All about binge drinking


Having a good night out doesn’t always need to involve getting completely pissed. Binge drinking can be seriously bad for your physical and mental health and can have both short and long term effects. Beyond the impact on your health, there are other possible effects of binge drinking including it having a negative impact on your social life and relationships.


 This might help if you want to know...

  • want to know what binge drinking means
  • the side effects of binge drinking
  • if binge drinking is bad for you

Alcohol is the most widely used recreational drug in Australia. We have a culture where it is socially acceptable to drink alcohol, with many Australians drinking after work, at barbeques, on the weekend, and at sporting events.


What is binge drinking?

Binge drinking means drinking heavily on a single occasion, or drinking continuously over a number of days or weeks.

A person who binge drinks may usually have restrained drinking habits, but when they drink, they don’t hold back. Alternatively, someone may not necessarily set out to drink a lot, but may be unsure of their limits, resulting in drinking too much over a short period of time.

People can also be more likely to binge drink if they feel peer pressure to do so, or if they’re feeling awkward or uncomfortable at a party.


Is binge drinking bad for you?

Binge drinking can be seriously bad and harmful to your health. It can expose you to injury or to unnecessary risks to yourself and others. As well as having adverse short-term effects, binge drinking can also cause long-term effects on your health and wellbeing.

Short term effects of binge drinking

If you drink large amounts you're likely to experience a number of physical effects, including:

  • hangovers
  • nausea
  • shakiness
  • vomiting and memory loss
  • injury to yourself or others
  • alcohol poisoning.

Alcohol is a major cause of injury and death among young people. When you’re drunk, you’re more likely to put yourself in risky situations, like getting into a car with someone who’s been drinking, or being the perpetrator or victim of violence.

Long-term effects of binge drinking regularly

Continuous heavy drinking over a long period of time can lead to:

  • physical and psychological dependence on alcohol
  • significant damage to the brain and liver
  • risk of cancer of the mouth, throat or oesophagus
  • possible increased risk of neurological disorders, heart problems
  • sexual problems (especially male impotency)
  • risk of emotional and mental health problems developing, such as depression and anxiety
  • problems at school, work and with relationships.


Other possible effects of binge drinking

In addition to the health risks, binge drinking may also impact your self-esteem and social life; because you may find yourself doing things when you’re drunk that you wouldn’t normally do if you were sober. In fact, one in two Australians aged 15 – 17 who get drunk will do something they regret.

Being drunk affects your judgement and may lead to you:

  • Having unprotected sex, or unwanted sex. This could lead to unplanned pregnancy or STIs. 
  • Feeling bad about yourself and embarrassed by your actions.
  • Losing friends or loved ones as a result of your behaviour
  • Losing money that you need for other things after reckless spending on alcohol

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The Have I Got A Problem website is a free online resource to help people better understand any issues or concerns they may have about mental health or addiction. The website includes resources specifically focused to; general Mental Health, Depression, Stress, Anxiety, Insecurities, Self-harm Schizophrenia, Bipolar, Anger Management, Eating Disorders, Coping, general Addiction, Alcohol, Smoking, Gambling, Drugs, Cocaine, Heroin, Marijuana (Cannabis) Ecstasy, PCP, Mephedrone, Ketamine & Crystal Meth.

The site was created to give the public information to help them understand mental health and addiction issues and to assist people in making better informed decisions about their life and personal choices. was created and is run by 'Advising Communities’, which is a UK registered charity (Charity No. 1061055)


"I’ve seen hundreds of families in this very situation and their dilemma is always the same: they all want to influence their child to get on a better path"

Dr Michael Pantalon

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