IPFW/Parkview Student Assistance Program

Addictions & Binge Drinking

The term binge drinking refers to the heavy consumption of alcohol over a short period of time. Four to five drinks in one setting constitutes binge drinking for women. For men, it’s five or more drinks. Frequent binge drinkers are five times more likely to engage in unprotected or unwanted sex.  

You can die from binge drinking. You can also drown, get burned, get raped, fall off a balcony, get into a fight, end up in a coma or wreck your car. Drinking too much too fast can also cause cardiac arrest and stop your heart.  If a friend passes out from drinking too much, turn them on their side, and call 911. Don’t let them sleep it off.

Alcohol poisoning is the most life-threatening consequence of binge drinking. When someone drinks too much and gets alcohol poisoning, it affects the body's involuntary reflexes, including breathing and the gag reflex. If the gag reflex isn't working properly, a person can choke to death on his or her vomit. Other signs someone may have alcohol poisoning include:

  • extreme confusion
  • inability to be awakened
  • vomiting
  • seizures
  • slow or irregular breathing
  • low body temperature
  • bluish or pale skin

Binge drinking is often done in crowds, with friends, at a party, or any other social situation. It is also used alone, as a form of self medication to help one “forget” their troubles or to chase away the blues. Liquor stores, bars, and alcoholic beverage companies make drinking seem attractive and fun. It’s easy to get caught up in the social scene, especially during high school or college. Don’t let it be you. If you or a friend are struggling with binge drinking, please contact your Student Assistance Counselor for ways on how you can avoid it.