What we’re talking about here is drinking a lot of alcohol quickly—on a night out with friends at a party
or bar, in a drinking game or contest, or just drinking too much because you want to get drunk.
This is known as binge drinking.
Researchers define binge drinking as having many drinks on one occasion: five or more drinks for a male, or four or more drinks for a female. A standard drink is defi ned as:
- more than 25 per cent of Ontario students in grades 7–12, at least once in the past month
- 30 per cent of Canadians aged 15 to 19, 12 or more times in the past year
- 41 per cent of Canadians aged 20 to 24, 12 or more times in the past year.
Rates of binge drinking are higher among males than females.
Young people who binge drink are especially at risk. This is because they are less familiar with the effects of alcohol, and are more likely to do something impulsive or dangerous.
What happens when you binge drink?
When you binge drink, you get intoxicated, or drunk. This is because you drink faster than your body can eliminate the alcohol. It takes more than an hour for your body to process one standard drink of alcohol. This rate is constant, no matter how much you drink.
The only way to get sober is to stop drinking, and to wait.