The link between binge drinking and having an ER visit

According to the most recent National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, on at least one occasion in the past year, 32 million adults in the U.S. engaged in binge drinking. Many of these individuals fell in the 18 to 24 year old age range.  Binge drinking is defined as having four or more drinks on an occasion for women, or five or more drinks on an occasion for men. This can produce blood alcohol levels greater than 0.08 percent, which is the legal limit for driving in the United States.

Researchers identified 3 drinking levels based on the respondents’ drinking behavior in the last year. Level 1 binge drinkers were 13 times more likely to have an alcohol-related emergency room visit compared to non-binge-drinkers.  Being a Level I, II, and III binge drinker also increased the likelihood of meeting the criteria for an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).

What level do you fall in?  Does your drinking put you at-risk for an alcohol-related ER visit?  Does it put you at-risk for an AUD?  How does your drinking behavior line-up with your educational and career goals?

Hingson, R.W.; Zha, W.; White, A. M. Drinking beyond the binge threshold: Predictors, consequences, and changes in the U.S. American Journal of Preventive Medicine52(6):717–727, 2017. PMID: 28526355

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