Are Binge Drinkers Alcoholics?

College students are known for their binge drinking, and their alcohol consumption occurs primarily on weekends and at parties, clubs and bars. While some may feel that binge drinking is only a problem among students and young adults, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reveals that 70% of binge drinking episodes occur in adults 26 or older. Binge drinking is a problem that is not limited by age, social status or other factors.

Why Do People Binge Drink?

There are many reasons why binge drinking occurs, and they may include the following:

  • Poor self-esteem
  • Trying to fit in
  • Attempting to drown out stress related to school, work or family
  • Using alcohol as a form of release
  • Using alcohol as an answer to problems that the user does not know how to answer

If a binge drinker is using alcohol for any of these reasons, his or her intent is not to have a few drinks on the weekend. The intent behind the alcohol use is to mask or alleviate some emotion. Drinking for a specific emotional reason is a strong indicator that binge drinking has become a coping mechanism and that addiction is a possibility. Using alcohol to cope is the foundation for addiction.

When Does Binge Drinking Become a Serious Problem?

The following are indicators that an individual’s binge drinking has developed into a serious situation:

  • Drinking excessively and recklessly
  • Drinking despite experiencing related relationship, financial or legal issues
  • Using alcohol to cope, escape or relax
  • Drinking while driving or operating machinery or during activities where a sober mind is required
  • Hiding or disguising alcohol to avoid comments about drinking from friends or family

These behaviors define alcoholism. Alcohol addiction does not always involve drinking all day or every day, as it is an individualized disease that affects different people in different ways.

Are You Worried about Your or a Loved One’s Binge Drinking?

Call our 24 hour, toll-free helpline to talk with our recovery counselors. We can provide an alcohol addiction assessment, listen to your concerns and connect you with the appropriate resources for positive change. Do not give alcohol one more day of your life. Call now.