Binge Drinking Facts

Binge drinking means drinking heavily on a single occasion, or drinking continuously over a number of days or weeks. This type of drinking is seriously harmful to your health and in some cases of over-use, may even lead to death. Do not feel pressured to drink heavily when you go out to a bar, pub or at a special event like a birthday party.

Drinking too much on a single occasion means drinking more than the recommended level for adults (four (4) or more standard alcoholic drinks in one session)

Find out how a standard drink is measured (PDF)

Effects of binge drinking

Short term effects

In the short term you are likely to experience a number of physical effects, such as:

  • Hangovers
  • Nausea
  • Shakiness
  • Vomiting and memory loss
  • Injury to yourself
  • Alcohol poisoning

Long term effects

In the long term, binge drinking is likely to cause physical, emotional or social problems. These may include:

  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Cancer, especially of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, bowel (in men) and breast (in women)
  • A range of diseases affecting the heart and blood, and including stroke and hypertension
  • Problems with the nerves of the arms and legs
  • Alcohol-related brain injury
  • Alcohol dependence
  • Harm to the unborn baby through mixing alcohol and pregnancy or alcohol and breastfeeding
  • Poor diet
  • Stomach problems
  • Frequent infections
  • Skin problems
  • Reproduction issues, such as sexual impotence and a reduction in fertility
  • Concentration and term memory problems
  • Depression
  • Family and relationship problems
  • Poor work performance
  • Legal and financial difficulties

For more information

You should follow the Australian Guidelines on drinking alcohol from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) website: