some controversy. While the definition of binge isn’t under question the amount of alcohol that is dangerous when consumed during a specific period of time is casting doubt on the statistical significance of studies that have been conducted and published on the subject.