What are the Reasons For Binge Drinking?

By Kayla Loibl | Last Edited: December 09, 2020 | 4 Sources

Binge drinking, regardless of the reasons for binge drinking, could impact the quality of life when it comes to general health. It, is a form of alcohol abuse where an individual drinks more alcohol than the 5/4 limit in a matter of two hours (or less).

The 5/4 limit refers to the classification of what constitutes binge drinking. For a normal adult, this pattern equals to consuming 5 or more alcoholic drinks (male), or 4 or more drinks (female), in a matter of 2 hours.

Binge drinking is reaching epidemic levels in some countries, particularly amongst adolescents and those in the 20-30 age range.

Social drinking (that is drinking within moderate drinking guidelines) isn’t harmful, however, when a person drinks in company or a social setting to the point where he/she becomes inebriated and cannot make sense of the goings on around him/her, it can become a cause for concern.

Researchers, NGOs, and various support groups have sounded the alarm as binge drinking has been found to be a stepping stone to prolonged alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence if not controlled.

Binge drinker or alcoholic? Find out by taking an alcoholism test now.

Another worry is that due to its ability to affect the behavior of the drinker, binging puts extra pressures (accidents/violence/health problems) on the health and emergency services. Binge drinking has been known to result in injuries, such as vehicular accidents, falls, burns, and drownings.

The Reasons For Binge Drinking

The reasons for binge drinking are as varied as the very people who indulge in this activity. There are, however, a few common causes of this behavior.

The list below is by no means definitive, yet it can point you in the right direction - humans are far more complex than any list can do justice to.

  • It’s fun: This is one of the most common reasons for binge drinking. Most youngsters just want to let their hair down, enjoy a night or two (or more) of revelry, let go of their inhibitions, and ease the burden of so many expectations and pressure. Binge drinking is a very common occurrence in parties to the point where a party without any alcohol is deemed somewhat of a dampener.
  • They want to socialize and feel more self-confident: This is particularly true of shy folks or introverts who find it a tad difficult to socialize unless they feel ‘free’ by- you guessed it- drinking. Alcohol does have this innate tendency to make you feel more uninhibited, and innumerable young adults have admitted to indulging in excessive drinking just to be ‘one’ among the crowd, feel sexy, and to get out there and mix around with others.
  • They want to assert their dominance or macho image: This point is one of the most obvious reasons for binge drinking when it comes to men- especially those who just have to show everyone who’s boss (by taking part in drinking competitions- where the ‘winner’ is the champion guzzler).
  • They want to forget their problems: This is one of those reasons for binge drinking that most scientists and support groups are wary about, since it may signify an underlying problem. Though binge drinking in order to let go of stress is a pretty common occurrence, indulging in this habit on a regular basis can make one susceptible to the pitfalls of alcohol abuse and lead him/her to start depending on the substance in order to use it as a coping mechanism.
  • Peer pressure/acceptance issues: This is mostly evident in the case of high school and college crowds. ‘Fitting in’ has always been a bugbear since time immemorial, and if binge drinking can make you popular, then so be it- at least that’s what some kids think. Unfortunately, many students feel ‘socially obligated’ to binge drink if they are part of a clique or an environment where this habit is encouraged.
  • They are curious: Many people take to binge drinking just to know what it ‘feels’ like, especially after hearing someone’s take about a wild night out.
  • They want to rebel: Again, this holds true when it comes to many teens and young adults, most of who may tend to have poor relationships with their parents. During this phase, many kids use binge drinking as a ‘weapon’ against their parents in order to revolt against the set rules and norms and to use alcohol as a tool for asserting one’s independence.
The reasons for binge drinking are many, and scientists have even gone on to suggest that genetics, a family background of alcohol abuse, and the easy availability of alcohol can increase the likelihood of binge drinking.

Give Up Alcohol

Binge drinking is NOT alcoholism, it is possible to stop binge drinking and return to normal drinking. "Stop Drinking Alcohol" is an e-book that outlines how you can either return to normal drinking or stop altogether WITHOUT the need for the 12 steps. I highly recommend it as a viable alternative for binge drinkers wishing to cut down on their alcohol consumption.

It’s Not Too Late to Stop Alcohol Abuse!

Binge drinking, although it is not yet a form of alcoholism, can lead to alcoholism and it poses risk to the body. But you don’t have to live with alcohol abuse. Contact a treatment provider today and ask for help determining the best treatment options for you.

If you found this page helpful, then the following may be of interest to you:

Lead Writer/Reviewer : Kayla Loibl

Licensed Medical Health Professional 


I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LCMHC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. Read More


NCBI. Binge Drinking in Young Adults: Data, Definitions, and Determinants. January 2009. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2748736/

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alcohol Use and Your Health. January 14, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Binge Drinking. December 30, 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/binge-drinking.htm

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Drinking Levels Defined. https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/moderate-binge-drinking

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