Binge Drinking

  1. The "official definition" of Binge drinking is 5 drinks in a row for men and 4 drinks in a row (during a single drinking session) for a woman. Some people think that this "over identifies" problem drinkers when no problem occurs since binge drinking is identified as a risky or problem drinking practice.

    What do you think, nurses, is this an appropriate definition or too stringent?
  2. Visit MollyJ profile page

    About MollyJ, MSN, RN

    Joined: Jun '99; Posts: 748; Likes: 68
    school nurse
    Specialty: 36 year(s) of experience


  3. by   kewlnurse
    Whose "official" defuination is that? It's very broad, and quite honestly it's wrong. Just about everytime i go out with the boys i have 4-5, somtimes 6 drinks, i often have 4 or 5 while at home while watching tv or playing on the computer. Definatly not binge drinking.
  4. by   sunnybrook83
    I think this definition is too broad- how often does the person drink 4-5 drinks in a row, how long of a time frame is this period when the 4-5 drinks are consumed, etc... I, myself rarely drink at all, but if I'm at a social event I might have the 4-5 drinks in an evening. Am I a binge drinker because once or twice a year I might consume x number of drinks in one evening? I don't think so, but you know they say problem drinkers deny they have a problem!
  5. by   sunnybrook83
    Oh and by the way, I recently heard on a news broadcast that people who have 3-4 drinks a day had less risk of developing Alzheimer's than those who don't!!!!
  6. by   ohbet
    Moderate drinking is 2 drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women,based on all the lit.If that is moderate,then 4-5 drinks is immoderate or "binge" drinking.
    4-5 a day,on a regular basis can cause health problems and may indicate potential alcoholism. For a nurse to engage in this drinking is unethical,see the nurses code of ethics with interpretive statements.
  7. by   kewlnurse
    Originally posted by ohbet
    For a nurse to engage in this drinking is unethical,see the nurses code of ethics with interpretive statements.
    Uhhh, hello? Intreprited by whom? Some lame old fasioned stuffed suit that thinks they are hollier than thou. That is bullS%&t!!!
    Probably the same A@#$%les who came up with the steeeewpid scripting BS that came out about a year and a half ago. Probably the same brain dead morons who think wearing caps should be brought back. The same jack*** that think you shoudl be mandated to wear white. Shall i continue? Who makes these assenine standards, might if be one of those M.A.D.D. Nazi wenches who say i can't have more than 1 beer when i go out and that i shoud be put in jail if i do. Believe me, I know more about etoh, pro and cons, manufacturing proccesses, ab,v life cycles of yeast, distillation, fermentation, chirossis, pancreatitis, renal failure and consumption than you could even fathom and don't need some wank telling me usless ramdomly obtained nubers that some pencil pusher devised as "norms". Nor telling me what is Unethical
  8. by   Q.
    Wow Kewl - great response.

    Ohbet - I don't remember taking any pledge or oath that states I can't be human. As long as I don't drink on the job or compromise patient care, this is no one's business.

    What about a nurse who is just a plain-out bad mom?? Does that violate the code of ethics too?
  9. by   aimeee
    Whoa! Definitely some buttons being pushed here!

    4 or 5 drinks in an evening would definitely be a binge for me now. Heck, I would probably be under the table cuz the most I ever have any more is a glass of wine or so, and that is even rare. But back when I was in college that would have been part of a normal social night. Seems like a binge needs to be determined more as a variation from one's own norm.
  10. by   prn nurse
    I think Binge as applied to either eating or drinking means one as either eaten or drank to excess. "To Excess" simply means that your eating or drinking has made you feel bad, i.e., has stressed your body. The "all you can shovel in" buffets' frequently result in "binge eating", and the person feels "stuffed", bloated, etc. Happy Hours have been cancelled forever because the 2 for 1's resulted in the drinker feeling intoxicated, and being intoxicated. Kewl, I hope you are not driving. I think binge also means not being able to stop/control yourself if the booze/food is there. An example, I am a chocoholic. If I buy 6 snickers bars, I may rationalize that I am going to take one to work every day. But, inevitably, I will eat one or two on the way home from the store, and finish off the rest that evening. I do not want to, but will finish them off, even though I feel stuffed and almost sick. That would qualify me as a "binger." If you have 6 beers in the frig and finish them off in one evening, even if it is over 3-4 hours, it is considered a binge if you could not stop at 2-3. Even if it only happens once a year, it means you "binged" on the evening you could not leave them alone. Binge means out of your control and to excess.
    Last edit by prn nurse on Jan 30, '02
  11. by   Q.
    I think Aimee's definition of binge is much better.

    My husband can also drink 3-4 beers at home while on the computer - has also drank as many as 5 at one event. I can have 1 beer at night at home, and then out with people can have up to 3 and I am only 120lbs! What matters is how the ETOH effects you and why you are drinking it and over how much time you consumed the beer.

    Kewl brews his own swill and drinks what I would consider "heavy" for someone of my size, however, this is a man we are talking about who is bigger than me by far! Again, if Kewl is reponsible, and does not compromise patient care, who cares how many beers he can drink before he is hammered??? I personally don't.
  12. by   Q.
    Originally posted by ohbet
    For a nurse to engage in this drinking is unethical,see the nurses code of ethics with interpretive statements.
    What about chain-smokers??
  13. by   thisnurse
    this certainly does remind me of the smoking thread...
    like i said about rights and mandated behavior.
  14. by   MollyJ
    The lame folks who coined the terms are the guys at the Harvard School of public health, I believe. Check out the link and you'll see you aren't the only one who disagrees with the term:,00.html

    Check out this link also:,00.html