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Binge Drinking

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You’ve had a long work week, so you decide to meet up with friends at a bar to blow off steam on a Friday night. It starts out with a single drink, enjoying the music and yelling at the game on the screen, but the night evolves from there. Before you know it, your tab is wracking up and you’ve had 3 or 4 drinks under your belt, maybe even 5, you’ve lost count.

At one point, the evening starts to blur. You can’t remember much but you wake up laying on your bathroom floor some undetermined amount of time later. You have a pounding headache, but you know how to manage it, so it’s fine, right?

A night like this is known as binge drinking. It’s a common occurrence here in California, and as a high-end rehab facility here in Sacramento, we hear stories about it often. We know how binge drinking impacts not only our clients but our community as a whole. This is why we decided to answer some common questions about binge drinking, to help people better understand what it is, why it happens, and how it can impact you in the long run. 

Understanding Binge Drinking

At what point does drinking become binge drinking? Is it about time? Is it about the kinds of drinks? Well, it’s actually a combination of a few things.

Binge drinking is when someone consumes a certain amount of drinks within a two-hour period. For men, this is 5 drinks, and for women, this is 4. The number varies due to an enzyme that is produced in our bodies to help us process alcohol. This enzyme has a higher production rate in men than in women meaning, on average, it takes more drinks for men to be intoxicated than women.

What exactly is one drink?

One drink is classified as:

  • 12 oz of beer
  • 8 oz of malt liquor 
  • 5 oz of wine
  • 1.5 oz of hard spirits
How common is binge drinking in California

How Common Is Binge Drinking in California?

On average, adults in California binge drink almost 4 times each month. Since 2015, this number remained constant until 2020 when it started to increase. The largest age group that binge drinks is 25-34 year olds with 24% reporting binge drinking and the smallest group is those who are 65 and older with only 5%. 

The Serious Risks Associated with Binge Drinking

How does binge drinking differ from regular drinking? Does it have different consequences? 

Binge drinking increases your risk for many things, such as participation in unsafe activities, such as driving under the influence, unsafe sex, and more. Those who binge drink are at an increased risk of hurting themselves whether from minor things like falling or from major things like drowning or car accidents.

Additionally, alcohol hurts the body over time. It can damage many organs from your liver to your pancreas. Those who participate in binge drinking increase their chances of developing chronic physical and mental health conditions. 

Alcohol Poisoning and Binge Drinking 

Alcohol poisoning occurs when your body is overwhelmed with the amount of alcohol in its system. Your liver, which is responsible for processing alcohol, can only process a certain amount at a time. If you continue to add alcohol to your system from this point, it can start to travel to other parts of the body like the brain. 

Over 2,300 people die each year from alcohol poisoning, according to the CDC.

Recovery options for binge drinking in Orange County California

Recovery Options for Binge Drinking in Orange County, California

Recovering from alcohol use, no matter how long or short-term, isn’t always easy. That’s why Pacific Sands is ready to help you. Our team of experts offers an alcohol detox program to help ensure you can safely withdraw from alcohol. Alcohol detox is an important part of the recovery process, but it can come with a variety of severe side effects such as seizures and hallucinations. This is where having a medical team on your side can help ensure you’re safe and comfortable during this process.

From there, we offer other programs such as inpatient and outpatient treatment. We believe in offering solution-focused treatment, working with each client on an individual level to ensure their unique needs are met during treatment. We want to see you reach your healing goals. 

If you want to get started on the road away from alcoholism, Pacific Sands is here for you. Give us a call anytime at 949-426-7962 and we’ll happily get you started. We want to help you find the support you need to build a strong foundation for ongoing recovery. 


What is the act of binge drinking?

Binge drinking is when a person consumes a minimum of 4-5 drinks within a two-hour period. A drink can include a variety of things such as 12 oz of beer, 8 oz of malt liquor, 5 oz of wine, or 1.5 oz of hard spirits.


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